‘Man is the only animal that kills for pleasure’
Night School – aka Terror Eyes – is a 1981 American slasher horror feature film directed by Ken Hughes from a screenplay by co-producer Ruth Avergon.
The plot revolves around a series of gruesome decapitation murders happening among college coeds in Boston, Massachusetts.
The movie stars Rachel Ward, Leonard Mann (Death Steps in the Dark, Silent Night, Deadly Night III: Better Watch Out!), Drew Snyder (Zombie Bankers) and Joe Sicari.
The film was originally offered to director Alfred Sole (Alice, Sweet Alice) but he passed on the project. Veteran British director Ken Hughes was ultimately assigned to direct and this would be his final film.
The music score was composed by Brad Fiedel (Just Before Dawn) and is among the best of the composer’s early work.
Though the film is less graphic in its violence than many films of the slasher genre, Night School was still denounced by many critics upon release.
In Britain, both the cinema and 1987 Guild Home Video releases were cut by 1 minute 16 secs by the BBFC to heavily reduce the gore and shots of slashing during the changing room and café murders. Despite this censorship, it was still labelled a video nasty.
The film has developed a small cult following among slasher fans, and in 2011, it was given its first DVD release by Warner Archive with a remastered transfer.
“This one is a solid thriller/slasher with a good plotline, some inventive killings, and an anthropological flavor tying it all together. Who woulda thought it?” Dan Hunter, The Terror Trap
‘Night School for me is one of the more underrated slashers of the early 80s. It has a pedigree to it that a lot of other slashers lacked. It also has the giallo convention of a leather bound/gloved killer. This time the killer masked with a helmet (also used in 1975’s Strip Nude for Your Killer and later in Umberto Lenzi’s Welcome To Spring Break from 1989) It’s a fun way to hide a crazy.’ Michael Ferrari, Cinema Du Meep
‘All things considered this is definitely worthy of a watch, it’s refreshing to see a “slasher” with a more-than-capable director at the helm; not to mention with solid performances by the cast (even with this being Rachel Ward’s first film) throughout.’ Church of Splatter-Day Saints
Image credits: Wrong Side of the Art!