Prom Night II: Hello Mary Lou (1987)
By: Michael Helms on August 12, 2005  |  Comments  |  Bookmark and Share
MRA (Australia). Region 4, PAL. 4:3. English DD 2.0. 93 minutes
The Movie
Director: Bruce Pittman
Starring: Michael Ironside, Wendy Lyon, Justin Louis, Lisa Schrage, Richard Manette
Screenplay: Ron Oliver
Music: Paul Zaza
Tagline: Vengeance Never Rests In Peace!
Country: Canada
AKA: The Haunting Of Hamilton High
It might not come as a surprise to more attentive viewers but this second Prom Night wasn't initially developed as an entry in the series but as another separate horror project entitled The Haunting Of Hamilton High. It may come as a surprise though that Hello Mary Lou was finally put to bed with an elaborate $100,000 ten-day re-shoot. Horror enthusiast Ron Oliver was hired by Canadian producer Peter Simpson's Nortstar organisation on the strength of an unproduced screenplay based on his experiences as a magician to re-work the first mentioned title's pre-existing script but nothing gelled until he saw Francis Ford Coppola's Peggy Sue Got Married. Mating the revenge of Mary Lou with a time travel concept Prom Night II eventually came together when, after the finished script was knocked back for government funding, Simpson hooked up the Samuel Goldwyn organisation who demanded the use of the previous winning moniker.

Prom Night II begins in a confessional box where just before kissing and winking at him, Mary Lou relates to her priest how she loved every minute of fucking every guy in school. We're back in 1957 on Prom Night as Mary Lou is about to be crowned Prom Queen. With a Little Richard soundtrack blaring she sends her apparent beau to the drinks table but sneaks backstage to have it off with another guy. When caught in the act Mary Lou responds, "It's not who you come with, it's who takes you home." The spurned Billy drops a bomb during Mary Lou's crowning that results in the fatal burning of Mary Lou as her face melts in front of the attending student body.

Cut to the present day where Vicki (Wendy Lyons) is admiring herself in a mirror just before leaving home to buy herself a dress to wear to the prom. Her super-strict mother promptly bans her from the shopping trip. Meanwhile, the Principal (Michael Ironside) is having trouble with his son, Craig (Justin Louis), Vicki's boyfriend, who wants to take a year off after graduating. Vicki solves her fashion problem by raiding the theatre group's prop department where she discovers Mary Lou's old dress, sash, and tiara. Mary Lou soon re-appears to haunt the school and the mayhem begins. A gal about to be guillotined gets another surprise death instead with a bloody face close-up. There's an evil cafeteria hallucination sequence that puts blood in the water cooler and after being hit in the head by a volley ball Vicki's rocking horse in her bedroom animates itself. Vicki ends up getting attacked by a blackboard before turning up naked in the prop room. Completely possessed by Mary Lou Vicki asks the priest to fuck her before destroying the confessional and turning up to school in 50s clothing and using 50s speak. A classmate reckons she's gone, "Lindablairsville". Vicki then attempts to seduce a female classmate in the showers and chases her around naked in an extended sequence that filmmaker Robert Rodriguez claims brought influence to bear on his own film The Faculty. Vicki pulls out the tele-kinesis for a superb locker crushing. Vicki then picks up a guy by his genitals before an early model Apple computer, a head job and Vicki's putrefying body effect the climax.
Prom Night II looks sharp at all times from capturing the hairspray in all the boofy 80s hairdos to some truly impressive special effects.
The stereo sound is always clear and listenable and the 50s angle means you're not totally subjected to the disco work of returning composer Paul Zaza who does manage to instil some creepy material here and there.
Extra Features
The Verdict
Highly enjoyable and even innovative for a rip-off, title alone, sequel. Doesn't make itself an overt comedy like the next entry in the series but still mixes things up and achieves an entertaining balance. Though dated, the standard of the special effects work is also noteworthy as is the nude chase scene that apparently didn't exist in Oliver's script.
Movie Score
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