Prom Night III: The Last Kiss (1989)
By: Michael Helms on August 19, 2005  |  Comments  |  Bookmark and Share
MRA (Australia). Region 4, PAL. 4:3 English 2.0. 96 minutes
The Movie
Directors: Ron Oliver, Peter Simpson
Starring: Tim Conlon, Cyndy Preston, Courtney Taylor, David Stratton, Roger Dunn
Screenplay: Ron Oliver
Music: Paul Zaza
Tagline: "Alex Thinks He's Dead And Gone To Heaven,"
Country: USA
There's a full moon shining over Mary Lou's grave while somewhere down below a bunch of dancing dead are chained to a dungeon floor doing the zombie shuffle. One female living dead person is shown to break free of her chains and before you can say Mary Lou is back she's downstairs in the Hamilton High boiler room with what looks like the remnants of a bowl of spaghetti sauce poured over her head, attempting to molest the cleaner.

Back at school the band practices La Bamba as a girl tries to tell a guy that she loves him. At the opening of the, "beautiful and groovy," school gym while making light of all the accidents, fires, and earthquakes that have marred school life at Hamilton High, the principal has his finger sliced off. Next we meet the film's male lead Alex as a Guidance Councilor belittles him over his inability to get into medical school. His girlfriend Sarah has much greater faith in Alex though giving him a stethoscope for a gift. After a candle lit dinner, the candles planted on car dash after they've been at the drive-thru, Alex decides to return to school (at night) to retrieve his books to study for the next day's biology exam. After the doors to the school open mysteriously Mary Lou appears, instantly seduces him and has it off with him on the floor on top of an American flag. The next day Alex wakes up naked as the first school bell rings, obvious problems ensue. An announcement over the school P.A tells the participants in a cancelled Chess tournament to go to the library and play with themselves.

And so Prom Night III continues in a far greater self-reflexive and comical vein than it's predecessors as it centres on young, dumb and full of cum, Alex, and the separate powers that want to direct him their own ways. The writer of Prom Night III hasn't forgotten the gore though and gets especially inventive when Mary Lou turns Alex's biology teacher into a banana split. In this instance Re-Animator-like music (which of course was a rip-off itself of the music to Psycho) underscores the first of many scenes of Alex turning up to hide the corpse that Mary Lou creates to prove her love for Alex. At one point Mary Lou strips for Alex while he buries another body and the 50s sounding tune Last Kiss plays. The guidance councilor meets her match with Mary Lou and a bottle of battery acid, "Relax, you're soaking in it', quips Mary Lou. Mary Lou also amends the school records for Alex who suddenly becomes the guy on top of the student honour roll. In a sex education class the students watch a film called Sex Disease Film 1957 about an innocent girl from Memphis and how she died from social disease. Finally, Alex makes it to the library where he reads that the only way to stop a sexual haunting is to use a human sacrifice. Before he can test out this theory the bodies Alex has buried on the football field are discovered and Mary Lou rips out the heart of Alex's best friend Shane. Alex is is soon arrested for the murder but the main news seems to be that Prom Night will not be cancelled.

Prom Night is raging with a Guns'n'Roses sound-a-like band when Alex turns up after escaping from his jail cell with the aid of a hapless constable. The climax actually occurs in Hell with a zombified Alex, girlfriend Sarah, a juke box that shoots deadly bladed discs, a prom crown that can attach itself to your head with a spinning drill bit, a flame thrower, exploding cleavage and a backwards twist.
Prom Night III looks fine despite a greater reliance on visual effects than the first two films and the attendant use of black.
With it's 50s and 80s musical influences, conventional horror scoring and the work of producer turned co-director turned musician Peter Simpson, Prom Night III actually begins to sound like few others. Hearing it with a strong surround mix could've even been interesting...
Extra Features
The Verdict
Not a traditional slasher film but more a zombie flick that like Shaun Of The Dead, with which it shares more than a few ideas, is more interested in self referencing itself and asking existential questions about being dead. Favorite line, spoken when some newbies turn up in Hell, "It's okay when you get used to the smell". The film then mixes this approach up with one devoted to playing around with teen film gags. When it's funny, Prom Night III is good but that's not all time. Still, worthy viewing if you're not after something completely grim.
Movie Score
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