A decades old folk tale surrounding a deranged murderer killing those who celebrate Valentine's Day, turns out to be true to legend when a group defies the killer's order and people start turning up dead.
After a high school track runner, named Laura, suddenly dies from a heart attack after finishing a 30-second 200-meter race, a killer wearing a sweat suit and a fencing mask begins killing ... See full summary »
E. Danny Murphy
A masked killer, wearing World War II U.S. Army fatigues, stalks a small New Jersey town bent on reliving a 35-year-old double murder by focusing on a group of college kids holding an annual Spring Dance.
For six long years, Hamilton High School seniors Kelly Lynch, Jude Cunningham, Wendy Richards and Nick McBride have been hiding the truth of what happened to ten-year-old Robin Hammond the day her broken body was discovered near an abandoned convent. The foursome kept secret of how they taunted Robin - backed her into a corner until, frightened, she stood on a window ledge... and fell to her death. Though an accident, the then-twelve-year-olds feared they would be held responsible and vowed never to tell. But someone else was there that day... watching, and now, that someone is ready to exact murderous revenge on prom night. Written by
Echo Bridge Home Entertainment
As gym teacher Henri-Anne Benton is giving decorating instructions to Biology teacher Monty Weller in the gym and Kim runs in, she apologizes for being late and Mr. Weller calls her "The literary Ms. Hammond". This is related to one of several scenes deleted from the theatrical version (but returned to the network TV version) of the movie when the girls are dissecting frogs and are caught sneaking Jude's note about her last-minute prom date, Slick. Mr. Weller wrongfully accuses Kim of possessing the note and forces her to read it aloud to the class. See more »
In the wide shot, after Mrs. Hammond has put the picture of her dead daughter on the mantle and her husband hugs her, the mike is visible in the top of frame. See more »
I know they did it, they killed her, they, killed her... Robin, Robin!
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"Prom Night" is the second chapter of a trilogy of slasher films Jaime Lee Curtis star in early in her career. After "Halloween" and before "Terror Train," Curtis lended her rising scream queen talent to this Canadian production, a minor classic for slasher fans. Coming so early in the sub-genre's life, "Prom Night" follows an expected slasher outline. A group of kids, while playing a game of Killer in an abandoned high school, indirectly lead to a fellow child's death. The police pin the murder on a pedophile. As the years pass, some of the children harbor guilt over the death, while others forget about it. A decade later on the eve of the same student's senior prom, the girls begin receiving threatening phone calls. The same child molester has escaped from prison and murdered a nun already. As prom begins and the kids boogie the night away, a masked man begins to hack his way through the guilty party.
"Prom Night" takes a surprisingly long time to get to its murders. It's nearly an hour into the film before the deaths start to happen. For such a deliberate pace, you'd expect the characters to be more solidly developed. Most of the large cast aren't much more then loose ideas. Jaime Lee proves to be the final girl but she's not quite the protagonist. Curtis' Kim is mostly defined by her relationship with neurotic brother Alex. Her boyfriend Nick doesn't have much personality. Jerk Lou and bully Wendy seem to want to recreate the end of "Carrie" by hijacking the prom. Seymour is the required prankster character. Only Kelly, pushed by her boyfriend into having sex, has any sort of definable arc. She, of course, dies first.
What joys there are to "Prom Night" come from Paul Lynch's frequently moody direction. He mines quite a bit of sinister intent out of long shots of empty high school hallways. The killer's first appearance is stretch out nicely, the death coming as a shock, the murder scene fading to red. The creepy phone calls are handled nicely, with extreme close-ups on a pencil thumping at a pad of paper. The ending is surprisingly sincere, playing the material for pathos instead of blatant shocks. While "Prom Night" doesn't quite earn that emotion, the attempt is still appreciated.
The movie's camp factor is probably more entertaining. I hope you kids like disco because this movie is full of it. There are long sequences of cast members dancing to cheesy, canned dance music. Have you ever wanted to see a pre-comedy-career Leslie Nielson boogie his heart out? You've got it. The killer's sparkly ski-mask proves a somewhat comical disguise. Pre-dating "Scream," the slasher is borderline incompetent. He gets beat up by a nerd. The hilarious van crash has little to do with the killer's attempt to sneak inside. He nearly forgets his axe during a chase scene. He routinely gets beaten and battered by the film's heroines. This is probably intentional, considering the murderer is just another teenager.
"Prom Night" is hardly a gory film but what kills it has are quite clever. A shattered glass throat slashing is memorable. The van face stabbing generates a shock or two. The decapitation, the severed head landing on the day-glo dance floor, is darkly humorous. It's no surprise that "Prom Night" was a big hit in its day and would, years later, spawn the required slasher franchise. The movie's nothing special but I can see why slasher fans consider it nostalgic horror comfort food.
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