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To All a Goodnight (1980)

  Tags: 80's, 80's Slashers, Angela Bath, Bill Martins, Buck West, christmas, David Hess, Denise Stearns, Forrest Swanson, Jay Rasumny, Jeff Butts, Jennifer Runyon, Judith Bridges, killer santa, Linda Gentile, Sam Shamshak, slasher film, slasher movie, Solomon Trager, To All a Goodnight, William Lauer

Your rating: None Average: 4.4 (5 votes)
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David Hess
90 minutes
Jennifer Runyon, Forrest Swanson, Linda Gentile, William Lauer, Judith Bridges, Buck West, Sam Shamshak, Angela Bath, Denise Stearns, Solomon Trager, Jeff Butts, Bill Martins, Jay Rasumny

Before Silent Night, Deadly Night, there was To All a Good Night, a film that came out around the same year as Christmas Evil was released. This is supposedly the first film to have the killer wear a Santa outfit, which was later recreated in the previously mentioned films. Last House on the Left villain David Hess makes his directorial debut with this, which turns out to be one of the more less-known killer-Santa movies. At least me it was.

The film is basically your typical 80's slasher -- its Christmas break for the horny girls at the Calvin Finishing School and those who remained behind plan out a huge party, and invite a bunch of guys over (who for some reason flew there by a private plane?) and bodies start piling up. The movie really isn't all that bad considering the deaths were pretty decent, and so was the gore. We get a decapitation, axe to the head, strangulation, throat slash and propeller death to name a few. The twist at the end might catch some off guard, but I had a hunch about it before it was revealed.

Aside from the acting and plot, the biggest problem with the film was the horrible lighting, which we barely got much of in many of the night-time sequences. This is a big issue considering there are a number of action sequences involving our characters roaming around outside. I had to squint and get closer to the screen in an attempt to see what the hell's going on. Another issue would be the lack of character development, because we're essentially introduced to new characters only to have them killed shortly after, and the characters you did know passed off as more annoying than likable, which made me care less when they died. Had there been more light, a polished script, and maybe a bit more gore, we would have had a more memorable killer-Santa movie in our hands. Regardless, this is still one of the better ones out there.

Slightly better than the other killer-Santa flicks, which isn't saying much. There are decent deaths, followed by an interesting climatic twist, which makes it watchable. Sadly, the horrible lighting takes away from some of the more interesting moments, as we are left wondering what's happening to our characters as they are running about outside. Worth a check if you like Christmas-themed slashers.

Posted on December 21, 2011 - 4:27pm | FrighT MasteR