Night #17: Hello Mary Lou: Prom Night II (1987)

1987-hello-mary-lou-prom-night-ii-poster3

Directed By: Bruce Pittman

You shut your fucking mouth, bitch!”

First, a question. Are there many movies that have their title after the colon? The title works either way around so why forgo naming convention to deliver the slightly more awkward sounding one?

Oh hey also the movie was alright. 

So, 1980’s Prom Night is not a good movie. You might see that and something like Terror Train get lauded as classics or something and that’s mainly because of the association with Jamie Lee Curtis (Who looks pretty bored in both of them). But honestly the only thing with mentioning about Prom Night is the amazing sight of Leslie Neilsen dancing to some disco.

It’s safe then to say that Hello Mary Lou: Prom Night II is the much better movie and rarer for the time, is not only unrelated to the previous movie but not even in the same genre. The first movie is your pretty standard avenging-a-past-wrong that was all the rage for a while but this is more of a hybrid of Carrie and A Nightmare On Elm Street. Perhaps unsurprisingly it was a completely unrelated movie that had the Prom Night name slapped on it for some reason, even though it was 7 years later and it’s not exactly like that movie set the box office alight. But who am I to question Hollywood?

Mary Lou is a slut. That’s not my judgement but it is the movies’, which does appear to indulge in an unfortunate case of slut-shaming. Mary Lou is a good time girl. She goes to prom with the nebbish Bill only to vanish with one of the other boys for some alone time. This is after we already have a scene of her at confession, where she confesses all her scenes and then tells the Father how much she loved it. She also scrawls her phone number with the message “For a good time call…” which has to be the first time someone wrote that down and meant it.

Unfortunately, while she’s being crowned queen of prom there’s an accident thanks to a prank gone wrong and Mary Lou catches fire while everyone just watches. According to the IMDB trivia page Mary Lou’s death was the longest running fire-stunt in history, which gives you some idea of how much time some of these kids had to put her out. Alas they don’t and we jump ahead twenty-five years to a new group of teens or rather one in particular. Young Vicki is from a staunchly religious house with a religious mother right out of Carrie. Maybe because it was ten years later they figured no one would notice. Everyone is, of course, talking about prom and who is going to be crowned prom queen. At one point Vicki finds a trunk that contains a prom dress I think? This sets off a chain of events where the spirit of Mary Lou kills of some folks and wants to be crowned prom queen again.

So, yeah this is a silly one but it’s not without merit. Not a lot happens though and when the movie is pushing two hours without much happening things tend to drag on a bit. Strangely the movie it reminds me of the most is A Nightmare On Elm Street Part 2. I think I’ve gone on record with my love for that often maligned sequel and while this movie ditches the queer subtext (That really is pretty much text) it does trade in some of the dreamlike logic. There’s a particularly striking scene where a rocking horse develops real eyes and a tongue that ranks up there with one of the grosser images I’ve seen in a while.

Despite my reservations, I liked this well enough. For a start we get a role from Michael Ironside, so I’m on board immediately and some of the dreamier sequences are still effective even if they’re derivative. There is also one unique kill, which is a girl crushed inside a locker by telekenises. It’s not one of those slow painful deaths though, it looks like one of those videos where you see a container implode. Only with more pinky liquid that’s supposed to be blood. I just wish it was shorter given that the better stuff comes after the one hour mark, maybe then it would be a stronger recommendation. The way it stands now it’s worth catching if you want something a little different from the decade that saw a whole slew of bad slasher movies or if you’re just a real Prom Night completist.

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