Girls Nite Out (1982) Poorly thought-out slasher involving a terrible plot twist.

Theme Song: There’s horror-synth over the opening scene, but no credit is given. All other music consists of The Lovin’ Spoonful, 1910 Fruitgum Company, and Tommy James and the Shondells, which appear multiple times.

Interesting Dated References: College campuses being somewhat inclusive organizations that had one radio station which disseminated information about nightly college activities in which all students participated.

Best Line: Nothing of note.

Social Context: Peak-slasher excitement resulting in poorly thought-out scripts involving terrible plot twists being filmed and released to the public. In the case of Girls Nite Out a slew of decent potential killers are thrown out the window in favor of a waitress you won’t remember, who also happens to be the twin sister of a former university student who went crazy years prior.

Summary: Idyllic (read: white) Dewitt University is in the middle of basketball season and after winning a close match, everyone goes out to a party to get totally fucking wasted.

Girls Nite Out

We’re introduced to heartthrob-womanizer Teddy Ratliff and his unstable jock friend with female troubles, Pete “Maniac” Krizaniac. They order cheeseburgers from friendly neighborhood diner waitress Katie, who is a totally one-dimensional character nobody should have to think about again.

Girls Nite Out

Do you notice how this is a photo of people posing for a picture at a party and not one person is holding up any type of fake mustache on a stick? Isn’t that fucking nice? You should try it some time. At the party, we’re introduced to overweight and unstable Mike Pryor (David Holbrook, star of Creepshow 2 and son of Hal Holbrook, star of A Perry Mason Mystery: The Case of the Jealous Jokester, A Perry Mason Mystery: The Case of the Grimacing Governor, and A Perry Mason Mystery: The Case of the Lethal Lifestyle), who storms off in a rage after losing a girl to Benson, the guy who wears the bear mascot costume at basketball games. Elsewhere, some freshmen talk about the campus legend of Dickie Cavanaugh, a guy who went crazy and killed a girl. The aforementioned dead girl happens to be the daughter of Mac (Hal Holbrook, star of A Perry Mason Mystery: The Case of the Jealous Jokester, A Perry Mason Mystery: The Case of the Grimacing Governor, and A Perry Mason Mystery: The Case of the Lethal Lifestyle and father of David Holbrook, star of Creepshow 2), the campus security guard.

Girls Nite Out

We’re up to four decent potential killers here, including the star jock with woman issues, the loose canon jock with woman issues, the overweight guy with woman issues, and Mac, who should be highest on the list for being the guy who is mentally torn apart from the death of his daughter, slowly working his way to head of security over the years, plotting a massacre on the night of the big scavenger hunt when everyone is trippin’ Jack Daniels. But instead the trio of writers decided to twist the plot and totally blow your mind by having Katie be the killer, whom you won’t recall was the waitress from earlier scenes.

Girls Nite Out

So Benson the mascot guy is murdered and “our mysterious killer” affixes dull steak knives to the paw of the costume. The next night at the scavenger hunt, “our mysterious killer” spends the rest of the movie running around stabbing girls. It may sound interesting that the killer is wearing a big cartoonish bear costume, but it’s not. Every time the bear is on camera it feels like you’re watching one of those terrible long-form early-00s electronica videos that everyone used to think were super awesome.

Girls Nite Out

After thinking about Dickie Cavanaugh for a bit, Mac decides to draw long hair on a picture of him and realizes Dickie with long hair looks just like Katie, the waitress you don’t remember.

Girls Nite Out

Teddy is at the restaurant with Dawn, who is a girl he’s been cheating on his girlfriend, Lynne, with, and Mac arrives at the restaurant just in time to hear Katie ranting to Teddy about how she had to get revenge, or something dumb. Then Katie reveals she has Dickie in the freezer, which is really only shocking if you work for the Health Department and care about food being stored next to a corpse.

Girls Nite Out

Worth Mentioning:
– I am 100% convinced all of Hal Holbrook scenes were added to the movie after all other scenes had been filmed. He appears in the same sets, but doesn’t have any scenes framing him in with any of the main actors in the movie. In fact, he’s not even in the background of any shots. They’ll mention “Mac the Security Guard,” then everyone will look in one direction, the camera will cut to a scene of “Mac the Security Guard” acknowledging them, then it will cut back to the group reacting.

girlsniteout_frame01

This photo represents the majority of Holbrook’s scenes. My best guess is they secured him for the role, but shooting schedules didn’t match up, so they opted to alter the movie to accommodate (having him appear on the phone a lot), then filmed his scenes later.

– The bulk of Girls Nite Out is fun. The characters are good and it’s a nice slice of early-80s wasted college kid slasher fun. It just let the ending put me in a bad mood because I am a short-sighted asshole. There are also lots of good 80s chicks:

– Marks the first screen appearance of Chris “Ludacris” Bridges.

Girls Nite Out

Poster and Box Art: There are two versions of artwork for Girls Nite Out. I don’t know which was for home video and which was theatrical. I can’t even confirm if it had a theatrical run or not. Regardless, this Thorn/EMI clamshell artwork rules:

Girls Nite Out

The type treatment on the logo is way custom and done well. The photo featured on the back doesn’t feature any actresses from the movie and was used in the larger poster sheets that were issued:

Girls Nite Out

Availability: Used VHS or discount DVD with VHS-rips.

Leave a Reply