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Film / Night School (1981)

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Night School is a 1981 American Slasher Film, directed by Ken Hughes (Chitty Chitty Bang Bang) and starring Rachel Ward (in her feature debut), Leonard Mann, and Drew Snyder. The score was composed by Brad Fiedel (The Terminator, Fright Night).

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

Night School contains examples of:

  • Calling Card: The killer always leaves the severed head of their victim submerged in water.
  • Chairman of the Brawl: During the fight in the café, Carol attempts to hit the killer with chair. The killer shrugs it off.
  • Danger Takes A Back Seat: At the end of the film, the killer seemingly rises from the backseat of Lt. Austin's car and holds a knife to his throat. It turns out to be Taj playing a practical joke.
  • Giallo: Has elements of this, particularly with regards to the killer's wardrobe.
  • It Always Rains at Funerals: It is raining during Victor's Lonely Funeral.
  • Karma Houdini: Eleanor gets away with the murders.
  • Kukris Are Kool: The killer wields a kukri: using it to decapitate victims with a single stroke.
  • Lonely Funeral: Eleanor is the only mourner at Victor's funeral.
  • Love Makes You Crazy: The motivation for the killer. When Eleanor learns she is pregnant with Victor's child, she starts eliminating everyone she sees as threat to her new family. This includes all of the women Victor has been unfaithful to her with, and anyone who threatens Victor, such as the Dean, who threatens to fire him.
  • Market-Based Title: The film was released in the United Kingdom as Terror Eyes.
  • Offscreen Teleportation: The killer at one point vanishes and reappears inside a cupboard, with no indication of how they could have got there. At another point, they disappear from the café and turn up at the mouth of the alley ahead of the woman who is attempting to escape them, despite the fact this would have involved them completely looping the block.
  • Off with Her Head!: All of the victims are murdered by being decapitated.
  • The Peeping Tom: Gus is a peeping tom, which leads Taj to suspect him of being the killer. He is arrested while peeping at the house where the final murders take place.
  • Pregnancy Makes You Crazy: Combined with Love Makes You Crazy. After learning she is pregnant, Eleanor starts murdering all of the women her partner has been unfaithful with, and then anyone who threatens him or his career.
  • Pun-Based Title: The film's UK title sounds an awful lot like "terrorize".
  • Shower of Love: Victor and Elanor have sex in the shower.
  • Teacher/Student Romance: Professor Millett has had affairs with numerous of his students, and is living with his research assistant.
  • You Just Told Me: Following a loaded question from Lt. Austin, Eleanor explains the ritual significance of a headhunter placing their victim's head in water. She then asks him how he knew about it, and he replies that she just told him.