24 July 2014

Prom Night (1980)

91 min.
Directed by Paul Lynch.
With Jamie Lee Curtis, Leslie Nielsen, Antoinette Bower, Casey Stevens, Eddie Benton, Michael Tough, David Mucci, Robert Silverman, Pita Oliver, Marybeth Rubens, Joy Thompson.
This high school holocaust is enjoyable fun.

The students of Hamilton High are determined and resolute, as they prepare for the most hallowed of celebrations: prom night!

But as the momentous night approaches, who do they find in their midst?

An anonymous killer clad in a black ski mask!

And it seems this bent loon-nut is a merciless murderer with a resolve all his own.

What score from the past does this psycho hope to settle? Will spunky prom queen Kim Hammond (Curtis) survive the deadly onslaught in one piece?

We concur: Prom Night is a formula-driven slasher, if ever there was one.

But at nearly every turn, it distinguishes itself, thanks to a winning performance from heroine Curtis and a delightful turn by Benton as her bitchy nemesis.

There's some great splatter highlights, including a decapitated noggin on the disco floor, and a gruesome neck gouging.

But by far, the best moment is (surprise!) a poignant one: when poor Jaime Lee realizes who the killer really is.

Good incidental/disco score by composer Paul Zaza.

Followed by Hello Mary Lou: Prom Night II (1987).

Director Paul Lynch also did the island slasher Humongous (1982).

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