Triskaidekafiles

Triskaidekafiles is a love letter to cheesy cinema from the 80s and 90s, with the occasional dip into other eras.  if you're a fan of MST3K, Elvira, Joe Bob Briggs, or just bad horror movies in general, Trisk is the place for you.

Hello Mary Lou: Prom Night II (1987)

HELLO MARY LOU: PROM NIGHT II

WRITER: Screenplay by Ron Oliver

DIRECTOR: Bruce Pittman

STARRING: Michael Ironside as Bill Nordham
    Wendy Lyon as Vicki Carpenter
    Justin Louis as Craig Nordham
    Richard Monette as Father Cooper
    Lisa Schrage as Mary Lou Maloney
    Terri Hawkes as Kelly Hennenlotter
    Beverley Hendry as Monica Waters
    Brock Simpson as Josh
    Beth Gondek as Jess Browning

QUICK CUT: A charming tale about a young lady seeking to go to prom, but not having enough money for a new dress, until she meets someone who can help her out...

THE MORGUE

    Vicki - A shy and quiet sort of girl, with an overly protective and religious mother.  She tries to be more of an individual and stand out, but does not always meet with success.

    Craig - Vicki's boyfriend, and while her mom dislikes him and is always bad mouthing him for being lowlife biker trash...he seems like a perfectly normal guy?  His dad is principal of the high school?  He's not a typical 'bad boy' biker.  He's just your average guy, good student, smiley and friendly...and he just so HAPPENS to own a bike.

    Bill Nordham - Craig's dad, the aforementioned principal.  He also went to the same school 30 years ago, and was a very loyal, if easily angered, boyfriend who goes too far to get a bit of payback.  The decision clearly haunts him at times, and it's questionable how much it's changed him, but he seems to be doing right by his son at least.

    Father Cooper - The local priest, and Back In The Day, more of the biker sort that Vicki's mom loathes.  Moreso than Craig ever is.  He seduced Bill's girlfriend away from him, and somehow ended up going into the priesthood.

    Mary Lou - Bill thinks she's the bee's knees, the best person on the planet, but he's in for a rude awakening when she cheats on him with Cooper.  The audience sees her as much more of a bad girl, doing bad things, than Bill ever did.  And she only gets worse after being dead for 30 years.

 Goodbye plot!

Goodbye plot!

THE GUTS: Welcome back, Triskelions!  May the 1st be with you, or something?  That's right, it's May, and after a year or two off, it is time for us to head back to prom and it is no remake this time.  We are going back to the original franchise from the 80s with the first sequel, Prom Night 2.  Hello, Mary Lou!

The movie opens up in the 50s, with sweet and innocent Mary Lou Maloney giving her confession, and we immediately find out she's not so sweet and innocent.  After unburdening her black soul though, she heads to her prom with her boyfriend and guy on the side.  Like I was saying...

Billy finds out about the affair, and reacts like anyone would...by stealing a stink bomb someone was gonna prank the place with, climbing onto the catwalks, and dropping it on Mary Lou.  But rather than just stinking her up, it catches her dress on fire, and she dies a horrible, horrible death.  And let me tell you, this is a missed opportunity here, but more on that later...

 How do you do, fellow kids?

How do you do, fellow kids?

Mary Lou's already dead?  Well, that's a short movie!  I'm out!  Wait, what?  30 years later?  Aww man.

Anyways, after the awkward jump to the 80s, which the movie doesn't really signify but trusts the audience to figure it out, we meet Vicki, who is one of those girls from a middle class family with a strict, proper mother, who wants her child to be prim and proper too.

It's almost a Carrie and her mother relationship, but she manages to not be THAT bad.  Anyways, the big plot points are mom does not approve of Vicki's boyfriend, and she won't pay for a new dress for prom.  Both of these come into play.

 This is why we don't invite Jean Grey to dances anymore.

This is why we don't invite Jean Grey to dances anymore.

We see Vicki's boyfriend Craig head to the principal's office, but rather than being in trouble, we learn that he's actually the principal's son.  More importantly, the principal is Billy all grown up.  And not only did Billy grow up to be principal, he grew up to be Michael Ironside.  That's pretty good for someone who murdered a girl in high school!  But it does explain the hair...

The movie also introduces us to a handful of students for the canon fodder brigade to be wiped out later.  You've got the nerdy kid Josh, Vicki's friend Jess who has frighteningly 80s hair, and the spoiled brat fashionista snob, as all movies have, but her voice is SO damned familiar to me, but I can't quite pl...

...Oh holy Corman, it's Sailor Moon.  She's the voice of Sailor Moon.  Meatball Head is playing a spoiled teen queen.

