Prom Night III: The Last Kiss (1989)
PROM NIGHT III: THE LAST KISS
WRITER: Ron Oliver
DIRECTOR: Ron Oliver and Peter Simpson
STARRING: Tim Conlon as Alex
Cyndy Preston as Sarah
David Stratton as Shane
Jeremy Ratchford as Leonard
Dylan Neal as Andrew
Courtney Taylor as Mary Lou
QUICK CUT: A long lost girl returns to her high school on prom night, and things do not go as planned.
Alex - A thoroughly average high school student. Average height, average shoe size, average grades, average in every way and just looking to feel special.
Sarah - The girlfriend who wants Alex to strive to be more, but also can't stand how he keeps trying to have interests besides her. But she has some hidden depths beyond 'girlfriend'.
Mary Lou - The long dead prom queen, back for more. All she wants is love.
THE GUTS: Welcome back, Triskelions! May is here, and it's time to get ready for prom once again, and this year, it's Prom Night 3: The Last Kiss. This is loosely connected to Prom Night 2, so that's a bonus. But I'll get more into that as we go along. Although full disclosure, I haven't rewatched #2 so I don't know HOW connected it is really.
The movie opens up in a Hellementary school with a bunch of chained up souls shuffling along to the music, and Mary Lou trying to slice her way out of the shackles. She succeeds and Raimi-Cams her way down the halls of the real world Hamilton High.
She breezes past the janitor, who senses her presence and follows it down to the basement, where he discovers a classic jukebox playing away in the cavernous space. At least it's not playing It's Not Unusual for the fifth time in a row.
Mary Lou spooks him, and then kills him with electricity from the machine. Well, there's some consistency at least with the last movie!
The movie cuts to some time later, with the opening of the new gymnasium after the horrors that transpired there in the previous film. The principal tries to be hip and with it with all the kids by saying things like groovy. He also says this should put to rest all those stories about ghosts, and strange noises, the vanishing students...these are all behind them now!
Well great, NOW you jinxed it.
And when he slices the ribbon, he also cuts off his finger, so yeah. Good going there, principal Skinner.
We meet our lead, Alex, who wants to be a doctor, but his schoolwork doesn't really seem to support that decision. There's also his girlfriend Sarah who is supportive and wants to spend the summer with him, but the best friend Shane is trying to drag him off on a trip. And he's torn. Also, on a second watch, Shane really sets off my gaydar, and I wonder how much of that was intentional.
After the couple has a fight, Alex heads back to the school to get some books he forgot, and thinks nothing is amiss when the doors mysteriously open on their own. Or when a strange woman is wandering the halls and gives him such a fright he tumbles down the stairs. Or that she then makes out with him in the high school stairwell.
He runs into Sarah who brought him some tasty treats, saying she doesn't get mad, she bakes. Dude, don't trust the cookies, she maybe poisoned them!
Alex stumbles upon a news article about Mary Lou's death and recognises her, and wow that's a coincidence. But fine, whatever.
He heads to Mr. Walker's science class, and this dude is big, and he likes to eat. I don't think there's a scene where he ISN'T shoving a cruller in his face.
Partway through the exam, Mary Lou shows up to make things interesting, and make sure he completely fails the test.
We then jump to football practice, where the spirit of Mary Lou possesses him and gives him the power to be the best player on the field, instead of his usual averageness. But this also frustrated the captain of the team, baby Dylan Neal.
Later, Walker is grading the exams, and rightly draws an F on Alex's empty sheet of paper. The grade changes, and the paper fills up with words, as Mary Lou appears with an ice cream shoppe around her.
She offers him some ice cream, and he wants answers, but all he gets is a pair of ice cream cones shoved through his hands. Oh, and a hand mixer down his throat.
I'm pretty sure that would not ever work, but fine whatever.
Alex shows up, probably to beg for another chance to take the test, and there's Mary Lou again, proving to Alex that she's real.
Oh, and when he finally gets around to pulling back the giant sheet on the teacher's desk, he finds Walker's body has been turned into a banana split.
