5.4/10
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Prom Night (1980)

At a high school senior prom, a masked killer stalks four teenagers who were responsible for the accidental death of a classmate six years previously.

Director:

Paul Lynch

Writers:

William Gray (screenplay), Robert Guza Jr. (from a story by)

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2 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Leslie Nielsen ... Mr. Hammond
Jamie Lee Curtis ... Kim
Casey Stevens Casey Stevens ... Nick
Anne-Marie Martin ... Wendy (as Eddie Benton)
Antoinette Bower ... Mrs. Hammond
Michael Tough ... Alex
Robert A. Silverman ... Sykes (as Robert Silverman)
Pita Oliver Pita Oliver ... Vicki
David Mucci ... Lou
Jeff Wincott ... Drew
Mary Beth Rubens ... Kelly (as Marybeth Rubens)
George Touliatos ... McBride
Melanie Morse MacQuarrie Melanie Morse MacQuarrie ... Henri-Anne
David Gardner David Gardner ... Dr. Fairchild
Joy Thompson Joy Thompson ... Jude
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Storyline

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

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

A killer waits at the High School dance. See more »

Genres:

Horror | Thriller

Certificate:

R | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

Canada

Language:

English

Release Date:

18 July 1980 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Terror en la noche de graduación See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

CAD 1,500,000 (estimated)

Gross USA:

$14,796,236
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Lieutenant McBride and his son Nick live in apartment 101 of their complex. See more »

Goofs

When Wendy leaves home to go to school, after she gets into car and closes the door, camera and crew is reflected on the car door. See more »

Quotes

Mrs. Cunningham: Now kiss her!
Alex: She's my sister.
Mrs. Cunningham: Alex...
Mrs. Cunningham: Now the king!
Alex: Ew, kiss the KING?
Nick: On the mouth!
See more »

Alternate Versions

Also in the television version, there was a scene with Jamie Lee Curtis and her friends passing a note in class. See more »

Connections

Featured in Freddy Got Fingered (2001) See more »

Soundtracks

Changes
By Paul Zaza and Carl Zitter
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more »

User Reviews

 
Boogie the Night Away
3 November 2013 | by Bonehead-XLSee all my reviews

"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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