Judge Mitchell Hattaway and friends had a "girls night out" last week, but all they did was fix each others' hair and talk about cute boys.
The next time you go to a fancy dress party…check who's going with you.
Girls Nite Out is a listlessly acted, written, and directed slasher flick. It's the type of movie that makes you wonder exactly what audience the producers had in mind.
The story revolves around a scavenger hunt on a college campus in a sleepy Ohio town. A nut-job kills the guy who acts as the school's mascot, steals the dead guy's bear costume, and then begins killing the nondescript coeds involved in the scavenger hunt. Tracking the killer is a security officer named Mac (Hal Holbrook, Creepshow); Mac lost his daughter to a serial killer during a scavenger hunt at the school several years earlier. Things take a turn for the personal when the killer in the bear costume calls Mac and claims to be the same guy who killed Mac's daughter. Mac finds this hard to believe, as his daughter's killer recently hanged himself in his room at the local sanitarium. Mac eventually solves the case with the help of an old newspaper photograph and his trusted Sharpie magic marker. (It took no less than four writers to concoct that plot.)
On top of being poorly executed, Girls Nite Out commits an even more egregious sin: it's boring. It takes forever and a day for the plot to finally kick in, and even then very little happens. The alleged shocks do not work in the least; every single scare is telegraphed far ahead of time. The gore and bloodletting are ho-hum; if you've seen one no-name, thirty-something actor oozing fake, too-orange blood, you've seen them all. (This is one of those movies in which it appears the college students have all been granted tenure; I don't think I've ever seen this many receding hairlines outside a commercial for the Hair Club for Men.) On top of all that, there is absolutely no nudity. We see characters in bed together, but there is no nudity. We see characters playing strip poker, but there is no nudity. We see a character taking a bubble bath, but there is no nudity. What is this, a slasher flick for kindergarteners? And why is poor Hal Holbrook in this movie? Yeah, his son David (who later followed in his dad's footsteps by starring in Creepshow 2) is a member of the cast, but couldn't Hal have let little Davey stumble on his own?
Given that this is a cheap horror flick from the early '80s, the DVD presentation is pretty much what you would expect. The transfer doesn't look too bad; the only real problem during the first half is some fading in the print, but the latter half exhibits signs of wear and tear, most notably some scratches, dirt, and speckling. There is not much channel separation in the stereo soundtrack; the dialogue is often unintelligible, and the track creaks throughout most of the film's running time, especially whenever the cheesy music kicks in. The meatiest bonus feature is a short interview with Julia Montgomery (you might remember her from Revenge of The Nerds), the lead actress in the movie. Although she apparently has fond memories of the shoot (primarily because it was her first feature), Montgomery doesn't really have anything pertinent to say. (Montgomery gives the interview while wearing a rather short skirt, and she has really nice gams.) You also get the film's theatrical trailer, as well as previews for other Guilty Pleasures releases (including the Broderick Crawford biker classic Hell's Bloody Devils.) Rounding out the extras is an alternate title sequence for the film, and I mean that literally. Girls Nite Out was also released as The Scare Maker, so what you get here is two seconds of footage in which that title replaces the original title (I hope that makes sense).
I guess it's a good thing that the folks at Guilty Pleasures are digging up obscure titles and giving them the DVD treatment. Let's just hope that in the future they will unearth something a little more deserving.
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Scales of Justice
Studio: Media Blasters
• Julia Montgomery Interview
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