PROM NIGHT (Star Vision- UK video)
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2 stars       Cheese Rating: 100% King Cheese!

- "A killer waits at the High School dance."

- "If you're not back by midnight, you won't be coming home."

- "A prom Queen's dreams turn to screams!"

- "...some will be crowned, others will loose their heads."

- "This year Prom Night will be a scream."

directed by: Paul Lynch
starring: Jamie Lee Curtis, Leslie Nielson, Casey Stevens, Anne Marie Martin,Pita Oliver, David Mucci, Jeff Wincott, Mary Beth Rubens, George Touliatos, Melanie Morse MacQuarrie, David Gardner, Joy Thompson

(back of video blurb):

       "This psychological thriller that takes six teenagers from a shocking childhood secret to a night of maniacal terror. Jamie Lee Curtis plays Kim, a high school senior whose little sister dies accidentally as a result of a children's game years ago. The kids involved, now Kim's classmates, have kept their vow of secrecy and do not suspect that anyone else knows the truth. leslie Nielson plays Mr. Hammond, Kim's father and the high school principal. The day of the Senior Prom, at which Kim will reign as Prom Queen, the first hints of terror begin.

       In the auditorium, the unaware students dance to the deafening beat of the disco music while a bizzare figure stalks the school's dark corridors, exacting his gruesome revenge. Considered to be one of the best horror films ever made (* Ha! By whom I'd like to know!- Justin). PROM NIGHT is a macabre tale of vengeance and an exercise in graduating fear."

choice dialogue:

"'ll not tell them there's a homicidal fruitcase on the loose?!"

slash with panache?

       PROM NIGHT is, perhaps, the quintessential early 80’s slasher movie- it may be no darn good, but it has every bloody cliché present and correct.

       Four children (Nick, Wendy, Jude and Kelly), who are chasing each other through an abandoned and derelict convent, are playing a game called ‘killer’; a pretend-psychotic version of ‘sardines’, where the object seems to scare the The children back the little girl into a corner with their mock taunts...‘hunted’ as much as possible- (a macabre game which neatly reflects the stalk ‘n’ slash theatrics to come). As the cries of "The killer is coming!", reverberate through the musty walls, outside, three children pass the imposing building. The elder girl, Kim, realises that she has left one of her books at home and, telling her two younger siblings- Robin and Alex, to go on to school without her. However, Robin is intrigued by the sound of the older children playing and decides to go and see if she can join in; ignoring the protests of her brother, who decides to carry on to school alone. Once inside, Robin becomes embroiled in the children’s game and soon becomes the ‘hunted’. Terrified by the mock-seriousness of the taunts, and backed into a corner by the sneering children, Robin climbs onto a window ledge in The little girl falls to her death- in a nest of broken glass. The scene witnessed by a shadowy figure...a effort to distance herself as much as possible. As she leans against the window, it suddenly gives way, and she is sent tumbling to her death; coming to rest in a nest of bloody shards of glass. The sneers fall away from the children’s faces as they realise their nasty, but ostensibly harmless prank has just turned deadly. They begin to panic, and suggestions of getting help are silenced by Wendy who warns the others, "If we tell anyone they’re say it’s our fault- who will believe it’s an accident?.... we’ll go home now and never, ever tell anyone." They agree a pact of silence and hurry their separate ways; but, unbeknownst to them, the shadow of a figure falls across the broken body of the little girl. Somebody saw what they did....

       6 years later- to the day, it isn’t just the anniversary of Robin’s death, but it’s also the day which will soon turn to night...Prom Night. Robin’s sister Kim (Jamie 6 years later...Lee Curtis), her brother Alex (Michael Trough), her Mother (Antoinette Bower) and Father (Leslie Nielson), all visit her grave- the little girl’s death is obviously still a painfully fresh memory. But, even though grieving is a time consuming pass-time, the Prom waits for no disco bunny; and Kim and Alex make their way to ‘Alexander Hamilton Senior High School’- where Nielson is the principal, to join in the growing buzz around that night’s shenanigans. As they enter the school, they pass the creepy looking handyman Sykes (Robert Silverman), who, as he watches them, fondles a power tool.... Mmmmm...

