To All a Goodnight Poster

To All a Goodnight (1980)

Horror | Mystery | Thriller
Rayting:   4.6/10 1.5K votes
Country: United States
Language: English
Release date: January 30, 1980

A group of teenagers at a party find themselves being stalked by a maniacal killer in a Santa Claus costume.

Movie Trailer

User Reviews

lost-in-limbo 3 September 2010

Forget the cheerful seasons greetings, as here's another nasty little holiday slasher that's only made more interesting for the fact it was directed by genre actor David A. Hess. However his presence might have been better suited in front of the camera than just behind it. "To All A Good Night" is another addition to the Christmas --- Santa Clause slasher cycle and probably one of the least known, despite coming out around the same time as "You Better Watch Out" and even before the likes of "Silent Night, Deadly Night" and "Don't Open till Christmas". Still with that on mind, it's your typically rancid and atmospherically moody slasher that amusingly passes the time but in the end there's not too much to write about.

Sticking to a formula that seems to be popular; it opens in the past showing a prank going horribly wrong then moves to the present time which has a group of horny rich girls at Calvin Finishing School for Girls waiting to secretly smuggle in their boyfriends for some late-night parting, but after doing so they start disappearing as someone in a Saint Nick costume is going around making ends meat of them. Does the past have something to do with it… I can't see it any other way.

It had its moments (death by propeller was a neat touch), an unhinged, if wonky sounding electronic score and a cast (mostly no-names) that weren't too bad either. There's colourful bunch of characters (with expected red herrings; like Ralph the creepy looking gardener who can pop out from anywhere) and gladly they stood out from each other. The angelic Jennifer Runyon (in her debut performance --- although that's pretty for all the young cast) brings a grounded reality to her lead character. Her cute character was more sympathetic, thanks to her forlorn naïve innocence, but even so not worthless for that. Linda Gentile and Judith Bridges have titillating fun with their buxom parts. While Forrest Swanson and William Lauer are tolerable.

The location (a large sorority house) for such butchery is ominously remote, but David Hess' glum direction was kind of clunky with many murky set-pieces with a real uneven focus on the deaths or a real lack of build up to them. Some happen off-screen, while others come off jarringly quick. Some passages are lethargic, like the long stretches of fooling around, bickering and then the waiting game for the killer to strike (oh there's numerous leg shots of our psychotic Santa killer walking stairs). The story kind of starts of plain (with some flat writing) but when it begins to open up to where its actually going, it brings out some rather amusing (though not all that intentional) and odd developments. Plenty of contrived instances make there way in and there's one scene that paints it perfectly. After discovering a dead body one of the characters run to the phone to call the police, but *drum roll* the phone is dead. But just before picking it up… the killer perfectly times it by cutting the phone line just before it reaches his ear. But in the end it's the sudden revelation… well more so the outrageous second one that's a groaner.

A so-so seasonal low-budget slasher.

thesar-2 13 September 2020

By the numbers and the killer was so easy to detect, even though they had a red herring so obviously not right, he was wearing red at all times. But, then they threw in another twist I did NOT see coming. Predates Silent Night, Deadly Night with a Santa killer, but not the first one...

HumanoidOfFlesh 23 February 2004

"To All a Good Night" is directed by David Hess-the star of "Last House on the Left" and "House on the Edge of the Park".The plot of this obscure slasher is pretty simple:some college girls are stalked and killed by a mysterious Santa Claus after they have drugged up their housemother and invited some boys over.This film is so incredibly bad that it truly has to be seen to be believed.The acting is atrocious,the plot is stupid and highly unoriginal and there is no suspense at all.Still there is a seriously high body count and some of the killings are actually fairly gruesome for example a guy has his head split open with axe.The twist ending is okay,but nothing special.So if you love early 80's slasher films give this one a look.6 out of 10.

azathothpwiggins 2 November 2020

Tragedy strikes at the Calvin Finishing School For Girls, when a sorority prank goes awry, resulting in someone (aka: a well-clothed dummy) plummeting to their demise.

Two years later, during Christmas break, six girls and their house mother remain behind. Horror and death are doled out by a vengeful maniac.

