Monday, October 3, 2011
31 Days Of Horror #3: Hello Mary Lou Prom Night 2
For this entry I'd thought I'd look to the cinematic style of our good friends from the Great White North: Canada. Mary Lou is an in name only sequel to the '80s horror flick, Prom Night. In truth I like this one better and appreciate it not keeping in touch with the original.
In my opinion the original Prom Night was a snore, a tepid whodunit that wasted the talents of poor Jamie Lee Curtis and Leslie Nielsen. What can you say about a film that sets it final chase scene to disco of all things. Mary Lou went supernatural and improved itself over it's predecessor.
The film opens in the '50s where we meet bad girl Mary Lou Mahoney. The only thing that that Mary Lou wants in life is that coveted prom queen title. Give the girl a break, this was before Woman's Lib. A prank played by a jilted lover goes horrible wrong and Mary Lou is burned alive.
The film fast forwards thirty years ahead when highschooler Vicki finds Mary Lou's prom attire in a storage room. The discovery releases Mary Lou's vengeful spirit who tortures and eventually possesses Vicki. Mary Lou sets out to avenge her death and don her crown.
Mary Lou is not bad for a B movie horror. There are few slow suspense scenes that hinder most slashers of that era. The kills are pretty good, from possessing a computer and electrocuting a teen to stabbing a priest with his own cross. The hardest thing an actress can do is the possession storyline, but Wendy Lyon pulls it off. She channels Mary Lou's voice and movements with surprising ease.
Not too much gore but there is a particularly squicky scene where the possessed Vicki attempts to make out with her father, luckily it's a short scene. There are some hysterical one liners most of them uttered by Mary Lou. The ending was actually kind of tender with Mary Lou confronting the kid who inadvertently ended her life. The movie does lose points for the tacked on sequel hook at the very end though. It also loses points for the senseless murder of a pregnant girl.
Most of the actors are unknowns safe for '80s bad ass Michael Ironside who plays a principal and father of Vicki's boyfriend, Craig. I don't really mention Craig simply due to the fact that he had the screen presence of a Pop Tart. He would later utilize that talent by playing a zombie in the 2004 Dawn of the Dead remake.
Still, this is a film I would recommend for '80s horror fans and luckily made the transition to DVD so it will be easy to find. If you like the original Prom Night then you might want to avoid as it is a completely different movie.