Friday, June 1, 2012

SUMMER OF 87 #2: Hello Mary Lou Prom Night II

The cover of my VHS copy of Hello Mary Lou
12noon, Day 1:
Hello Mary Lou: Prom Night 2
Director: Bruce Pittman
Starring: Lisa Schrage, Wendy Lyon, Michael Ironside, Louis Ferrera
Format: VHS (Premiere)

Plot: When Hamilton High's Prom Queen of 1957, Mary Lou Maloney (Schrage) is killed by her jilted boyfriend, she comes back for revenge 30 years later. Bill Nordham (Ironside) is now the principal of Hamilton High and his son (Ferrera) is about to attend the prom with Vicki Carpenter (Lyon). However, Vicki 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.

- Alright, after a bit for lunch it's back into the marathon with some cheesy 80s horror.
- Disclosure: I've seen the original Prom Night, but haven't seen this sequel. I remember very little about the first one except it had Jamie Lee Curtis in it (I think I remember the killer reveal correctly too).
- Alright, it looks from the opening scene that this sequel is going to be part comedy. I wasn't expecting that.
- It also looks like this is from the "sequel in name only" department.
- Michael Ironside as a high school principal. I bet he doesn't take any crap from the kids.
- Holy 80s fashions Batman! So much teased hair, so many giant earrings.
- Characters with the last names Carpenter, Browning, Henenlotter, Waters. Nice way to homage great genre directors.
- Nice tease job on the first kill (well, the first kill after Mary Lou bites it).
- Louis Ferrera has been in a bunch of stuff (DAWN OF THE DEAD remake, SAW IV, STARGATE SGU tv series etc).
- This isn't the worst movie I've ever seen, but it's very derivative of Nightmare on Elm St (slow mos, dream sequences) and Carrie (overbearing religious mother, mousy girl protagonist). Only without any of the suspense of those movies.
- When a movie is this boring I end up scrolling through looking for interesting trivia. Here's a couple of tidbits - Wendy Lyon and Terri Hawkes (who plays queen bitch Kelly) both ended up voicing main characters on a Sailor Moon cartoon series in the mid-90s. And another: Brock Simpson, who plays nerd Josh, was in the original Prom Night, playing a young version of one of the main characters.
- Full frontal female nudity and a (albeit unfulfilled) lesbian shower scene... things just got a little less boring.
- Hey and a cool kill scene, with some actual suspense. Maybe there's hope for this movie yet?
- Yikes. Daddy seemed to be enjoying that kiss with his possessed daughter a little too much.
- Death by neon, how very 80s!
- Cheesy ending, but kind of fun.

Overall thoughts: I've seen lots of bad reviews of this movie and... well, they're on the mark. There's nothing special or original about Hello Mary Lou (which, as I mentioned, has nothing to do with the original Prom Night). It's like director Bruce Pittman took a bunch of ideas that weren't used in the first two Nightmare on Elm St films and used them without the style or suspense that Wes Craven would have added. Things improve after Vicki gets possessed and the cheese factor ramps up for the climax, but you have to sit through an hour of generic and uninteresting stuff to get there.

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