May 27, 2014
I Heart: HELLO MARY LOU: PROM NIGHT II
1987, what a year, what a year! I saw The Cure in concert. I played In My Tribe, Strangeways, Here We Come, and The Lion and the Cobra so incessantly I can't believe my parents didn't murder me. I had an ill-advised perm and fashion sense so bad, it likely distracted from said ill-advised perm. And as for movies, A Nightmare on Elm Street 3: Dream Warriors and Hello Mary Lou: Prom Night II ruled my world. Dream Warriors is still bandied about on the regular in horror circles, but what of Prom Night II? Poor Mary Lou never gets her props, not even from me. Though it was my everything back in the day, I admit it'd been years since I'd really thought about it, much less seen it. Recently I indulged a sudden hankering for the film, and I admit, I was a bit anxious. I mean, 27 seconds after I got that perm I knew it was a bad, bad idea, but I had wanted it and I had done it and so my judgment is forever questionable. Could Prom Night II possibly hold up after 27 years? Was it ever okay to begin with?
Yes all of this and more this movie is still so much fun and I still heart it so hard in perpetuity amen!
Quintessential bad girl Mary Lou Maloney (Lisa Schrage) is named Prom Queen at Hamilton High, but before she can don her crown a tragic stink bomb accident sends her up in flames. Tragic stink bomb accidents...how many lives do they cut short every year?
30 years later, prom night approaches and Mary Lou's vengeful spirit is released from a steamer trunk when senior Vicki (Wendy Lyon) finds the dead student's sash, tiara, and cape inside. Soon, likable good girl Vicki begins acting very...un-Vicki and bodies begin to pile up. 'Tis the angry spirit of Mary Lou that's possessed her, you see, and it's time for the Prom Queen's revenge!
It's all very Asian horror premise done '80s American horror style, which means that it's a hell of a lot of fun. There's plenty of black humor and knowing nods to the genre, whether in dialogue pulled from The Exorcist or character names like Carpenter, Henenlotter, Dante, O'Bannon, and more. Prom Night II falls shy of being completely tongue-in-cheek, though, and make no mistake- this movie has a delightfully nasty streak a mile wide. Mary Lou is an unrepentant villain with not a single fuck to give, and this doesn't let up when she's in control of the church-going Vicki. Mary Lou will kill pregnant teenagers and, as Vicki, make out with Vicki's father. It doesn't matter. She wants to be Prom Queen, and she wants to kill anyone who stopped her the first time around...and anyone who gets in her way now.
I promise never to forget about you again, Prom Night II. I promise always to sing your name from up on high (or, at least, from wherever my mouth is) because you are still the best...and I am not just talking about the fashions.
It's so great to revisit the things you were into and discover you still love them just as much. It doesn't always happen (Caveman is my go-to "How could I ever have loved such a piece of shit?" movie...I can't even make it through that trailer), but when it does, it's so validating. I've always had such great taste...I think I'll go get a perm!