Movie Review: Prom Night II (1987)

by StevenHelmer

A review of the supernatural thriller starring Michael Ironside and Wendy Lyon.

Synopsis: In 1957, manipulative teenager Mary Lou Maloney was named prom queen. However, because of a poorly executed prank committed by her boyfriend (who was angry about her cheating on him) is set on fire and burns to death on stage before she can receive her crown.
Thirty years later, Mary Lou's angry spirit is released on the eve of her high school's prom night and, after taking the place of the school's prom queen favorite, seeks to get revenge on her former boyfriend, who is now the school's principal.

Review

My wife and I watched the movie Prom Night a couple days ago and were horribly disappointed by it. Despite that disappointment, her and I decided to watch the 1987 film Prom Night II yesterday afternoon. And, as it turns out, this movie was actually considerably better than the original.

I'll start out by saying, despite the movie's title, it is not a sequel to the original Prom Night. None of the characters are the same and there is no reference to the original film. However, since I wasn't a fan of the first Prom Night movie, I do think this helps this installment.

One thing I found I really liked about this movie was the fact the violence starts right away as Mary Lou (Schrage) quickly takes possession of Vicki Carpenter's (Lyon) life and, assuming her form, starts knocking off her prom queen competition. Since one of my biggest complaints about many slasher movies (Prom Night included) is they take too long to get started, this was a refreshing change.

The fact Mary Lou was all powerful also managed to make the movie interesting because it gave her so many ways to get her revenge, whether it was torching a teacher's crotch after he inappropriately touched her or killing one of her rivals by crushing her in a locker. in other words, it was much more entertaining than just watching someone killing people with a knife.

I think my biggest complaint about this movie is it went a bit overboard when it came to sexual situations. Sex and slasher movies pretty much go hand in hand and I'm not really opposed to sex scenes in movies from this genre. However, they do need to at least fit into the plot a bit and there were times when this movie failed to do that. For example, we really didn't need to see Vicki/Mary Lou walking around the girls' locker room in the buff for several minutes. And, that scene with Mary Lou making out with Vicki's dad was just weird, mostly because the dad (Smith), who didn't know it wasn't his daughter, was so willing to participate.

The movie also does leave some things unexplained, such as whether or not her ex-boyfriend (Ironside) knew there was a chance she would return (he sure didn't seem surprised). Plus, what the heck was up with that possessed rocking horse with the huge tongue? It was admittedly a bit creepy. But, it really didn't seem to have any real purpose.

Hello Mary Lou: Prom Night II

When Hamilton High's Prom Queen of 1957, Mary Lou Maloney is killed by her jilted boyfriend, she comes back for revenge 30 years later. Bill Nordham is now the principle of Hami...

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Final Opinion

Mostly because of my disappointment with the original movie, I had my doubts about this second installment. However, while not the best horror film I've seen, it was definitely better than expected and a film I would recommend as a result.

My Grade: B

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Updated: 06/14/2015, StevenHelmer
 
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