With Arguably the most atmospheric and shocking horror opening sequence ever filmed, this mostly unheard of British late slasher entry is a worthy example. This extremely rare and mostly unheard of slasher was actually the debut movie of British-born director John Eyres. Although his name may not immediately ring bells in the heads of most movie buffs, he did at least manage to carve himself a career out of directing mostly straight to video films, which include MONOLITH with Bill Paxton and another new age splatter flick RIPPER. The latter is most memorable for giving glamour queen Kelly Brook a stab at acting although it also disappeared almost as soon as it was unleashed.
It sets the scene with a killer priest who shows people his rosary beads and then butchers them remorselessly. The plot kicks in when Detectives Joe Yamovitch (Frank Rozelaar Green) and John Brett (Jared Morgan) head up an investigation and go to interview the survivor of the maniacal clergyman's first massacre. However the witness is a young girl named Mandy (Jane Price) and before long Joe begins a relationship with her pretty mother Lisa (Emma Sutton). Meanwhile the ruthless assassin has located the child and begins stalking them seeking to kill the only person who could possibly identify him. Can Joe keep his promise and protect the petrified couple from the deranged madman...
GOODNIGHT, GOD BLESS is credited with one of the most shocking openings that I've ever seen in a horror film. It's so startling that I'm surprised that the film wasn't banned because of it. The Insane churchman is seen leisurely strolling past a school playground stroking his rosary beads. He is spotted by one of the many children who are recreating behind the large spiked fence. As he reaches the gate, a teacher - who indeed seems bewildered to see a priest - approaches him. Suddenly he draws a large knife from within his jacket and stabs her before reaching for a handgun and firing randomly at the fleeing kiddies. Soon after we learn that he managed to kill five of the unfortunate juniors.
Now this sort of approach is usually well avoided by most slasher movies. I must admit that it's not something that most filmmakers would want to add to their movie. Dumb fornicating teens getting slaughtered the average viewer can easily handle, but young innocent children getting 'shot at' usually doesn't bode to well with Joe public and especially with the then cautious censors. Eyres certainly went all out on the exploitation for his opening and to be honest he manages to pull it off extremely well. A simple yet haunting score accompanies the scene and the blurry and unclear cinematography helps to make things all the more eerie. Well worth your time catching up with this one.