Lively, entertaining reviews of, and essays on, old and newer films and everything relating to them, written by professional author William Schoell.

Thursday, September 17, 2015


Hal Holbrook slumming
GIRLS NITE OUT (1982). Director: Robert Deubel.

At Dewitt University the sorority is holding a costume dance one night, and has a scavenger hunt the next. Naturally there are going to be murders, and there are the usual hints that someone may have escaped from an asylum. Security chief Jim MacVey (Hal Holbrook of That Certain Summer) lost his daughter to a killer years ago, and is afraid this guy may be on the loose again. There is one male victim, and then women are systematically slaughtered. The killer takes the bear suit from the male victim, dresses up in it, and stalks the others during the scavenger hunt. The acting in this isn't bad -- James Carroll makes an impression as the nominal hero -- with top honors going to Hal Holbook and Rutyana Alda as the waitress, Barney. Girls Nite Out is a standard stalk-and-slash film whose chief distinction is that the identity of the maniac comes as a major surprise. Ms. Alda is no relation to Alan Alda and has had a very busy career. David Holbrook, who plays Mike Pryor, a guy who gets jilted, is the son of Hal Holbrook and isn't bad; he was "introduced" in this film. The various gals in the movie are pretty and competent, with Suzanne Barnes effective as the gold digger Dawn.

Verdict: There have been worse -- and the climax is good. **1/2.

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