Tuesday, November 15, 2011
Girls Nite Out (AKA Scaremaker)
Girls Nite Out is a horror flick that was made during the heyday of slashers. It is directed by Robert Debeul and to this day is still his only feature film (aside from a TV movie he did around this time). Originally sporting an enticing trailer that made it appear this film would feature tits galore I'm sure many people who watched when it came out were very disappointed. This flick is squeaky clean in the regard of nudity, but I digress, onto the story.
Girls Nite Out follows a group of college students taking part in their annual scavenger hunt hosted by the campus radio station. Unfortunately there is a cold blooded killer on the loose. Armed with blades for fingers and dressed as the mascot for the school (a wide-eyed bear), this mysterious murderer is looking to create a body count and cleanse the campus of all the "whores". As everything unfolds, the radio station DJ begins getting odd calls from Yogi dropping some hints regarding the murders.
The killer sporting a bear costume originally sounded extremely hilarious to me. After my first viewing I was actually fairly surprised at how well it worked. I won't say it didn't make for a few laughs at first but went the murders start taking place it makes for a badass slasher. Literally mauling victims with its handy blade fingers in a few scenes. This unique Krueger/Grizzly hybrid makes for one of the most memorable killers to come out of the 80's slasher genre to say the least. There aren't a ridiculous amount of kills but when they do come up they are executed well.
The cast is made up of fun dimwits for the most part. Hal Holbrook has a decent sized role in the film playing the security officer, he does a solid job with his part as usual and I was pretty surprised to see him pop up. Many other slasher fans will recognize Lauren-Marie Taylor (Vickie from Friday the 13th Part 2). Girls Nite Out is very slow moving the first thirty minutes or so. The cast being young and fun helps out a bit but their shenanigans are only entertaining for so long. Around the thirty minute mark I was actually considering shutting it off but luckily right around that time it began to pick up. When the film does pick up there is plenty of fun to be had. The film gains a sort of gritty tone mixed in with the comic relief of the students and it makes for an interesting watch.
The first section of the film does do a good job creating a solid lineup of possible suspects. It also sets up various subplots and for the most part these end up going nowhere. The first thirty minutes could've easily been cut into a ten minute segment, because little to no character development takes place during it. The film has a pretty decent twist ending that most people seem to complain about. I thought it worked in it's own right. Don't expect a twist of Pieces proportions but it was good enough for me.
Overall Girls Nite Out is a nice little hidden slasher flick. While it may have a slow first half it more than makes up for it later on. It has a couple of nice touches that you don't normally see in your run of the mill slasher flick. Fans of the old school 80's slasher films should get a kick out of this. It isn't the best of its kind but it could easily be called underrated. So if you've watched all of the "essential" slashers and are looking for something a bit more obscure Girls Nite Out will prove to be a fitting watch. You can find this one pretty cheap on DVD in the Bloody Schoolgirls boxset from Shriek Show, definitely worth picking up.