HAVE YOURSELF A VERY SPOILERY CHRISTMAS
After the generally dismal Don't Open Till Christmas, Christmas Evil and Silent Night, Deadly Night, here's another seasonal slasher in which a maniac in a Father Christmas costume hacks his way through a generic selection box of morons, bimbettes and ineffectual authority figures while logic, common sense and reason have not just taken the festive season off but have stolen a car, robbed a liquor store and are headed for Mexico. Not just notable for being the sole feature directing credit for David Hess, star of two despicable and genuinely nasty video nasties (Last House On The Left and The House On The Edge Of The Park) and boasting a script by Alex Rebar, The Incredible Melting Man himself, To All A Goodnight is also one of the grottiest, dullest and stupidest teen slasher movies of the subgenre's Golden Age you will ever see.
Five girls have to remain at their elite finishing school over the Christmas holidays with only the cook and the simpleton gardener to keep an eye on them - but the girls have arranged to smuggle in a few boys for a secret party. Meanwhile a mad killer has donned a Santa suit for absolutely no reason at all, and is bumping them off one by one and burying them in the grounds. Who could it be? It couldn't possibly have anything to do with the pre-credits sequence in which a young girl died at the Christmas party two years earlier, could it? The film is precisely halfway through before the first body is discovered, at which point the teens continue to behave exactly as before - sex and beer - despite the fact that half their number have mysteriously disappeared and despite knowing there's a homicidal axe-wielding psychopath outside.
There's one slight surprise at the end when a second killer Father Christmas turns up, but by that point it wouldn't have surprised me if they'd been aliens. Why don't the police just take everyone away from the scene once the first body is discovered? Did the killer(s) figure on the boys turning up, and thus have to dig several extra graves in the garden in the middle of the night (while wearing a Santa suit)? Why didn't this all happen last Christmas? Why does nobody ever turn a light on when wandering the house in the middle of the night?
And who gives a toss? Even by the standards of the cheap 1980s teenkill movie it's badly acted and boring as hell - and that's not just when set against slasher pinnacles of the period like the first few Friday The 13th and Halloween movies, that's when up against tedious drek like Unhinged and Silent Scream and Madman and Death Screams. The Europeans are the only people who've pulled off killer Santa movies with Rare Exports and Sint. You might spot Mark Shostrom (spelled wrong) listed in the end credits for special makeup effects, along with Joel Soisson, now a producer and director of numerous horror franchise sequels but back in 1980 he was just billed as Boom Operator. Small wonder that there's no UK distribution for this rubbish: this is another tatty obscurity which some kind but misguided soul has uploaded onto YouTube. Thanks so much for that, it's just what I've always wanted.