Prom Night IV: Deliver Us from Evil (1991)
PROM NIGHT IV: DELIVER US FROM EVIL
WRITER: Richard Beattie
DIRECTOR: Clay Borris
STARRING: Nikki de Boer as Meagan
Alden Kane as Mark
Joy Tanner as Laura
Alle Ghadban as Jeff
Ken McGregor as Father Jaeger
Brock Simpson as Father Colin
James Carver as Father Jonas
QUICK CUT: A priest who fell on hard times, makes a triumphant return to his old stomping grounds, and makes vital connections with the students.
THE MORGUE: Hnngh. Two reviews in a row with very broad, samey characters. But this one gives me at least a LITTLE more to hang my hat on. So I guess I can sum these guys up a bit better.
Meagan - The prototypical Good Girl. She’s virginal, pure, almost to a fault. She is SO virginal, it is almost a caricature. But she has her heart in the right place, and is wanting to change that, despite her upbringing.
Mark - Meagan’s boyfriend, and the local Rich Kid. His family has money coming out the ears. This is his sole defining trait.
Laura - The Bad Girl to contrast Meagan’s Good. She’s blunt, has zero tact, is very much into sex and flirtation. But deep down,there is the Heart of Gold. She’s more mischievous than a real bad girl, and just has a reputation.
Jeff - He is Jeff. No, seriously, that’s pretty much where this guy begins and ends.
Father Jonas - A priest gone bad. He is very much into the punishment of any sin, and may be the best example of slasher movies punishing behaviour.
TRISK ANALYSIS: Welcome back, Triskelions! After the last few years, we have finally reached the final Prom Night movie, Deliver Us from Evil! I mean, yes, there’s the remake, but you know what I mean. I've got no long preamble this week, so let's just dive right in!
The movie opens up in 1957 with a priest praying for guidance on saving the sluts and the whores...and he looked down at them and whisper, "...no...".
Ahem no, this is not Rorschach's origin story. But with his extreme attitudes about people going against God, you can probably guess that he gets entire the wrong message, and gets a bit murdery.
We move over to Hamilton High School, where the local prom is winding down, and some couples are making out. I guess they could only afford to stage a prom for five minutes. One of them heads to their car for some more privacy, and are found by Father McStabby.
He hilariously sets out three candles atop the car's hood, before bothering to kill them. This at least gets their attention, but it's already too late, as he slits the girl's throat, and stabs Brad when he comes out of the car for a fight.
And points to setting the car on fire and letting it burn. I am always down for fire.
The movie shifts over to the seminary and the higher ups find Father Jonas flagellating himself in the catacombs, pleased with his work.
He's also suffering from stigmata, so the priests decide they can't just deal with him, and instead decide to keep him drugged, and cover up the murders. Whaaaaat? The Catholic church covering up the misdeeds of its members?? Preposterous!! Unheard of!
And so it goes for 35 some odd years, as we jump ahead to 1991, meet another priest, who plans to head out to Africa. But instead, he is reassigned to be the new caretaker of Jonas in the basement.
But lest ye forget this is a Prom Night movie, we get introduced to our canon fodder students, and they're pretty much your generic students. I can't even give them personalities as diverse as Jock or Nerd or Bimbo. The only one I can point to in any sort of identifiable way is Ezri Dax.
While the kids get up to teenaged antics and running afoul of nuns, the new priest takes care of Jonas, shaves him, and decides to not give him his sedagives. He wants to help Jonas, try and get him well, and I'm sure that will go great!
Also, while I haven't done this movie yet, the plot of Prom Night IV is strangely reminiscent of Happy Hell Night, but has the benefit of being about 110% more coherent.
Jonas has a change of heart though, and decides maybe he SHOULD sedate the madman in the basement, but it's too late. Jonas is awake, and when the priest is distracted by stigmata, Jonas attacks him and escapes. Surprising no one.
Meanwhile, Mark and Meagan are making out, while his little brother watches getting off on it like a little voyeur. And everything he says, his brother does! Oh no! He can control men’s minds!!
But in a great bit of hilarity, Mark catches him, and off screen we hear, "What are you gonna do about it...OW!" and I giggle.
Over at the catacombs, Father Colin wakes up to try and find Jonas before he escapes into the world (Spoiler: He fails) and is very quickly strangled and killed by the rogue priest.
While sexy flirty times are going on, Meagan says that "Jeff will just die" over how Laura looks...oh, more prophetic words have never been spoken.
But back at the church...this movie is really more a religious slasher than a Prom movie, innit? In fact, the next time we see our four character, they've left the prom! And give a toast to Jamie Lee Curtis. *snort* Okay that's cute.
They do eventually arrive at Mark's parent's summer home, in the middle of nowhere, and the perfect spot for a little bit of muuuurder.
I suppose I should point out that they discover someone has stolen all the appliances, broken a few locks, and stolen a few other things...but this has ultimately zero bearing on the plot and we are left to assume it was just general thievery.