 I really hope Darien asks me to prom soon.

I really hope Darien asks me to prom soon.

Anyways, Vicki heads down to the basement to raid the drama club's prop closet for dress possibilities.  She opens up an old trunk, and before Toulon's puppets can jump out, Something Else escapes.  Here's a clue, it's Mary Lou.

So, someone opens this trunk, and the spirit of the crispy fried prom queen escapes.  Are you telling me no one has opened this trunk in 30 years?  I find that a SLIGHT stretch, but I guess I'll allow it.

That night, Jess is still milling about the art room, when she pops out one of the cheap jewels from the prom queen crown, which awakens the spirit of Mary Lou, who IMMEDIATELY kills the girl.

 And she immediately teases with what could have been one of the greatest kills of all time.

And she immediately teases with what could have been one of the greatest kills of all time.

Killing her with the paper cutter would have been great, but instead Mary Lou changes her mind, realises they don't have the budget for a beheading, and Jess gets hanged instead.  I feel ripped off.

We cut to her funeral, and the priest delivering an impassioned eulogy, "Let the violence of her passing, remind us of the dangers of the violence we see so much of every day in our streets, on our television sets, and in movies." SCREW YOU MOVIE

The only reason I'm accepting this line, is because this is *exactly* the sort of movie he's talking about, and with a cast of characters named Craven, Carpenter, Browning, King, Eddie Wood and more, this movie is at least doing it with its tongue firmly planted in cheek.

Anyways, life goes on, as does the prom.  Can't shut it down just because of sharks, that would hurt tourism...wait, wrong movie.

Vicki's starting to act strangely mouthing off to people, and having nightmares during lunch and a tasty blood fountain, so I'm gonna guess Mary Boo is gonna start hanging around her a bit.

Once Mary Boo is lurking around Vicki, they start doing this really neat thing, starting with when her super religoius mom starts praying over dinner, and it just becomes staticy gibberish.  I really like that touch that, this dark spirit, just kinda tunes out the prayers.  I kinda do the same thing...  They needed to do more with it, honestly.

And to be quite honest, another thing they could've done something with, is make use of that stink bomb death.  How do you set that up, and then NOT have every time someone is possessed by her, or whenever the spirit is nearby, someone could have smelled a foul stench.  it could've been a great clue, and raise the tension, like when Jess was alone in the art room...

 Waiter, there is a FUCKING HEAD IN MY SOUP.

Waiter, there is a FUCKING HEAD IN MY SOUP.

Later, Vicki Lou gets beaned in the head with a volleyball, has another bad dream, and comes to shouting that she's not Mary Lou Who, within earshot of the principal, who is starting to notice strange doings around school.

He immediately rushes down to the prop room, and sees the open trunk, freaking out.  Which begs the questions; why would he go there, why would an open prop trunk cause such distress, even if he does suspect a returned Mary Lou?  I feel like there's a missing scene or bit of info here.

Momma Carpenter sends Vicki off to confession, because that's how you heal someone getting hit in the head, and she meets Father Cooper, in slight nod to the opening scene.  And yes, this is the same Cooper that Mary Lou cheated on Billy with.

That night, Vicki has more weird dreams, gets attacked by her sheets, and her rocking horse grows a tongue while someone tries to escape her mirror.  It's all highly weird, and nightmareish.

 Don't look a gift horse in the mouth.

Don't look a gift horse in the mouth.

Father Cooper tries to do an exorcism to get rid of Mary Loucifer, with the usual chanting, but when he tries to read the Bible over her grave, it bursts into flames.  Been there, done that...

Cooper visits Billy, and they chat about their dead girlfriend and how she's back, and ready to possess her boyfriend.  Although Coop is sure he's safe, because he's a priest.  Look, she may not be able to possess you, but she can still kill you.  Spoiler!

Meanwhile, there's the usual prom machination plots milling about.  Meat Ball Head visits Josh to try and get him to rig the voting machines to make sure she's elected prom queen.  He would then go on to be Donald Trump's campaign manager.

Vicki ends up in detention thanks to her sleep deprived behaviour.  You would think she was hiding from Freddy Krueger with the vigor with which she is avoiding sleep.  But it only does so much good, as someone scrawls a message on the chalkboard from the opposite side of it.

When Vicki goes to investigate, the hands from Pulse reach out, grab her, and suck her into the chalkboard.

 We haven't been washed in years!  Help us!

We haven't been washed in years!  Help us!

