Well, this series went off the rails in the best possible way. Whereas Prom Night was a slasher film with Jamie Lee Curtis and Leslie Nielsen, Prom Night II is a supernatural horror film starring Michael Ironside. Actually, this movie wasn’t supposed to be a Prom Night at all. Instead, it was originally titled “The Haunting of Hamilton High,” but Alliance Films changed the title, much to producer Peter Simpson’s chagrin. Don’t you love the horror movie marketing world?
Back in 1957, Mary Lou was a woman of *ahem* loose morals. She liked to get dirty with the boys at school, all of them except for her boyfriend, Billy. When Billy finds her cheating on him at the Prom with his friend, Buddy, he tries to get even by throwing a stink bomb on her as she is declared Prom Queen. Unfortunately the fuse sets her dress on fire, and Mary Lou sees Billy as she burns to death. Years later, Vicki is up for Prom Queen with her boyfriend Craig, who happens to be Billy’s son. But Vicki finds Mary Lou’s old Prom crown and winds up possessed by her spirit, thus causing all Hell to break loose as Mary Lou returns for revenge and for her title as Prom Queen.
Since they weren’t initially meant to be related, Prom Queen II feels very different from the original, but it’s also a lot more fun in my opinion. Once again, the film gives a lot of time for build up, but this time it’s a mixture of teenage drama done in such a way as to make you care as well as the strange goings on inside Vicki’s head as Mary Lou slowly possesses her. To do this, she repeatedly harasses and molests Vicki and pulls her into a nightmare version of her school until she can finally take over. Once that is done, Mary Lou begins controlling Vicki’s body until she gets gunned down on stage at Prom, and then her spirit comes out. You remember that scene in Carrie where she finally goes nuts and kills folks in the gym? Imagine that, but with a burnt corpse causing all of the lights to explode instead. Oh, and watching this back to back with Prom Night also shows the sharp contrast between teenage style in 1957 versus 1979 versus 1987. Wow, times change.
Highlights of this movie include a chalkboard that can suck you in and watching a girl get crushed inside of a locker until chunks ooze out. That scene was most definitely the top kill for me. Overall I was surprised at how much I liked Prom Night II. It’s just funny enough at times, just strange enough, and just dramatic enough. You get your fair share of emotional teen drama, of disgust and depravity, and of violence and gore, all in one movie!
Plus no disco, thank God.