Monday, April 25, 2016

Prom Night, Disco vs. The Slasher

Slasher wins!  Jamie Lee Curtis cemented her status as an iconic scream queen after three films which came out in rapid succession: "Halloween," "Terror Train," and 1980's "Prom Night." As a fitting end to the Disco Era, "Prom Night" killed it off with an ax-wielding insaniac.  Though we see plenty of scenes that should've been in "Saturday Night Fever," "Prom Night" has all the elements of a gratuitous slasher film.
Six years ago, a little girls dies accidentally playing with her friends in an abandoned convent.  Her friends are too terrified to tell anyone, and the death is blamed on a known sex fiend.  The fiend is horribly burned in a police chase and sent to a nut house.  Present day, the friends are preparing for their high school's prom. Our 18 year old seniors, looking 25, still harbor their deadly secret.  Kim (Curtis) and Nick (Casey Stevens) will be king and queen of this affair.  Uh b#$%h Wendy (Anne-Marie Martin) is sore about losing Nick to Kim and has a Carrie-like plan for revenge.  Uh oh, again....the burned lunatic has escaped from the asylum in murderous fashion and is headed to town.  Enter an ominous plot device, all the witnesses to the death six years ago are receiving threatening phone calls.
As our kids get all dolled up, Jude (Joy Thompson) reveals she will lose her virginity on prom night...or maybe that was Kelly (Mary Beth Rubens).  The night arrives and our protagonists engage in drugs and pre-marital sex...can you guess their eventual fates?  Kim and Nick are clean cut, which gives us hope for their survival  As our seniors start falling in most gory ways, Kim and Nick prepare for their coronation as king and queen.  The most sultry among them, Wendy, in a red sequins gown prepares a rude awakening for them.  Will Wendy or the maniac get to them first?  Unfortunately for Wendy, the more b@#$&y and skanky...the gorier the death.
A morality tale all the way, preaching against illegal drugs, pre-marital sex, and Disco.  Plenty of suspects abound, though the mystery aspect is not the big draw to this film.  The final half hour is classic, with lots of wise-guy hunks and beautiful damsels assuming room temperature.  Leslie Nielsen appears as the principal in a non-comedic role.  Available on YouTube, watch "Prom Night."

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