SLASHER MONTH: To All a Goodnight (1980)

What is it about Christmas that engenders just as many slashers as Halloween? Is it the ennui? The dread? The hatred of being forced to be nice and needing the release that only violence can deliver?

While this film borrows liberally from Black Christmas, it does have David Hess as a director, which was my primary reason for tracking it down. If you’re used to seeing him in films like Last House on the Left and the Italian remix House on the End of the Park, this is your opportunity to see what he would do on the other side of the lens.

Two years ago at the Calvin Finishing School For Girls, a student was killed when she was accidentally pushed over a balcony. Now, as the school empties for the holiday break, five of the girls decide to not go home and have a weekend alone with their boyfriends. But by the end of the first night, one of their classmates is dead.

The girls convince Nancy (Jennifer Runyon, who ended up in another seasonal slasher, Silent Night, Bloody Night 2: Revival) to drug their house mother so that they can all go to an airstrip and party with the guys outside their private plane. How rich are these dudes? This leads to, of course, more murder. And oh yeah — Deep Throat star Harry Reems as their pilot.

Unlike the aforementioned Black Christmas, the killer is revealed in this movie and it’s very Mrs. Vorhees. There’s a second twist as well to liven things up, as if things need any more color after the airplane itself is used to kill two of the teenagers.

This was written by Alex Rebar, who B&S About Movies’ eagle-eyed readers will spot as Steve West, The Incredible Melting Man. Kiva Laurence, who plays the housemother Mrs. Jensen, would go on to appear in the Americanized giallo Schizoid the same year.

This film is incredibly dark and the VHS format did not help that at all. Today’s blu ray transfers have helped, but that fact has kept it from being included in the discussion of best slashers. It doesn’t belong there, but that doesn’t mean that it’s not worth watching.

You can watch this on Amazon Prime.

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