Review: 'Girls Nite Out' Hacks and Slashes on Blu-ray from Arrow

by Sam Cohen

EDGE Media Network Contributor

Monday May 16, 2022

Review: 'Girls Nite Out' Hacks and Slashes on Blu-ray from Arrow

You'd think that after over a decade of the Blu-ray format existing, companies would run out of titles to release. But the reality is quite the opposite, with many, many films relegated to VHS or DVD either still not restored or no print elements in existence to scan. Robert Duebel's 1982 slasher film "Girls Nite Out" is one of those titles now being saved from obscurity. And although it's a mean-spirited and nasty affair, it's still rather dull and by-the-numbers for the slasher genre. But if you're looking for genre thrills, you'll still find them here.

Arrow Video presents Robert Duebel's "Girls Nite Out" on Blu-ray with a brand-new 2K restoration sourced from the best surviving materials of the film. The restoration was sourced from multiple 35mm release prints scanned in 2K and short sections not on the prints sourced from an SD tape master. Fine details look good across the presentation, but you'll notice the color palette and film grain structure change depending on how damaged the source material is. It's clear that Arrow has put a lot of work into the presentation even with all those marks, so it's worth noting here that the film still looks good.

There's a scavenger hunt going on at DeWitt University. But on the other side of town, psychiatric patient Dickie Cavanaugh hangs himself, and his sister, Katie (Rutanya Alda) is left to bury him. But after an unknown assailant kills the gravediggers and descends upon DeWitt, a night full of terror is in store for a bunch of coeds. Oh, there's also campus security officer Jim MacVey (Hal Holbrook), who has a past with Dickie and springs into action when he hears something bad is afoot. But will the killer, now donned in the school's bear mascot costume, be stopped before more damage is done?

For a film filled with so many dead corpses of coeds, you'd think the murder sequences would elicit some sort of terror. But thanks to the repetitive kills and somewhat shoddy craftsmanship, the film mostly falls flat. Most of the fun can be found in watching these students, many of whom talk about their common sorrows and problems, getting chopped up unceremoniously. It's all very silly.

As for special features, Arrow fills out this Blu-ray edition with a handful of interviews from the cast that really details just how quick and rushed the production was. It's abundantly clear that because of production shortcomings, a lot of the scenes were shot in one or two takes. With a master behind the camera, that might be okay. But in the film, you even feel the anxiety from the performers as they're reading their lines. Turns out that was not intentional!

"Girls Nite Out" may be slack in the thrills and kills department, but this release more than makes up for it with a great presentation and plenty of special features to dig into. If you're a fan of slashers, you'll most likely enjoy this release.

Special features include:

• Brand new audio commentary with genre film critic/author Justin Kerswell and film historian/author Amanda Reyes

• "Staying Alive" — a brand new video interview with actress Julia Montgomery

• "A Savage Mauling" — a brand new video interview with actress Laura Summer

• "Alone in the Dark" — a brand new video interview with actress Lois Robbins

• "It Was a Party!" — a brand new video interview with actor Paul Christie

• "Love & Death" — a brand new video interview with actors Lauren-Marie Taylor and John Didrichsen

• Archival video interview with actress Julia Montgomery

• "The Scaremaker" Alternate Title Card

• Original Trailers

• Reversible sleeve featuring original artwork and newly-commissioned artwork by Justin Osbourn

• Illustrated collector's booklet featuring new writing on the film by Michael Gingold

"Girls Nite Out" is now available on Blu-ray from Arrow Video.