Among the girls are the sickeningly-sweet Nancy (Jennifer Runyon) and the hormonally-charged, brain-deprived Melody (Linda Gentile). In addition to the girls, are their idiot boyfriends and Ralph, the odd groundskeeper. It should come as no shock that the killer is dressed as the not-so jolly old elf.

Directed by none other than David "Krug" Hess, TO ALL A GOODNIGHT is sort of a strange, awkward amalgamation of PROM NIGHT, BLACK CHRISTMAS, and SILENT NIGHT DEADLY NIGHT. In spite of this, it's pretty standard, by-the-numbers slasher fare with lackadaisical pacing and a cast to match. Some characters seem nearly catatonic! Not surprisingly, goody-two-shoes Nancy must remain until the "double twist" denouement.

On the bright side, there is one good scene involving a suit of armor and a crossbow that almost makes up for the rest of this festive fiasco...

trashgang 17 May 2011

To All A Goodnight has two reason to search for it, one, it's a slasher made when Friday the 13th was made and secondly, it was directed by David Hess most famous of Last House On The Left. It is in fact his only film he directed. But up to this writing it never had any proper release. It's only available on ex-rental NTSC VHS. Was it worth searching, well, it's low on gore or even blood. There are killings all through the movie but there are almost no effects so they used editing to shown the killings. Axes do go in heads and beheadings and stabbing take place but not as in the much acclaimed Friday The 13th made the same year. There is a bit too much blah blah in it to keep you attracted although all things to make it a slasher are available, some full frontal nudity with pubic hair, shower scene, first person shots of the killer but still, it do has his failures. If you watch with attention you will know who's the killer from the first minutes but luckily there are some surprises concerning the killer. Surely a low budget but being searched due David Hess and one of the earlier attempts of a slasher.

kannibalcorpsegrinder 8 December 2015

Staying late over the holiday break, a group of girls at a boarding school find themselves stalked by a psychotic killer wearing a Santa outfit in retribution for an earlier prank and must find a way to escape the killer's wrath.

Overall this one here was a pretty disappointing slasher. One of the main issues here is the fact that the film is just unbelievably slow and doesn't really offer up much of an enjoyable pace here, content merely to cruise along without really getting much of anything going. The early scenes of the girls getting ready for their party and ensuring that their festivities go uninterrupted is a long, never-ending series of bland, wholly unappealing moments here that just grind the film to a halt, not the least of which here is also caused by the film's seemingly curious decision to start the massacre fairly early on, then instead let the bodies be discovered the next day and wait until the following night to continue things. While the decision not to carry out the single-night rampage is rather unique, instead this causes the film to appear as though it has two character-building montages here as we get the initial arrival and pairing off in day one then we get them doing this again on day two as now that they're aware of the killer at the beginning of the day it wastes all the time until later that night to finally unleash the killer again and this set-up isn't that enjoyable. Still, beyond this the film's main detrimental strike comes from the majority of the actual horror factors involved not really being of much interest here, from bland and wholly un-suspenseful stalking scenes to bland kills that don't offer up much of any blood or gore and never really lets itself play with the supposedly-chilling idea of a killer loose in a dorm-room house the way this one could've as this one just goes about in a round- about way of getting to the carnage. There's almost nothing scary about the killer here beyond the damage done to the victims' bodies, and that tends to really wash over this one quite easily with a series of forgettable scenes with a hilariously-nonthreatening Santa-suited killer running around in a matter-of-factly manner that doesn't come close to giving this anything to get worked up over, and all combined really takes this down a notch. There's a few areas here that this does get right, namely from the fact that the film's body count offers up some potentially intriguing fun here with a lot of bland-conceptually but gruesomely-executed kills here, as the fact that there's two big rampages that knock them off in groups makes for a generally fun time in those parts with some decent chasing being done to satisfy the slasher fan in those moments. Those in and of themselves are much better than expected here just for the sheer cheesy fun they offer here as there's not much else about this one that works here only than the body count and how many stalking scenes there are, even though they're not always impressive.

Rated R: Violence, Language, Nudity, sexual discussions and mild drug use.

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