A great horror movie makes more of an impression on the psyche than any other kind of film. Hell, even a bad horror flick can scar you for life. There’s a phrase that every seasoned horror fan loves to hear: “Have you ever seen . . . ?” For the next 31 days, John E. Meredith will unearth some of his personal favorites that fell through the cracks, that are not so obvious, the kind that might even sneak up on you while you’re trying to sleep. Hello Mary Lou: Prom Night II 1987, Canada. Directed by Bruce Pittman. Written by Ron Oliver. Starring Lisa Achrage, Wendy Lyon, Michael Ironside, Louis Ferreira, Richard Monette. “Forgive me, Father, for I have sinned. It has been three months since my last confession. I’ve disobeyed my parents many times. I’ve taken the Lord’s name in vain many times. I’ve had sinful relations with boys at my school. Many boys. Many times.” “My child, these are great sins. You must prepare yourself for the consequences.” “Father, there’s just one more thing.” “What is it, my poor child?” “I loved every second of it.” You can just hear the sultry wink-wink, nudge-nudge in the girl’s voice, not a repentant urge in her body. This one is bad to the bone, a 1950s hepcat with a wicked purr that’ll make your toes curl. On the way out of the confession booth she leaves her phone number and a note for the priest: ‘For a good time call Mary Lou.’ It’s 1957, baby. The time of big-fin Chevys and drive-in diners, sock hops and potato-sack races. Buddy Holly and the Big Bopper are ruling the airwaves. We don’t really have the budget for all of that here, so we get a pretty universal prom dress and a little bit of Ronnie Hawkins (a song from 1959, by the way): “She got her a rich man, had a dozen kids, drove that cat until he flipped his lid . . .” Prom night, and Mary Lou Maloney is there with rich boy Billy Nordham, the first high school senior with a receding hairline. He gives her a ring with his initials on it, a sure sign that he hasn’t been getting any. Oh Billy, that’s so sweet, can you go get me some punch? Soon as he splits, Mary Lou is backstage with Buddy Cooper. Oh, God bless America, they’re getting it on when Billy comes back. But it’s not who you come with, it’s who takes you home, as she smartly informs him. Sounds like a prom queen to me, pal. He’s hurt, he’s mad, and he’s not going to let it go. He’s going to give her a prom night that no one will forget, a stink bomb for a big stinker. So there she is, Miss American Superbitch, going up to claim her crown, when Billy climbs the catwalk. But she wasn’t supposed to catch on fire. Wasn’t supposed to go up like a big taffeta sparkler, not before she could even be called queen. Looking up, up, through the roaring flames, to Billy in the rafters, with a fiery sneer, like this ain’t over, pal . . . MARY LOU wasn’t supposed to be a number II to anything, but movie studios like rich boys like Billy. The original PROM NIGHT helped to kick off the horror boom of the ’80s and, along with HALLOWEEN and FRIDAY THE 13th, nailed down the established tropes of the slasher genre. It also made a metric butt-ton of money, and since that high school had the same name as this high school . . . Written by Ron Oliver, it was originally called THE HAUNTING OF HAMILTON HIGH, and it wasn’t even inspired by the original movie. However, it is a very melodious mash-up of damn-near every other horror movie ever made. It’s Freddy Krueger takes Carrie to the prom, starring that dude that looks like Jack Nicholson. Hamilton High’s got teachers named Craven and Romero, and there’s also a King and a Dante walking around somewhere in those horrific halls. It’s 1987 now. Enter the good girl, Vicki. A sweet and lovely little blonde who’s kind of prissy (seriously, actress Wendy Lyon played someone named Prissy in an ANNE OF GREEN GABLES mini-series, just before doing this). She’s got an overbearing, religious mother who equates the prom with sex and damnation, forbidding her daughter to buy a new dress for the occasion. There’s no creepy Jesus in the closet or talk of dirty pillows, but yeah, we get the reference here, folks. Since a trip to the mall is obviously out, Vicki and buddy Jess start digging through the old school wardrobe trunks, digging up the titular dead girl’s prom accessories. Including the crown she never got to wear. Huh. Well, why not, I mean, what could possibly happen? Not like this is about to become the Degrassi High From Hell or anything. So feel free to go chipping away at those rhinestones on that tiara, Jess. I’m sure you won’t be the only carcass here. Mary Lou decides that Vicki is a pretty good vessel and starts to get a little possessive. It’s not long before sweet little Vicki is dressing like Gidget on Ecstasy and singing Little Richard songs. She slips in and out of waking nightmares, a total Elm Street. Blackboards get stormy. Volleyball nets become spider webs. Invisible hands start groping her under the sheets. She’s having a hard time controlling her sexual urges, making out with a creepy Krueger of a rocking horse and trying to force her boyfriend to have sex. Oh no, please stop. Once she’s strutting naked around the locker room, squashing her prom queen rivals, it’s become pretty clear that Mary Lou is headed for the crown again. And she’s going the full De Palma. Yeah, sure, this hardy little flick is a huge rip-off. It’s a funhouse mirror reflection of about twelve better movies, a drunken misremembering of CARRIE and NIGHTMARE ON ELM STREET. But it still feels like a helluva fun time almost forty years later, not unlike the evil girl Ronnie Hawkins is singing about. Damn prom anyway. It’s an event so rife with hope, fear, and lust that it just begs for a visit from Mary Lou Maloney. See ya later, alligator. See larger image 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 Hamilton High and his son is about to attend the prom with Vicki Carpenter. However, she is possessed by Mary Lou Maloney after opening a trunk in the school’s basement. Now Bill must face the horror he left behind in 1957. New From: $14.75 USD In Stock Share this:TweetShare on TumblrLike this:Like Loading... 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