Monday, July 11, 2016

Episode 11: Prom Night III (1990)

“It wasn’t a person. It was a guidance counsellor.”

Let me, if I may, toss you a hypothetical situation:

You’re a high school senior with average grades, but medical school aspirations. Your long-term relationship can be described as rocky, at best. You’re lacking in friends, popularity, and worst of all, your mediocre skills on the football field have let the team down again and again.

As if by some miracle, a beautiful and incredibly seductive enchantress enters your life. She’s passionate, immediately devoted, and more than willing to do whatever it takes to help you realize your dreams.

Your long-term girlfriend takes an immediate backseat when this beautiful seductress sends your GPA soaring to the top of the list, enhances your game-playing abilities with a few insider tips, and eliminates those who’ve stood in the way of your success (this includes teachers, guidance counsellors, and student body adversaries).

What does she want in exchange? For you to be her obedient love slave. Oh and to dispose of the horribly mutilated bodies she’s left in her wake, then join her for an eternity in Hell. What do you say? Well, if you’re average, small-town, second-string underachiever Alex Grey, you say abso-fuckin-lutely!

In the second sequel to the 1980 slasher essential, Prom Night III veers in an entirely different direction, blending dark humor with a healthy dose of blood ‘n guts. While the film’s predecessors contained a few jokes and jabs, The Last Kiss is more camp than straight slasher. With death scenes involving ice cream cones, 35mm film stock, and battery acid baths (“Relax! You’re soaking in it!”), this Canadian cult classic goes above and beyond to show the audience it doesn’t take itself too seriously and that everyone’s in on the joke.

For all these reasons, The Last Kiss remains my favorite instalment in the Prom Night franchise. Courtney Taylor’s portrayal of Mary Lou Maloney is apples and oranges in comparison to Hello Mary Lou’s Lisa Schrage, who, when not being a total bitch, pretty much played it straight. Taylor puts an entirely new spin on the character and quite obviously had a ball doing so. With a devious smirk and an arched eyebrow, she murderously wields electric mixers and delivers silly lines like, “I’m Alex’s new girlfriend. And you have a bad...ATTITUDE!”

Sadly, The Last Kiss has yet to see an uncut version on DVD or Blu ray in the United States (I'm sure we all remember the abomination that was Artisan's Prom Night III / Prom Night IV double-feature disc). For the purposes of this commentary, I used the R4 disc, which runs 1:35:47, and contains the R-rated edition originally released to home video by LIVE Entertainment. Although I removed my upload for fear of copyright infringement, this version can easily be found on YouTube.

So, grab a shovel and a twelve-pack of Trojans because it’s time to “dig a few holes and boff a ghost."

Brandon Ford's B-Movie Bonanza - Episode 11: Prom Night III (1990) from Brandon Ford on Vimeo.

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