Meanwhile, down in the prop basement, Vicki crawls out of the trunk after her trip to the chalkboard pool, and then goes to pay a visit to Father Cooper, now clearly possessed by Mary Lou.  She is in total control at this point.

She attacks him, which is surely not gonna help her with her confession, and while we don't see it here, it is later confirmed that she killed Cooper.

The next day, she heads to school, in all the latest 1950s fashion.  And she gets crap for it, but c'mon, retro fashion is always in.  30 years is just about right to be hip with it.

 And after school, Susie Q and I will be holding our weekly meeting for 1950s schoolgirl ghosts...

And after school, Susie Q and I will be holding our weekly meeting for 1950s schoolgirl ghosts...

Later in class, Mister Craven flirts with her, but he picked the wrong student, as Mary Spook seems to have mental powers and attacks him with fire from one of the science lab gas jets.

One of the girls sees it though, and confronts her about it.  They fight, and Vicki tries to make up to her friend in the showers by making out.  1950s bisexual ghost confirmed.

Anyways, noticing strange mental powers from malevolent spirits usually leads to death, so when the girl gets freaked out and hides in a locker, Vicki Lou makes sure to crush her inside.

 Crunchy on the outside, gooey on the inside!

Crunchy on the outside, gooey on the inside!

Vicki Lou seduces Craig, which shouldn't be that hard since she's his girlfriend, but boy is it ever convenient that Mary Lou found the one girl who just so happens to be dating the son of the guy who killed her.

She then visits the principal to flirt with him too, and make it clear his son is in danger...and this is just super icky, considering the ages of people involved.  It's played so well.

But just before I'm settled in from that squickiness, Vicky Lou is about to head to prom, and starts making out with Vicki's father, because why not at this point?

 We're gonna do this the scanner way. I'm gonna suck your brain dry! Everything you are is gonna become me.

We're gonna do this the scanner way. I'm gonna suck your brain dry! Everything you are is gonna become me.

Mom walks in on that, does her usual religious routine, which is warranted, considering what was going on.  Vicki Lou goes full on Carrie plus Poltergeist, and flings Mommy Dearest through the front door.

So, we've got Prom Night Carrie, and Principal Scanner.  This could be an epic mind battle, if he had his powers in this movie.

Well, the night of prom is here, and Craig is trying to get ready, but PrinciBilly knocks him out with his shoes of all things.  He then heads to Mary Lou's grave to dig her up and make sure she's dead.  Well, of course she is.  Vicki hasn't changed into Mary Lou, she's possessed.  If her twin was walking around, this would make sense.  But all he finds is Cooper's body.

 Losing the prom queen title election sense...tingling!!

Losing the prom queen title election sense...tingling!!

Meanwhile, the votes are in, and Kelly didn't win the election.  But she's decided to pay Josh his price to fix that, and...  I have now seen Sailor Moon blow a guy to become prom queen.  My life is weird.

After she leaves, and Josh finishes up his rigging, Mary Lou can feel the crown being stolen from her, and uses her mind bullets to send an electric blast out from the computer screen, melting Josh's face.  Kids, this is why we don't sit so close to a tv screen.

Oh, she also fixes the computer back to her winning the election.  How does a 1950s ghost know how to computer?

 Would a Brisco County Jr. reference be too obscure here?

Would a Brisco County Jr. reference be too obscure here?

Anyways, we're moving into the final moments now, as PrinciBilly reenacts his terrible deed from 30 years ago, by climbing the catwalks again, and this time shooting the prom queen, instead of just immolating her.

So, Billy's entire character arc is 'do a horrible thing, learn nothing from it, do it again 30 years later, but with a better more final weapon'?  That's not right.

Whatever.  Vicki dies, just as Craig arrives, which is sure to make family dinners in the future pretty awkward.

 Look out!  The prom queen's been shot with a gun!

Look out!  The prom queen's been shot with a gun!

But wait, this could be the end of the movie, but we get hit with something I did NOT see coming; Vicki's body starts twitching and writhing, and a rotten arm bursts out of it, tearing apart the young girl's corpse, and Mary Lou is reborn into this world from the shell of Vicki.

Elm Street did something similar, and probably better, but there's something genuinely shocking and visceral about this one.  Probably because it's Freddy and nightmares, so whatever, but this is the 'real world' of the movie, and while Freddy has always been crispy, we've always seen Mary Lou as a beauty queen.  So when she pulls her rotting corpse out of the meatsack that was Vicki, it's highly effective.

And I gotta say, up to this point, most of Mary Loucifer's victims have been largely innocent.  Jess did nothing, Cooper did nothing, the girl in the locker was just too smart for her own good but okay, you gotta keep her quiet.  Josh was an innocent who may have used sex as currency, but mostly a regular guy.

