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Night School (1981)

 -  Horror | Mystery  -  24 April 1981 (USA)
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Ratings: 4.7/10 from 749 users  
Reviews: 34 user | 41 critic

Who's been decapitating the innocent girls at a local night school? The police are baffled.


(as Kenneth Hughes)


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Title: Night School (1981)

Night School (1981) on IMDb 4.7/10

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Cast overview, first billed only:
Leonard Mann ...
Lt. Judd Austin
Eleanor Adjai
Vincent Millett
Nicholas Cairis ...
Karen MacDonald ...
Helene Griffin
Bill McCann ...
Margo Skinner ...
Stevie Cabot
Elizabeth Barnitz ...
Kim Morrison
Holly Hardman ...
Meb Boden ...
Anne Barron
Leonard Corman ...
Belle McDonald ...
Marjorie Armand
Edward C. Higgins ...
Coroner (as Ed Higgins)


A Boston police detective investigates a series of gruesome decapitations of various college coeds commited by a helmeted, black-leather clad serial killer which leads him to suspect a well known anthropology professor as well as his female live-in assistant. Written by Anonymous

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis


A is for Apple B is for Bed C is for Co-ed D is for Dead F is for Failing to keep your Head! [USA theatrical] [as Night School] See more »


Horror | Mystery


R | See all certifications »




Release Date:

24 April 1981 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Night School  »

Filming Locations:

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:


Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


Alfred Sole (the director of 1976's Alice, Sweet Alice) was originally approached to direct this film, but Sole passed on it for another project. See more »


When the second girl is being killed, after changing out of her scuba suit, her lips don't match her words several times during the attack. See more »


Judd Austin: Is, uh, Professor Millett in? I'd like to speak to him.
Eleanor Adjai: I'm afraid that's quite impossible. He's working, he left strict instructions not to be disturbed.
Judd Austin: Miss, uh, Adjai. Is that right?
Eleanor Adjai: Yes, that's right.
Judd Austin: I'm not a traveling salesman, Miss Adjai. I'm a police officer, and I have a badge that says I can disturb anybody anytime.
Eleanor Adjai: [after a moment's pause] I'll see if he can talk to you.
See more »


Referenced in Madman (1982) See more »

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User Reviews

"There's always a reason"
9 October 2010 | by (the Mad Hatter's tea party.) – See all my reviews

Probably best recognised for being the debut feature for of the ravishing British actress Rachel Ward, but "Night School" deserves a little more credit for that lone reason. I wasn't expecting it be as good it was, but while it's your by-the-numbers mystery psycho slasher it managed to resourcefully up the suspense and intrigue in some well presented set-pieces. The usual revelation behind it all doesn't come as much as a surprise (where we seem to be quite ahead of the clueless detective/s scratching their heads), along with the second twist (which is even more foreseeable), but then it ends with a neat final one which seems to be a mock send-up of the typical shock closing. "Don't you ever take your job seriously". I'm kind of surprised by its middling to poor reputation, as I found it more than competent than its 80s crop. Good atmospheric, authentic locations are masterfully framed by cinematographer Mark Irwin. His expressively flowing camera stages some inventive frames and effectively helps building up the tension before the initial shock. He films the ominous looking killer (decked in black leather and bike helmet) quite well. Director Ken Hughes' slick touch lets it flow, nailing the terrorising tension with a real sting to its tail. Hughes style kind of reminded me off Hitchcock, but the modern unpleasantness is evident (slicing and dicing with ritual decapitation on mind, but little is seen) and lurking within is a sneering sleazy undertone. The black and white story remains interesting, due to the solid performances (Leonard Mann, Drew Snyder, Rachel Ward and an amusing Joseph R. Sicari) and particularly sharp script. Brad Fiedel composes the score in an understated manner, but it eerily works. A modest psycho slasher offering.

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