Friday, May 9, 2008

PROM NIGHT: Movie Review #12


For whatever reason, I find the need to go back and view the original before going to the theater whenever a re-make comes out. I did the same with Texas Chainsaw Massacre (even though the original is one of my favorite films and I never have a problem watching it again). I would bet the Leatherface Family Ranch that the Prom Night re-make is going to be a bunch of crap just like Chainsaw was. But I’m still going to go see it. Just so I can write about it here. Who knows, maybe they will take a really boring uneventful film, mostly shot in the dark with not nearly enough gore, and turn it into something special 18 years later . . .

Prom Night begins in an abandoned school, where a group of young children taunt a girl named Robin Hammond until she falls out the window from a few stories up. She dies and the kids swear to never tell – six years later, now in High School, they are picked off one by one by someone obviously seeking revenge. That is really the movie in a nutshell – the fact that it’s prom night is rather insignificant, except for the fact that there’s a really nifty “Prom Night” theme song that plays throughout the film (it’s actually really corny and catchy so don’t fall asleep with the DVD menu running). The police are, of course, confused and assume the murderer is an escaped mental patient, who was actually present at the scene of the crime 6 years prior and attempted to outrun police. The murder was never solved, so the police decide this man is doing the killing. Even though the director is so obviously trying to sway us in the wrong direction here, I still was unable to figure out who the killer was. Maybe I was just bored and didn’t bother to try hard enough.

Speaking of police, we have an appearance by Lieutenant Frank Drebin, Police Squad (aka Leslie Nielsen), who plays Mr. Hammond, father of the murdered child and principal of the school. It’s really difficult to take this guy serious after seeing Naked Gun as many times as I have. Jamie Lee Curtis also stars as the lead role of Kim Hammond. With these popular cast members and a low budget, the film attempts to create a stalker/revenge horror flick focused around the most special night in a High School girl’s life, but quite honestly, I’d rather watch Carrie (1976) anyday (you'd think maybe Prom Night director Paul Lynch would have stolen some ideas from Brian De Palma's prom night pig-blood bath just 4 years prior . . . it might have helped here).

We get a little surprise at the end when the killer’s mask is removed, and if I remember correctly from my days of browsing the VHS titles in Pathmark there is a sequel called Hello Mary Lou Prom Night 2. But before I review Prom Night 2 I’m going to the theater to see the re-make of the first, with a review to follow.

In the meantime, I give the Prom Night original 2 toes.

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