This movie should be killing people like Billy, or Kelly, who are genuinely horrible people, but they skate through most of this movie unsca...oh wait, spoke too soon, one of the crashing lights impales Meat Ball Head.

 Jupiter thunderbolt attack!

Jupiter thunderbolt attack!

Zombie Lou starts off pretty ugly, but she cleans up quickly over her resurrection and birth pangs destroying the prom.  She attacks Craig as revenge, and is determined to ruin the life of SOMEONE from that family, I'm sure.

Principadre falls in from the catwalks, and sees the cheap crown Mary Lou covets so much.  It is hilarious that this all is about, well, it's about revenge, but so much of it revolves around wanting that damned crown.  And it's just cheap costume jewelry.

Craig makes a run for it, heading down to the prop basement, and Mary Lou gives chase, with possibly one of the best scares I've seen in a movie in a long time.  We see things from Craig's perspective, looking up the long flight of stairs as the backlit Mary Lou enters and stands their threateningly, but then BOOM out of nowhere, Mary Lou's snarling, hissing face pops up RIGHT in fromt of the camera.  So effective.

 CAP:  I am chiffon made flesh.  I am satin gloves and tiaras incarnate.  I am the Dark Promdate.

CAP:  I am chiffon made flesh.  I am satin gloves and tiaras incarnate.  I am the Dark Promdate.

She chases him around the basement, and he somehow manages to find an even deeper basement that goes even lower.  Is this school built on a pit down to Hell?  ...Actually, that would explain a lot.

But Craig is an idiot, who opens the door the instant he hears Vicki's voice, lets her in, and oh no, she becomes Mary Lou.  Gasp surprise.

The steamer trunk appears to try and suck Craig in because...it's somehow connected to Mary Lou?  Again, I feel like we missed something with the trunk.

But Prinicidad shows up with the crown and distracts her with it, crowning her prom queen *again*.  The loving lovers kiss and...her grave explodes.  I take back my earlier complaint of the trunk, that makes sense comparatively.

 Twas Billy that killed the beast...

Twas Billy that killed the beast...

Anyways, the demon is expelled I guess, Craig doesn't get sucked into the trunk, and inside they find Vicki, wearing the same clothes she was in when she got dragged into the blackboard, confirming that since then, it was really Mary Lou wearing a Vicki skinsuit disguise to prom.

Finally, the kids and Billy get ready to drive off into the sunrise, but at the last second, it's clear that Billy has become Mary Lou, and they instead drive off into the ending of Elm Street 1, I guess.  Again, if they had only used the stink bomb...

Which is certainly an unconventional ending, if ambiguous and open, but I guess she got her revenge?  Am I supposed to be happy about this?

 The Visine worked a little too well.

The Visine worked a little too well.

AUTOPSY REPORT

Video: It looks solid enough, with everything looking like it should, and nice and clear.

Audio: Ditto, but for the ears.

Sound Bite: "Your mother sews socks in hell, Father Karis!"  ...Wait, that can't be right

Body Count: About average.

1 - Mary Lou herself gets burned up nine minutes in.
2 - Jess almost dies by paper cutter but I get robbed, and she gets hanged instead.
3 - Cooper dead by crucifix.
4 - Monica gets crushed in lockers.
5 - Josh electrocuted by computer.
6 - Vicki seemingly shot and killed
7 - Kelly gets impaled by a lightning bolt light
8 - Mary Lou should be dead but...

Best Corpse: Josh's face melting death is great.

Blood Type - C+: Not a whole lot of blood, but a few great moments, again, Josh's electrocutionalm stands out.  And I give major points for Mary Corpse.

Sex Appeal: Naked ladies and shower boobs and lesbianism!

Drink Up! Every time you hear 'see you later alligator'.

Video Nasties: Have I talked enough about Josh's death?  Yes?  Well, now you can see it.

Movie Review: Okay, yes, there is a giant gaping plot device, in that they never really did the legwork to connect Mary Lou to the trunk, outside of maybe the crown?  But still.  If you can get back there really is no big WHY to all this, it's actually really fun.  The story is, otherwise, creative and solid enough, the acting is good enough, and the kills and mayhem is creative enough.  Three out of five cheap prom queen crowns.

Entertainment Value: This movie is so 80s at times, it hurts.  And the clash of 50s and 80s at times is fun.  Some of the acting is good, the rest is cheesy, and the prom silliness sets the stage, but is straight out of basic plotting.  The kills are fun, and there's a lot to just sit back and enjoy.  Four out of five hands groping from the chalkboard.