To All a Goodnight (1980)

Directed by: David Hess

Written by: Alex Rebar


.... Nancy
.... Alex
.... Melody
William Lauer .... T.J.
.... Leia
.... Mrs. Jensen
West Buchanan .... Ralph

Release Date: Theatrical: January 30, 1980





A bunch of sorority students are partying at their dorm on a Christmas break but yet some of their boyfriends are joining the fun dressed as Santa. One of them is a killer slaying co-ed's away with an axe for an accidental death that happened to a former student a few years before.


First watching the film it's very dark to see but we spot a sorority prank gone wrong with what we supposedly seeing someone falling off a balcony and dying yet this all looked terribly rushed so it was hard to follow the story all the way through here. Then we spot the opening credits of course as well seeing cheesy discussions with the new students years later while drving up to the sorority house for partying and fun as well as interesting moments on what they're doing while putting on perfume or drinking etc. as well as spotting an eccentric caretaker named Ralph which the people tease as this seems to be a tradition that we later on see in furute slasher films like in Friday the 13th or Prom Night.
Things looked fun and campy with everyone partying out in a living room and one of them is strumming and singing on a guitar making you want to join in.
A cheesy moment with a killer in a Santa suit trying to do away someone but the blocking and everything else looked rather sloppy but yet seemed to fit for a cheesy slasher flick like this one. However slasher fans will find this scene pretty rough to watch.
We also have a cheesy situation with Ralph trying to warn the head sorority character Nancy about evil about to happen in which this looked terribly written in seeming to try so hard to seem suspenseful on what is all happening but we get to spot a good focus on this person that everyone thinks is nuts nevertheless.
We also spot an obvious move on the killer santa standing near a fridge about to attack the next victim as this isn't creepy at all and very cheesily done. Yet a good close up on this maniac about to do the killing which looked nicely done.
A good moment with these students having fun chasing after one another in a yard of the sorority home and then a shocking moment with a dead body being revealed which looked done in a nice cheesily horror fashion.
A nicely focused moment on the gang discussing about the murder and what to do which really brought you in to see on what they have to do with good cmaera shots on all of this.
We also have a phony looking scene with a woman in a shower and then the killer Santa coming in about to kill her yet is a bit ways away which she could've tried to escape but never does which shows how uninitelligent these bimbos are in a slasher flick not making a wise choice.
A nice focused moment on the boyfriend Alex trying to comfort Nancy on the situations which looked nice to watch all that was happening in the scene as this was a good serious and almost romantic moment too.
A perfect intense moment with the Santa killer reeling down a sharp barb wire rope and catching it in a guy's neck while raising him up which gives you a real gross and painful situation on getting killed as there's good close ups on this victim but yet this was cheesy to watch on how this object came down and he doesn't notice this at all.
Then we get the moment when the killer is revealed as well as the chase with the killer against Nancy which seemed to inspire the first Friday the 13th while you keep watching this but that film was done in a far better taste and style in which things looked phony while trying to seem nasty, vengeful and deadly with this killer against her and their struggles but it's due to bad writing too.
Then the ending is supposed to have a different twist with a new killer trying to make those typical slasher films seem more natural and original but however this doesn't quite cut the cake at all.
Bottom line is that this film was rushed and the story very slow since we expect more dark type of slashings but we don't see that at all. It seems fun at first but then becomes terribly bland and a total waste of time. However many scene's seemed to have been borrowed here for future slasher flicks that were already mentioned as well as other Christmas slashers such as Christmas Evil and Silent Night Deadly Night but yet David Hess' directorial debut on this one was pretty much forgotten.

The acting is pretty cheesily dated but blends in for a low budgeter such as this one. However none of them were too memorable yet I will try to take a look on some of them here. Jennifer Runyon (Nancy) portrays the hero type of virgin that survives in which of course had the right motive as she seems to do okay by being soft spoken and innocent but yet she seems to over do all of this while we continue to watch her performing in this. Seems to do okay by acting scared or nervous about stuff. However her energy needed a bit more improvement while struggling against the terror that strikes her. Yet she shows some good odd moments within this too. This was her acting debut long before being in the blockbuster TV sitcom Charles in Charge.
(Alex) seemed rather dorky in his role as his appeal didn't cut it right as the boy next door character in the story. However he seemed to bring out some nice charming moments as well as coming across as a comforting and romantic type so he did whatever he tried to do within his role. Plus does well acting anxious when the terror starts to happen to him so his reactions were quite energetic.
(Melody) was very rough in her role of the film but she seemed okay while crying or panicking when the crazy moments start to happen. However when she reveals herself towards the end acting crazy by spinning around she wasn't realistic by doing any of this and seemed like a plain amateur alltogether.
(Leia) offered some nice spunk into her part of the story as someone who's believeably bubbly and sarcastic as well as those happy go lucky types too. She had the right looks for this part too so she was a good choice. Probably one of the best cast members who stood out nicely here. Her screaming and scared reactions while getting attacked was a little off though.
(Mrs. Jensen) portrayed her role not too badly as the supposedly nice headmistress in which she really focused on what she was doing and does well with her interactions towards her other actors in the film. She was a fairly good choice and had the good wholesome type of looks and appeal too. However when she lashes out or gets vengeful she is a bit over the top. Sometimes she does the trick in other spots though.
West Buchanan (Ralph) was ho0wever pretty rough in his part as someone who's a mysterious and disturbed caretaker as he doesn't come across as creepy like he's supposed to and chokes on his words a bit. Yet this is mainly due to the bad writing in the film. However does a good job when he seems sane stressing a sitatuion to someone else which looked good to watch him do this but that's about it.

A woman takes off her top in a dark room but can see her breasts a bit and other body parts like her butt and briefly her vagina.
We spot another one undress a little more clear to see her full nude body.
A woman bathes in a shower full breasts and can see her vagina when the killer is ready to attack her.

A throat is cut.
Head is chopped off and it looks phony.
A bloodied corpse is revealed in a yard.
A neck is cut with barbwire wrapped around him.
Axe is whacked in someone's head.
Axe is stabbed in other people's bodies.

Alot of cheesy low budget horror music but yet seems to fit into the cheesiness of the story hearing some high type synthesizer music and some off key violin music too. Plus we hear neat sharp sounds now and then. Also some echoe tingling music for the still and dark moments sounding similar in the movie Hell Night. Also there's some interesting sliding and metal jingling sounds which reminds me from scene's in the classic slasher Terror Train as this at times works in but in other spots didn't. Plus there's some off key flute playing too which seemed to work in well nevertheless.