PROM NIGHT III: THE LAST KISS
“Alex thinks he’s died and gone to heaven. He’s half right.”
Directors: Ron Oliver & Peter Simpson / Writer: Ron Oliver / Cast: Tim Conlon, Cyndy Preston, Courtney Taylor, David Stratton, Jeremy Ratchford, Dylan Neal, Brock Simpson, Juno Mills Cockell.
Body Count: 9
Laughter Lines: “Experts agree his psychotic killing spree could be the result of bad dietary habits, rock n’ roll lyrics, and too many horror movies.”
Despite being as far removed from the original 1980 film as humanly possible, this second outing for prom queen from hell Mary Lou Maloney (now played by Taylor) actually ranks as a witty and often hilarious Elm Street Xerox.
After escaping from hell once again, Mary Lou sets her sights on high school Mr Average Alex Grey, who complains to his brainiac girlfriend, Sarah, that he’s average height, with average shoe size, and will most likely live on a street named after a tree (Elm Street, perhaps?) This feeling is compounded by his guidance counsellor telling him he’ll never get into med school.
But then it’s a case of Hello Mary Lou, Goodbye Heart. Or rather, goodbye various staff and students, as she goes to the zany place of psycho in love and begins offing anybody who threatens his success of their deranged love affair. Krueger-inspired sequences include killer ice creams, a blender in the mouth, exploding pacemaker, a battery acid bath, and the football toss from hell.
As ever in these man-falls-for-demon-woman opuses, Alex eventually realises Mary Lou’s predilection for murder is a road to hell and tries to rid himself of her and get back with Sarah, but ML won’t give up easily and sets about framing Alex for murder after bodies buried on the football field are unearthed, and turning up everywhere to remind him of her power.
It wouldn’t be a Prom Night without a prom, though it’s almost an afterthought as Alex breaks out (and kidnaps a cop played by series-regular Brock Simpson) to rescue Sarah, which culminates in both of them taking on Mary Lou in hell. Out to save her man, Sarah encounters zombies, and the jukebox from hell, which fires 45s at lethal speed.
The incidental music from the original creeps in during one scene, which provides a brief echo of the central death-at-the-prom motif as a victim-to-be totters naively away from supervision to investigate a strange sound.
The Last Kiss succeeds where the previous film faltered with a mix of sarcastic and goofball comedy, Conlon’s appealing Bruce Campbell-esque charisma, a good dose of 50s nostalgia and tunes, and the establishment of Mary Lou as a fitting female counterpart to Freddy. The film went to video outside of Canada and the storyline was abandoned for a return to slasher fundamentals for Prom Night IV two years later, but by the 90s things were looking bad even for Freddy, so it’s likely for the best they laid Mary Lou to rest hereafter.
Blurb-of-interest: Courtney Taylor was in 1999 cheapo flick Camp Blood.