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I thought I'd kick the new year off with another movie marathon. I thought it was time to check out a few old school mystery flicks. Som...

Wednesday, October 9, 2019

Hello Mary Lou: Prom Night II (1987)

Apparently not only the Italians can make a sequel that has nothing to do with the movie that it follows. Here the filmmakers made a sequel to a Slasher flick that is a demonic possession movie, which is why I’ve included it in this marathon. You guys ready for some evil in chiffon? I think they make prom dresses from that stuff…

Mary Lou is an unpleasant high school girl in the fifties. She has a steady boyfriend, but still sneaks off backstage to get some extra loving from the school’s bad boy. They get caught in the act and the jilted boyfriend decides on some payback with a stink bomb while she is onstage about to be crowned Prom Queen. Things go sideways when no one realizes how flammable that Mary Lou’s dress is. She burns up right on stage while everyone looks on in horror.

Thirty years later in the “today” of nineteen eighty-seven a new group of students are getting ready for prom. This includes Vicki, who has a super religious mom and a depressed friend named Jess who sports a serious Flock of Seagulls hairdo. Also, important to know the principal of her school is Mary Lou’s old boyfriend and their parish priest is the former bad boy, both of whom watched her burn that night. They either know or suspect that Mary Lou’s demonic presence is still hanging about. I say this because when she possesses Vicki, they don’t seem that shocked. Why do this? Well Mary Lou is going to be Prom Queen come hell or high water!

I’m sort of glossing over the plot because there are some serious issues with it. First up they never explain why the boy toy is so guilty about Mary Lou dying and/or why she is angry with him. He didn’t toss the smoke bomb or have anything to do with it. Also, the principal has some idea that Mary Lou’s spirit is still around and is dangerous. Which begs the question why leave a trunk in the basement of the school that acts as the focus of her power. Not only that but the priest goes from zero belief in her to exorcism in like five minutes. It is never explained how they know; they just do. That bugs me a lot.

The makeup effects are fun
The storyline with the kids is much better. Vicki has a decent character arc from mousy girl dominated by her religious mother to rebellious badass making out with father and tossing mother thru the door when Mary Lou is in the driver’s seat. The actress does both pretty well. The rest of the cast is either her friend or rival and while they do a decent job in their roles there isn’t much for them to do as they are just there as victims or filler. Though when the movie is focused on them it becomes much better.

The highlight of Hello Mary Lou are the kills. While there are only six the death of Mary Lou is executed really well and was done old school with a stunt person in a burn suit. You also get death by cape/gravity, a cool locker kill, some bad lighting, and my personal favorite death by Macintosh. That last one isn’t referring to the fruit but the computer which smokes a nerd who just lived out his dream. Toss in some gratuitous nudity and you have some reasons to like this one.

I really don’t want to like this one. I think that is mostly because they took what could have been another fun slasher franchise and took it into another direction entirely. Hello Mary Lou owes more to a movie like Carrie than it does to the movie that it supposedly follows. That said if I’m going to be objective, I suppose this movie decent. I’d probably like it more if they hadn’t tacked on the Prom Night II.  

© Copyright 2019 John Shatzer

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