- Movie Rating -

Hello, Mary Lou: Prom Night II (1987)

| October 16, 1987

I was unaware that there was a horror movie called Prom Night.  Then, just this morning I was rolling back through my reviews from years past and discovered that not only did I see that movie, but I reviewed it as well.  To my amazement, I found that I had written this: “I liked Prom Night a bit more than I expected.  Yeah, it’s got all the skidmarks that have plagued the post-Halloween imitators but I give the filmmakers points for trying.”

I can’t say that about Hello, Mary Lou: Prom Night II which is not even a sequel.  It started out life as The Haunting of Hamilton High before The Samuel-Goldwyn Company company apparently got cold feet and decided to repackage it as a sequel.  That would explain why the first one was a slasher movie, and this one is a supernatural thriller.

The plot might be a tad overworked.  Back in ’57, a very loose high school girl named Mary Lou (played by Lisa Schrage, age 24) was crowned prom queen and then accidentally set on fire by her former boyfriend right there on the stage, which leads me to ponder why no one in the movies has ever heard of stop-drop-and-roll.  Either way, it’s just desserts because her pre-prom activity was to go to the church confessional and confess that she was out for a good time.

Three decades pass and the former boyfriend is now Michael Ironside, and has become the school principal.  He has a son with an eye on a pretty girl named Vicki (Wendy Lyon) who – shades of Carrie – wants to become the new prom queen despite her mother’s warnings.  Opportunity denied, she sneaks into the school’s costume department, opens a trunk and lets loose a spirit that apparently doesn’t know how to work locks.

Shades of The Exorcist, dear Vicki is possessed by the long-dead Mary Lou and begins to pick off her classmates one by one.  What follows is kind of boiler-plate with a lot of 20-year-olds playing kids who work their way through bad special effects to convince us that they are being iced by a spirit from beyond.

Yet, for all of the movies that this movie rips off, the one that came to mind was A Nightmare on Elm Street, a far better movie about a spirit killing off teens.  It had far better production values and a much more confident script.  Here, I wasn’t sure what was going on.  The effects are so null and void that I wasn’t sure if this was suppose to be a comedy.  That’s not a good question to be asking a horror flick.


About the Author:

Jerry Roberts is a film critic and operator of two websites, Armchair Cinema and Armchair Oscars.
(1987) View IMDB Filed in: Horror