       Meanwhile the four children, who made that pact of secrecy, have grown into stereotypical early 80’s teenagers: Wendy (Eddie Benton)- the bitchy, good time gal; Kelly (Mary Beth Reubens)- the scaredy-cat virgin; Jude (Joy Thompson)- the Somebody has watched BLACK CHRISTMAS just one time too many!bubbly joker; and Nick (Casey Stevens) the laid back jock Prom King to Jamie Lee’s Prom Queen, who, as his Father- policeman Lt. McBride (George Touliatos) jovially remarks, "For a guy so fast on the disco floor, you sure are the slowest!" As they prepare to leave for school, on the morning of the Prom, they are, one by one, phoned by an anonymous, husky voiced stranger, who intones cryptic soundbytes like- "...Can you come out to play?... I’ll see you at the Prom!"; before crossing their names off a writing pad. The four, apart from Nick who ignores the call, leave for school more bemused than downright creeped out by the sinister phonecalls.

       Over at the precinct the cops are worrying. Wouldn’t you know it, but an inmate from a lunatic asylum in Cleveland has escaped; but not just any inmate from any old lunatic asylum- oh no, it’s Leonard Murch. Murch was a sex-offender and the prime suspect in the death of Robin Hammond, six years ago. The wrongfully accused man had been hideously scarred when his car blew up after a chase with the police, and had been committed soon after. Now he had escaped; and the police were wondering if he had revenge on his mind- " are asking me to comment on a catatonic, schizophrenic who was disfigured and institutionalised six years ago!", muses a psychiatrist. "I’m telling you, HE’S BACK!", huffs Nick’s father, Lt. McBride, in reply. To add credence to his concerns, the mutilated body of the nurse that Murch had kidnapped, when he escaped, was found in the abandoned convent where the chain of events had started. Even with this macabre development Mc Bride decides to keep the news High school 'low'-jinx are the order of the day at Alexander Hamilton Senior High School...under his hat, to prevent panic, but growls "Psychotic!... Disfigured!... Violent!... he has to be hiding somewhere- waiting. I gotta get that bastard before he butchers someone else!"

       Meanwhile back at Alexander Hamilton Senior High, the preparations for that night’s Prom are in full swing; and we are treated to a series of mandatory teen high-school hi-jinx. There is a rumble in the canteen as Jamie Lee is groped by Lou (David Mucci)- who she earlier told to "Go sit on it ape!". Lou, who is wearing a balaclava, is wrestled off by Alex. There is a (non-gratuitous) girl’s locker room scene; a bit when a girl pulls Jamie Lee and Kelly (Mary Beth Reubens) begin to suspect that something is up...down her gym shorts and moons the sweaty handyman; and a great couple of minutes of Jamie lee throwing shapes (Go Jamie Lee, GO!), in preparation for the night’s festivities, before being confronted by Wendy- who seems to be jealous of Jamie Lee going to the Prom with Nick. So jealous in-fact that Wendy, along with the ape-ish Lou, decides to play a prank on Jamie Lee during the climatic crowning ceremony- in a move so like Brian De Palma’s CARRIE (1976), that Nancy Allen and John Travolta’s characters would be spinning in their graves!

       Go Jamie Lee, Go! Strut that funky stuff!Finally, it’s time to party- the excitable teens blissfully unaware that there might be a killer on the loose. Jamie Lee- a vision in flamingo-pink chiffon, makes her way to the the gym, where a SATURDAY NIGHT FEVER pulsating disco light floor is dazzling the boogie-ing disco bunnies. After a dance with her Father (the visibly embarrassed Nielson), Jamie Lee grabs Nick, in a fit of pique, when Wendy arrives with Lou. An apt disco anthem begins: "Prom Night...everything is all right!... Prom Night... Love’ll be the last night!" (hey, it doesn’t make sense, but just as long as that crazy beat goes on!); and, as the be-sequinned and nylon clad crowd There's a killer at the High School dance!part to make room, Prom Queen- Jamie Lee and her Prom King do the funky gibbon and star-jump their way to disco Xanadu! But, they are blissfully unaware that, whilst they make a spectacle of themselves, that someone is creeping through the dark corridors of the school, wearing a balaclava (the one confiscated from Lou by the Principal), and clutching a shard of glass- just like the ones that Robin was surrounded by when she plunged to her death six years ago. Prom Night is just about turn bloody...

to PAGE 2

- which includes: the rest of the review, body-count
and the...