Prom Night (1980)


Six years ago four kids make a pack to keep a secret, which involved the mysterious death of child Robin Hammond. They thought that were the only ones who knew what had happened, but some else witnessed it to. Now that person strings them along, to eventually plan their revenge during Prom night.

A real thank-you to the commercial success of “Halloween (1977)” and “Friday the 13th (1980), which saw the influx of slasher films and “Prom Night” was one of the first to step up. Too bad that we have here is an unspectacular so-so, if slick looking slasher effort that got caught labouring along with very little happening and providing us with corny school melodramatics. When it came to the crunch, most of the Prom Night sequences was about getting the groove on and listening to funky dory disco soundtrack. Oh it just makes you want to bogey; well it didn’t stop Jamie Lee Curtis from strutting her stuff. However when it came to the good stuff, I thought the novel deaths were soundly executed, and there’s a certain unpleasantness about them. When the black hooded killer (who’s quite fast on their feet and would make for a good shaker too) is tormenting and stalking the victims (from be it to the phone calls or hanging about in the shadowy corridors) there’s an ominous air to proceedings, which director Paul Lynch pulls off rather well. It’s just too bad that most of the time is used setting this all up with ineffective red herrings and below par, drawn out script. Too many loose ends creep in, even though the premise is quite slight and you can find yourself laughing at its unintentional goofiness and picking up on it predictability.

Robert New’s stunningly vivid camera movements are atmospherically airy and Paul Zaza and Carl Zittrer’s sorrowfully twisted musical score gets it cues right. The performances from the cast are acceptable with a likable Jamie Lee Curtis (earning her scream queen tag at the time) proves herself as an upcoming talent. Weak character, but well judged performance. Leslie Nielsen looks awkwardly distracted, and seems to duck off in a phone-in performance and George Touliatos gives the film some solidarity. Anne-Marie Martin is a delight as the scheming sexpot Wendy, David Mucci is perfect as the boorish brute Lou and Casey Stevens is modest as Curtis’ prom date Nick.