Alex knows that people saw him come in there, and freaks out because people will think he did it. "But not if you move the body!" says the ghost. So he moves the body...from the desk, to one of the cabinets. I'm not sure moving a body a whopping five feet will do much to alleviate any suspicions. It's in the same room!
Sarah is picking up on all his distractedness, and they fight some more, until she walks out on him one night. Once she does that, it frees up Alex to grab a shovel, and head out to the football field to bury Walker.
Once his work is done, Mary Lou appears in the school nurse's office, giving him a striptease from the window, and the movie intercuts between body disposal and them having sex.
I am VERY uncomfortable at juxtaposing sex with a ghost against burying a corpse. I love how it's shot, and the similarities are amazing. I mean, the similarities in moments and shots are well spotted, but, uh...
Following that, Alex tries to set a few ground rules, like no killing. Careful, she'll just kneecap the guys from now on!
Alex is suddenly #1 on the honour roll, and the guidance counselor finds this very suspicious. She clickstomps down to the science class to have words with Mr. Walker, but gets waylaid by Mary Lou on the way there.
She gets dragged into the family studies room, shoved into a hair styling chair, and drenched in battery acid.
Alex gets called to the home ec room to see her handy work, and he is not happy she has issues with understanding that whole 'no killing' rule.
Brief aside, there's this moment where Shane is getting fed up with Alex's distraction too, and CLEARLY says "what a dick!" but they overdubbed it with "what a dork!"
Things tick along for a bit, with Alex getting a motorcycle for the academic excellence from his parents, Sarah doing a lot of baking because she's super angry, etc etc.
We get back to the plot with Alex disposing of the guidance counselor, when his football captain class president rival Andrew shows up to the field to be a dick...er, dork.
Someone - spoiler, it's Mary Lou - shows up in football uniform to toss a ball at Andrew, and he's down for that. So he goes long, and as the ball flies towards him, it pulls a Phantasm and transforms into a drill bit, gutting him.
Alex says they're done, Mary Lou screams and stomps her feet until she disappears in a puff of pink light.
...So, movie's over? I can go home now, yes?
No, of course it's never that easy. Because as he tries to patch things up with Sarah and ask her to prom, Mary Lou lurks around. She can't have that!
She then pops up in a sex ed video to speak to Alex, so that didn't last long at all.
Alex does some research to try and figure out how to get rid of the spirit, and reads that "Exorcism can only occur at the price of a human soul..." SINCE WHEN? Okay fine, they do specify a 'sexual possession' but I still call bullshit.
He then has a nightmare of all the bodies he's buried crawling out of the football field to have their revenge.
Oh, and while he's having bad dreams, the cops have discovered the bodies after the football field was being re-sodded. Well, this ain't gonna be good.
Alex heads over to Shane's and confesses everything that's been going on. And Shane seems pretty chill about all this, just nodding and listening and drinking beer. That's true friendship.
He passes out, and then his little sister comes over to collect him...and try and seduce Shane. Oh, I'm sure this is all perfectly normal and not at all...Ooop, she's possessed by Mary Lou and rips out Shane's heart.
Alex rushes home to protect his family, arms up in a montage, and keeps himself going with pills and caffeine. So when Mary Lou starts taunting him, he starts to spin around wildly. Dude, paranoia plus jumped up on speed is a bad combo. And you added guns to the mix, to boot.
The cops show up, arrest Alex, and drag him off. Huh. Again, this could be another ending for the movie. But it's still going. I'd be totally down with Alex being convicted as an ending, honestly.
But as he sits in a cell, Mary Lou shows up in her latest costume, a cop. This girl really digs her roleplay. At least dating her will never be boring. Oh and also because of the murder.
She realises the thing stopping Alex is his actual girlfriend, and she goes to take care of that problem, while Alex breaks out thanks to the handy cops she zaps outside his cell.
But hey! This is a Prom Night movie, so finally it's time for prom! I knew we'd get there eventually! And what better place to finally have our final confrontation.
Sarah shows up with her nerdy, schedule obsessed back-up date, and while she hits the restroom, he gets lured to the business studies classroom, and meets Mary Lou.
