“To All a Goodnight” is a standard early 80’s Christmas themed slasher directed by “Last House on the Left” and “House on the Edge of the Park” actor David Hess.
THE PLOT: At the Calvin Finishing School for Girls, a student is teased and falls from a balcony to her death. 2 years later, and during Christmas vacation, the group of nympho girls smuggle their boyfriends in for some partying. But one by one the students begin getting murdered by a killer in a Santa Claus costume.
“To All a Goodnight” is a poorly lit and unimaginative slasher that features a couple hot chicks and a few interesting kills. This film came at the start of the 80’s slasher cycle but still manages to be clichéd and repetitive. There’s the red herring (a Crazy Ralph type gardener), the twist ending, the tour of the dead, the deadly preamble, and of course, the useless authority. These are some common traits of slashers and they feel downright beat to death here. There is no suspense, no originality, and no creativity. The filmmakers really dropped the ball with the Christmas theme. There isn’t any Christmas oriented gags or deaths in the film. We get a couple Christmas lights but no decorations, no Christmas songs, and we barely see the killer Santa. The good news is the film moves a solid pace.
The acting is decent for a low budget slasher film shot in 10 days. Angela Bath is smoking hot as the top heavy slut Trisha and Jennifer Runyon (Ghostbusters, Carnosaur) is decent as the virginal, final girl. But all the characters in “To All a Goodnight” are unlikeable and poorly developed. Most of them are introduced, have sex, then die.
The film scores a couple points for featuring a decent body count. 15 people get killed in this slasher and a few of them die interestingly. A couple gets beheaded by propeller blades. Some poor bastard gets killed pumping away on a chick when an arrow shoots through his head and out his mouth. And a chick gets decapitated and has her head placed on a shower head like some kind of hunting trophy. The effects are by Mark Shostrom and are decent…but it’s almost impossible to make out what the hell is going on due to poor lighting and shitty video quality. There is a WTF moment when one of the surviving girls goes bat-shit crazy and begins dancing around like a ballerina and the killer lets her live! The film ends with this crazed dancer twirling on the balcony.
There is a nice amount of T&A. We get a shower scene, a sex scene, and a window striptease. The soundtrack is your typical shitty synthesizer score. The big twist is that there’s two killers…the mother and father of the girl who died at the start of the film. Turns out they wanted revenge. The film also has an awesome VHS cover. I wouldn’t recommend tracking it down but if you come across a copy, pick it up. Because it’s rare and you can probably make a buck on eBay.
“To All a Goodnight” features death by battle axe, slit throats, drugged milk, crushed skulls, an acoustic song about vagabonds, and a killer who likes to bury his dead.
Media Home Entertainment/83mins