A decades-old folk tale surrounding a deranged murderer killing those who celebrate Valentine's Day turns out to be true to legend when a group defies the killer's order and people start turning up dead.
An unknown killer, clad in World War II U.S. Army fatigues, stalks a small New Jersey town bent on reliving a 35 year-old double murder by focusing on a group of college kids holding an annual Spring Dance.
For six long years, Hamilton High School seniors Kelly Lynch, Jude Cunningham, Wendy Richards and Nick McBride have been hiding the truth of what happened to ten-year-old Robin Hammond the day her broken body was discovered near an abandoned convent. The foursome keep secret of how they taunted Robin - backed her into a corner until, frightened, she stood on a window ledge - and fell to her death. Though an accident, the then-twelve-year-olds feared they would be held responsible and vowed never to tell. But someone else was there that day - watching, and now, that someone is ready to exact murderous revenge on prom night.
When Jude answers the phone at her family's residence and the raspy caller says her name, there is a brief flashback of her from six years prior. Jude has noticeably blue eyes, but the younger Jude from the past memory has brown eyes. See more »
Starring then scream-queen (and current yogurt peddler) Jamie Lee Curtis and a pre-goofball Leslie Nielsen, "Prom Night" is one of the first in what would be many holiday-themed slasher flicks meant to capitalize on the success of John Carpenter's seminal "Halloween." The concept is at once simple and yet convoluted: a gaggle of tweens playing a rather odd and slightly sadistic "hide and go seek"-type game in an abandoned warehouse accidentally drive another child to their death. Because it's always a good idea in this sort of movie, the kids all vow never to speak a word of this to anyone. Fast- forward six years later, and the kids are now teenagers getting ready for their prom. Only somebody saw what happened that fateful day, and somebody is going to make them pay.
Like its fellow brethren in "My Bloody Valentine," "Prom Night" is a low-budget production straight out of Canada. Director Paul Lynch works the meager concept into a rather sleek and efficient blaze of tension, bloodshed and disco. For better or worse, not much blood is shed until about 2/3 of the way through the movie. For at least the first half of the movie, we are treated to a lot of obscene phone calls, botched hook-ups in locker rooms and student-on-student pranks. There's also adequate time to set-up the somewhat stock characters, which is handled surprisingly well. Jamie Lee Curtis sticks out from the bunch as the innocent by-stander who, before becoming the de-facto survivor girl, gets to bust out in an obscenely long dance-number that almost gives a similar scene in "Airplane" a run for its money. The kill scenes are then, somewhat ironically, less memorable than all the stuff that comes before it, which is perhaps a testament to Lynch's unheralded skill or maybe just dumb luck.
Either way, "Prom Night" is a great example of the '80s slasher. All the tropes you've come to expect -- revenge, premarital relations, bratty teens, recreational drug-use -- it's all here. Perhaps not as refined as its predecessors, "Prom Night" remains an entertaining and somewhat endearing experience all these years later. It even inspired a pair of silly yet throroughly entertaining sequels in "Prom Night II: Hello Mary Lou" and "Prom Night III: The Last Kiss," along with a somewhat forgettable fourth film and an absolute piece of garbage remake. But if you're looking to hit the dance floor with a well- worn semi-classic of its era, you couldn't pick a better date than the original "Prom Night."
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