After doing her business, Sarah tries to find him, and comes across his body all wrapped up in tape, hanging around the classroom.
That's when Mary Lou shows up and chases Sarah back to the gym. Complete with more nauseating spinning Raimi-Cam
Everyone arrives in the gym, and Mary Mary quite contrary, grabs Sarah. However, Alex offers himself, the one she really wants, to go with her wherever she wants, if she'll just leave Sarah alone.
And so she grabs her boyfriend, drags him down to Hell, and Sarah jumps down the pit too before it closes up behind them.
She gets chased around by all the people that have died so far, because they can't afford to pay for any extras to populate the Hellementary school with other faces. I guess Hell IS other people, and they're all someone you know.
But have no fear, Sarah finds some stuff to cobble together a makeshift flamethrower and take care of all you zombies__
Meanwhile, Alex and Mary Lou go to be crowned hell prom's hell king and hell queen...which involves a crown for Alex with a drill in it so he'll be properly dead and belong there. And unable to leave, natch.
Before that can happen though, Sarah arrives to save the day, saying she doesn't get mad, she bakes, and with the flamethrower...I really appreciate the setup and pay off.
Including that the flamethrower fails to work in her big hero moment. However, she slices into the piping so there's gas and flames sparking just waiting to explode.
The girls get into a fight, and the impending bomb lands at Alex's feet while they fight. Sarah eventually grabs the propane tank and pulls a bit of a Jaws by shoving it into the dead girl's cleavage until it explodes.
Our heroes escape and run off, stealing a hell car, and hey! Free car! If it gets them back to the real world, free 1950s car!! Sell that classic!
They struggle to get the car out of there while they get surrounded by zombies, until Sarah hotwires the car and they drive off into the sunset...
...No wait, the movie is still not over.
Mary Lou is standing there, blown up AGAIN and Alex runs her over, pushing past her, and the car poofs through her to a road in the middle of nowhere.
They look for a phone to call their parents and um, should I mention that Alex still is an escaped suspect, with four murders to be pinned on him, and zero alibi?
While Alex tries to phone home, Mary Lou suddenly appears in the back seat, and rips out Sarah's heart.
Alex realises many many things are wrong, everything is still very 50s, and Alex is still trapped...and THAT is where we end, with Alex trapped either in the 50s, or in hell, with all his friends dead so they can keep him company along with Mary Lou.
Video: It's not great, it's pretty rough at times, but it's just fine. Very average.
Audio: Just fine.
Sound Bite: "I told you top stop killing people!" "That wasn't a person...that was a guidance counselor."
Body Count: A pretty decent amount, all things told!
1 - Janitor gets the shock of his life about five minutes in.
2 - Mr. Walker gets the splits.
3 - Ms. Richards gets a battery acid makeover.
4 - Dylan Neal gets a deathball to the face
5 - Shane shows how big a heart he has.
6 & 7 - Two cops get zapped by Mary Lou
8 - Lawrence gets killed on schedule.
9 - Sarah gets her heart broken
Best Corpse: Mmm, tough tough choice. But I'll go with Walker's banana splitted body. That's gruesome and I've never seen anything like that before.
Blood Type - B+: Lots of blood, some gory as heck effects, although also pretty silly.
Sex Appeal: There's quite a few sex scenes, but they keep things pretty tame and PG.
Drink Up! every time Mary Lou tries on a new costume.
Video Nasties: The short scene with Mary Lou confronting Walker with deadly ice cream cones is a lot of fun.
Movie Review: First off, it's not apparent from my review, but this movie has a LOT more humour than the others. It's very jokey, and borders on comedy. It's almost unsettling, and the two play very well together here. The acting is okay enough, the story works, and the film is generally well made, even if you can tell they're just cranking this one out to cash in. Three out of five ice cream cones.
Entertainment Review: This is definitely fun, it's a little campy, but not TOO much, and the entertainment is purely derived from the movie itself. I wish it was a little less silly, and I feel like there's something lacking I can't quite put my finger on. It's just fine though, and thoroughly average. Three out of five deadly footballs.