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The Stay Awake (1988)

The ghost of a serial killer, executed for murdering students at a Catholic girls' school, returns to the school to take revenge on the current student body.


John Bernard


John Bernard

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Cast overview, first billed only:
Shirley Jane Harris Shirley Jane Harris ... Trish Walton
Tanya Gordon Tanya Gordon
Jayne Hutton Jayne Hutton
Heath Porter Heath Porter ... (as Heath Potter)
Ken Marshall Ken Marshall ... Mr. Stark
Lindsay Reardon Lindsay Reardon ... William John Brown (as Lindsey Reardon)
Michele Carey ... (as Michelle Carey)
Christobel D'Orthez Christobel D'Orthez
Maxine John Maxine John
Heilie Oeschger Heilie Oeschger
Joanna Rowlands Joanna Rowlands
Bart Fouche Bart Fouche ... Jason
Clinton Ephron Clinton Ephron ... Robbie
Warren Du Preez Warren Du Preez ... Larry
Pierre Jacobs Pierre Jacobs ... Arnie


The ghost of a serial killer, executed for murdering students at a Catholic girls' school, returns to the school to take revenge on the current student body.

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


The night you couldn't sleep... even if you wanted to!




R | See all certifications »



South Africa



Release Date:

24 November 1988 (South Africa) See more »

Also Known As:

Pánico en la residencia See more »

Filming Locations:

South Africa

Company Credits

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Technical Specs


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Did You Know?


Featured in Confessions of a Horror Baby: The Stay Awake (2010) See more »

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User Reviews

Should Be Put to Sleep!
3 August 2005 | by BaronBl00dSee all my reviews

Nauseatingly awful film that begins with a serial girl killer being executed in 1969 somewhere in America. As he is being primed for the gas chamber, he rants over and over again that he is the prince of darkness and cannot die. The film then forwards to 19 years later somewhere in Europe at an all girl's school. From here we see a bunch of pretty yet untalented girls and their teacher do aerobics, watch a movie and eat potato crisps, smoke cigarettes, and play scary games on each other. All the while the spirit of the killer seen in the exposition piece comes to this place 19 years later and for some weird, inexplicable reason to Europe of all places. This movie sucks bad and in a big way. Why does this spirit come here and 19 years later? Why is he back as a real cheap looking demon costume - like he just lost the lead for a baby Godzilla commercial or something? And perhaps my biggest question: how do you make money holding a stay awake? Anyway, you can guess....well, not really but you get the general idea, what happens. People die and there is a fight of the teacher(wearing a crucifix) against the rubber menace. In one scene, knowing she is only being protected by the crucifix, she lays it on a table. Why would she do that? Nothing later shows it to be a good move. Ultimately, The Stay Awake is a very tiring, boring movie with almost no merit at all. Nothing exciting happens. The script is riddled with question marks and bad scenes. The direction is trite. The acting very poor. The setting of the school is impressive at the very...and I mean very...least. All the girls are quite fetching, but you don't get to see anything so the movie doesn't deliver at any level. there is absolutely no way I can believe this had any theatrical release of any kind. It must be one of those direct-to-video movies so popular in the 1980s.

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