To All A Goodnight (1980)

Directed by David Hess. Written by Alex Rebar. Starring Jennifer Runyon, Forrest Swanson, Linda Gentile, Judith Bridges, William Lauer, Buck West, Kiva Lawrence and Sam Shamshak.

Plot: a group of students at a finishing school are murdered by a psychopath in a Santa suit.

Two years ago, at Christmas, a sorority accidentally kills another girl when she falls off a balcony to her death. Now, two years later, the same sorority is going on Christmas break, but some of the students at Calvin’s Finishing School for Girls are staying behind. They are looked after by a “house mother” named Mrs. Jensen (Lawrence), who honestly, doesn’t do a very good job. The very first night they drugged her glass of milk and proceed to invite some boys over. But there’s a killer in a Santa Suit that starts terrorizing them early on, killing them quite quickly.

The caretaker, Ralph (West), has a special and inappropriate interest in Nancy (Runyon), one of the students. He tells her she should go to bed and be safe because he “can feel evil in this place”. The next morning, the few students that are left don’t seem all that worried about the students that are missing. That is until they find Ralph’s body and are forced to call the police. The main cop, Polansky (Shamshak) is also inappropriate and holds onto Nancy’s face for a really, really long time.

Polansky orders two cops to stay at the school to watch over the students, but still no one seems to be all that concerned about what’s going on. Even though there’s already one body – that they know of – they act like (and sometimes even say aloud) that they’re in no real danger. Of course, that couldn’t be further from the truth because the Santa suit killer is still out there. But who is it?

Any likable characters lose points after the first night because they all decide to switch partners the next night: Leia (Bridges) sleeps with a cop after sleeping with T.J. (Lauer) the night before, while Nancy flirts with Alex (Swanson) who just had sex with Melody (Gentile) and Melody hooks up with T.J. So, they’re all whores. The specials are so bad from the jump that we laughed aloud and almost turned it off right then. And we kind of wish we had.

While it was funny – unintentionally – most of the acting was lousy and the writing was lousy (from plot to dialogue). It made no sense, the motive sucked because the right people weren’t being killed and it was barely a Christmas movie except that the killer wore a Santa suit. The kills were awful and improbable. It was highly unrealistic. There was no Freddy Claws because all they did was argue and change even their own minds at the drop of a hat. It wasn’t fun. It wasn’t scary. The beginning was hysterical in the worst way and the ending was grossly ineffective. There were boobs though, but we still say to stay away from this movie. It’ll be your Christmas present to yourself.

Our score: 16.

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