Prom Night (1980)
Cast: Jamie Lee Curtis, Leslie Nielsen, Casey Stevens
Director: Paul Lynch
Nutshell: Unusually dull but successful 80’s Halloween clone
“entertaining enough… it’s a night out, just”” Time Out
“predictable slasher fare” Creature Features
“predictable Halloween clone” Splatter Movies
“not the worst of it’s type” Maltin’s
“typically ghastly” Blockbuster Video
Turgid and utterly uninspired horror flick with no imagination at all – and oh that ghastly unrelenting plodding disco beat! Yet another unashamed Halloween rip off, at least this one has the advantage of featuring Halloween Scream Queen Jamie Lee Curtis who is her usual excellent self, lending class to a pretty shoddy affair.
The usual masked killer suffering from chronic asthma (i.e Michael Myers breathing sound from Halloween) picks off young disco dollies on that cursed night of all…the pity is that he didn’t do away with the horrendous disc jockey earlier in proceedings – we would have been saved the monstrous numbers he keeps playing time and again.
There is a supposed twist in the tail which one is least bothered about having been literally discoed to death and total submission by that time, none of the characters are above contempt and one is quite pleased to see the ax killer do his thing on them.
There is enough blood and gore to satisfy the ghouls, though I am afraid Tom Savini’s expertise is glaringly missing, and thus the laughably rubbery decaptitated number.
The film has its serious followers and Time Out actually gave it a reasonable review calling it “a night out”. Testement to its considerable following is the fact that several sequels have been released, each worse then the one it followed!
Prom Night will largely be remembered as absolutely stock 80’s slasher fare with no frills. It was also brought back from the archives of memory because of the references made to it in Wes Craven’s wildly successful Scream therefore introducing it to a whole new generation of kids.