80’s Slasher Throwback”: “Hello Mary Lou: Prom Night II” Review

In 1957, seventeen year-old Mary Lou Maloney (Lisa Schrage) enters a church, where she confesses her sins to the priest (Jay Smith), claiming to have disobeyed her parents, used the Lord’s name in vain and had sinful relations with various boys. The pastor tells her that “these are great sins and she should prepare herself for the consequences.” Before leaving, Mary Lou tells the priest that she loved every minute of it and leaves her phone number in the confession booth along with a written message: “For a good time call Mary Lou.”

Later, at the 1957 prom at Hamilton High School, Mary Lou is attending with rich Billy Nordham who gives her a ring with her initials on it. Shortly after receiving Billy’s ring, Mary Lou sends him off to get punch while she sneaks backstage with Buddy Cooper, where the two are found making out by Billy. Storming off after Mary Lou claims she used him, Billy, while in the washroom, overhears two boys preparing a stink bomb and, when the boys abandon the bomb in the trash due to a teacher approaching, Billy grabs it. When Mary Lou is crowned prom queen, Billy, having snuck up onto the catwalk, drops the bomb on her before she is crowned. To the horror of Billy and everyone in attendance, the fuse of the bomb ignites Mary Lou’s dress and she dies after going up in flames, but not before seeing that Billy is the one who killed her.

Thirty years later, high school student Vicki Carpenter (a slightly dull but still engaging Wendy Lyon) goes looking for a prom dress in the school prop room after being denied a new dress by her overly religious mother. While searching, Vicki finds an old trunk containing Mary Lou’s prom queen accessories (her cape, sash, ring and crown) and takes them, releasing Mary Lou’s Hell-bound spirit. After Vicki leaves Mary Lou’s clothes in the art room after school, Vicki’s friend Jess Browning (Beth Gondek) finds them and, after wedging a jewel out of the crown, is attacked by an unseen force. Hung from a light by Mary Lou’s cape, Jess is subsequently defenestrated. Jess’s death is deemed a suicide caused by her despair over her recent discovery that she was pregnant.

After Jess’s death, Vicki finds herself plagued by nightmarish hallucinations caused by Mary Lou and she confides in Buddy Cooper (Richard Monette), who is now a priest and, after hearing Vicki’s stories, believes Mary Lou may be back. Going to Mary Lou’s grave, where his bible bursts into flames, Buddy afterwards tries to warn Billy (now played by Michael Ironside), who is now the principal of Hamilton High and the father of Vicki’s boyfriend Craig (a bland Justin Louis); Buddy’s warnings fall on deaf ears, with Billy refusing to believe that Mary Lou has returned to reclaim her title as prom queen and to take revenge on those who wronged her. Hell is about to break loose.

“Hello Mary Lou: Prom Night II” is everything the original “Prom Night” film wasn’t….entertaining, fun, and just an all around good time. Shades of “Nightmare on Elm Street” here and “Carrie” there do nothing to diminish the enjoyment of this guilty pleasure. This is one of my finest memories of watching Saturday Nightmares on USA Network. If “Prom Night II” was on, you knew that you were going to be having a good night. Throw in a bitchy girl played by Sailor Moon (yes, you read that right) and you have a pretty perfect supernatural slasher.