The Horror Honeys: Mary Lou is Back... And She's Burning Mad!

Mary Lou is Back... And She's Burning Mad!

A Tandem Honey Review with Supernatural Honey Suzanne & Revenge Honey Linnie!

Hello Mary Lou: Prom Night II (1987)

Supernatural Honey Suzanne's Take!

Sparks really flew at the prom that night!... sorry.
While I was introduced to horror and cut my baby teeth on Hammer films, I really put on my big girl pants watching 80s slasher films. The original Prom Night from 1980 may not be the best of the bunch, but it will always hold a special place in my heart for the dance number alone. I’m not kidding. The follow up in 1987 has zero to do with the original, with the exception of the title, and maybe that’s why it works so well. Serious lovers of slasher classics know Prom Night II is a much better film in a myriad of ways.

This film starts with a flashback, the way so many of this subgenre do. In this tale, instead of an innocent struck down only to come back for revenge, Mary Lou Maloney (Lisa Schrage) is a real mean girl. She’s as far from innocent as you can get and when she comes back, it’s for her crown. She will destroy anyone who got in her way the first time. 

Where Prom Night is a straightforward revenge slasher, Hello Mary Lou is a supernatural revenge film, complete with possession and a half-assed exorcism. There are also some shades of Carrie here as virginal Vicki Carpenter (Wendy Lyon) tries to appease her zealot mother and kowtowing father. When she is taken over by the spirit of Mary Lou, she turns up her sexuality to incestuous levels.

I WILL make "riding the haunted hobby horse" a sexual euphemism if
it's the last thing I do!
Prom Night II isn’t going to fill you with dread. This movie is pure camp, but it’s beautifully bloody with some interesting, original kills and top notch special effects. Director Bruce Pittman uses color in such a creative way, from the subdued hues and soft lighting surrounding the innocent Vicki, to a bold, bright, and shiny palette for the brassy Mary Lou. The merging of the 80s and the 50s style and music is done really well.

Sequels? HA! I'm the only sequel that matters.
The cast is mostly unknowns, with the exception of Michael Ironside, but the performances are far better than many films of the time period, especially considering it’s a sequel. 

I recently discovered there are two more installments in the Prom Night franchise, neither of which I’ve seen. Prom Night III: The Last Kiss sees the return of Mary Lou Maloney and her continuing pursuit of prom queen. The fourth movie, Deliver Us From Evil, removes the supernatural element and goes back to standard slasher format with a homicidal priest killing teenage prom goers. From what I understand, both films are REALLY bad. If anyone has seen either or both of these, I’d like to know for sure before I force myself to watch them to complete the set.

Supernatural Honey Rating: 3.5 possessed rocking horses out of 5

Mary Lou: Forgive me, Father, for I have sinned. It has been three months since my last confession. I've disobeyed my parents many times. I've taken the Lord's name in vain many times. I've had sinful relations, with boys at my school. Many boys, many times.
Priest: My child, these are great sins. You must prepare yourself for the consequences.
Mary Lou: Father, there's just one more thing.
Priest: What is it, my poor child?
Mary Lou: I loved every minute of it.

And with that, I fell head-over-heels in love with Mary Lou Maloney, a 50s dame who wasn't about to take any of your patriarchal bullshit. Sure, she could be kind of a bitch, but which of us isn't when it comes to getting what we want? Bitches get shit done! Whether its in the boiler room with a hot dude or in the art room with a cape that girl should not have been wearing anyway, Mary Lou just wants what she wants. Is that really such a bad thing?

I had a Skipper doll that looked EXACTLY like her.
My history with Hello Mary Lou is strange in that I saw the sequel before I saw the Jamie Lee Curtis-starring original. And while I got a good chuckle out of the original (as Suzanne said... that dance scene, yo), I didn't find it remotely as effective as Prom Night II. Mary Lou is an AMAZING villain: gorgeous, vicious, and deeply cool. The kills are totally original, and the visuals are freaky as hell (the lunch lady! THE LUNCH LADY!). For a sequel that didn't exactly break the box office, it's without a doubt one of the most narratively successful horror sequels ever made.

That's uh... Solid. You'd fit right in a matador-theme drag show.
Hello Mary Lou: Prom Night II is that rare sequel that takes everything good about the original film and improves upon in by leaps and bounds. Yes; it's still campy and ridiculous. But so are most slashers from the 80s, and that's why we love them just the same.

Revenge Honey Rating: 4 awkward confessions out of 5

You can own Hello Mary Lou: Prom Night II on DVD, or watch it on YouTube!