Everyone on campus is gearing up for the big college scavenger hunt, but someone is out to prove that the urban legend of crazed killer Barney Cavanaugh is true, and they will go to any lengths to do so! While not the most original or well-known of the first-generation Slashers, GIRLS NITE OUT is surprisingly enjoyable and really quite brutal. There are several lively characters amongst the college crowd, although it loses itself by introducing too many people all at once without ever identifying the audience with a central hero or heroine. Our killer is frightening enough. Dressed as the school mascot, the killer stalks each of the teens in a cheery honey bear costume that has been fitted with serrated knives for claws. The girls are singled out for being "sluts" (accordingly to the deranged killer), and have their throats ripped out in a series of bloody deaths. It somehow took five writers to flesh this baby out, though you'd never know it from the familiar screenplay. Director Robert Deubel does add some dark humor to the killer's character in the same vein as the demented Billy from Bob Clark's BLACK CHRISTMAS. Fans will find the most fault in the confusing and unexpected ending where the killer is finally revealed to be... the most arbitrary person ever thought possible. Although there are subtle clues dropped throughout the film alluding to the killer's identity, the person is still so far removed from the events and characters that the reveal seems pointless. It may as well have been the vengeful cop played by Hal Bolbrook, or the jealous boyfriend presented early on. The most effective scene finds one of the girls trapped in the church attic with a flashlight. As she stumbles about, we see the sinister bear slowly approaching, until she finally turns to confront it with a shout! The few moments of atmosphere and tension in GIRLS NITE OUT are outweighed by the slower pace and lack of a sense of urgency, but when compared to other trashy Slashers like THE FOREST or GRADUATION DAY, Horror fans will find that this is the better film.
If you liked GIRLS NITE OUT, check out:
BLOOD SISTERS, HELL NIGHT, TERROR TRAIN, ONE DARK NIGHT, THE HAZING, BLACK CHRISTMAS.