While they're settling in for the weekend, we see they are constantly being watched, and the assumption is that it's our killer priest. But surprise! It's actually Mark's brother again! Which raises the question of how HE got out here, an hour away from home.
I mean, yes, the killer is ALSO there, but most of it is our little perv.
The movie has taken a long road to get here, but the third act is kicked off when Jonas decides there is only room for one peeping tom, and stabs Jonathan. Somehow, his howls of pain aren't heard by anyone.
Laura cleans up after some sex, and comes back to Jeff all wrapped up in blankets. She's about to try and get him to have a second round of sexytimes, but she gets spooked by noises at the door. Which sound like Science Crazed is at the door.
She does her best to wake up the sleeping Jeff, but it is revealed that JONAS is the one in bed, as he jumps up and grabs the girl. And Jeff is the one grunting like a gorilla into a microphone outside the bedroom.
He runs downstairs, grabs the other two, discover Laura is missing, and go searching for her.
While they search, Mark finds a breeze coming from behind a wall, peels back the paneling, and discovers some caves that had been boarded up.
But up in the attic, Jeff finds Laura, or so he thinks. Because when she turns around in the rocking chair, we find out Father Jonas is pulling a Norman Bates. Okay, I get where he got the clothes from, but having a blonde wig handy just in case you murdered a blonde girl, with plans to freak out her boyfriend? That's a stretch.
Unless he scalped her, which would be AAAWWEsome. Almost as awesome as Jonas crushing Jeff's head until he's dead. And lookit that! Jeff sure did die over seeing Laura!
Which now that two people are missing, leads to more wandering around calling out more names!
Mark sees something strange in the woodshed, and wants to go check it out. Meagan thinks they should finally do something sensible and call the cops, but Mark's brilliant idea is "No no, I want to see what's in the woodshed!"
There is absolutly zero things that are smart about that statement. But it does eventually lead to them finding their friends crucified, and very quickly set ablaze.
Father McStabbsy comes after them, while Meagan tries to hide, and Mark gets a gun. They also finally try and call the police.
Mark SOMEhow ends up on the roof, trying to evade Jonas, and there's a great scene of the two playing cat and mouse, trying to stab or shoot the other, guessing where they might be through the roof.
Sadly for Mark, it ends with him falling to his death, so he lost that game. Badly.
This leads to more chasing with the only two people left in the movie, Meagan and Jonas.
Jonas eventually finds her under the sink, but she sprays him with bug spray or something, and she runs off. She finds the gun, but the phone rings before she can use it. It's the cops, trying to verify the earlier call, but Jonas also picks up, and does some religious mumbo jumbo...
...So she hangs up. WHY. WHY WOULD YOU HANG UP? KEEP THE COPS ON THE LINE AND BEG FOR HELP.
Anyways, Jonas comes for Meagan, and it all culminates in the cinematic brilliance of the movie's final moments, where she takes aim at the rogue priest and says the line, "Forgive me Father, for I have sinned". Legit one of my favourite lines EVER.
Father Stabson starts setting things on fire and this *ahem* backfires horribly. Meagan fights back and he gets caught up in his own flames, the robes going up.
The movie goes for one last moment though, as the ambulance drives Meagan off, and we see the charred remains of Jonas suddenly wake up.
Oh, and if you didn't figure it out from all the clues, we pull back to reveal the summer home in the daylight, and it is indeed the seminary from 35 years ago where Jonas was kept in the caves like Gollum.
Video: It looks okay, pretty typical of straight to video fare, but it’s barely that.
Audio: Again, it sounds fine.
Sound Bite: We should call the cops! Nah, I wanna see what’s in the woodshed! MOST FAMOUS LAST WORDS EVER.
Body Count: Not a bad pile of bodies this time around! Much better after the slow movies I’ve had lately.
1 - Six minutes and twenty seconds in, and crazy priest slits a girl's throat.
2 - Soon followed by gutting her prom date.
3 - Priest gets strangled with phone cord
4 - Guy who picked up the hitcher is murdered.
5 - Brother kid gets gutted by the priest
6 - Jeff gets his head squeezed like a melon
7 - Laura goes up in flames
8 - Mark falls to his death
9 - Father McBastard gets shot then set on fire
Best Corpse: I love the double dose, triple if you count the priest shortly after, that burst into flames.
Blood Type - D+: Not a whole lot of blood, but not completely dry either. And I give points for fire.
Sex Appeal: Mostly supplied by Laura.
Drink Up! Every time a priest swears.
Video Nasties: Check out the cool rooftop fight!
Movie Review: I surprisingly enjoyed this. It’s annoyingly light on prom, but pretty packed with some decent acting, a nice pace, and a solid enough story. The kills don’t really stand out, but there’s enough of them to hold your interest. The cast is okay, and maybe a bit bland, but you like them, and kinda root for them. Prom Night IV is a solid enough movie. Four out of five cans of peas.
Entertainment Value: Straight up, the single biggest highlight is Father Jonas. His hatred of sin is so hilariously over the top, every utterance filled with swears, and his religious fervor is palpable. He is solely responsible for elevating this movie to another level. Three out of five crucifix swords.