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Brandon’s Blu-ray Wishlist – October 9, 2014

Brandon's Blu-ray Wishlist THUMBAnother week, another horror film on the wishlist and another sequel to boot.  In the realm of horror, we’ve had countless sequels, and Blu-ray is the format that seemingly is hesitant or taking its time to crank a lot of them out into production.  A lot of these movies have gone from big titles, hits at the theater or on home video and become somewhat of more obscure cult items with the passage of time.  Its not just the horror genre either, even big time Schwarzenegger hits from the 80s seem to be more niche interest and those were huge A-list titles during their time.

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Hello Mary Lou wishlist

Hello Mary Lou: Prom Night II (1987)

It was seven years before the original Prom Night got a sequel.  And in all reality, its more a sequel in name and “spirit” than anything else.  For most going in, its a surprise to see that this film is such a departure from the original slasher.  In fact, its not much of a slasher at all.  The film is a supernatural story.  If the first one was “inspired by” or knocking off John Carpenter’s Halloween, then Prom Night II was knocking off Wes Craven’s A Nightmare On Elm Street.

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This sequel actually feels a little more in spirit of actual prom-related horrors than the first one.  The original was like most slashers, little to do with the history or traditions of a holiday and more to do with a a guy knifing people on that date on the calendar.  Hello Mary Lou seems to drive from that old urban legend or ghost story about that girl who doesn’t have a lot of money for a prom dress.  You know, the one where she winds up buying one at a thrift store that happens to have belonged to a previous owner that died in the dress?  And then wearing it and having it around brings weird things?  Yep, that’s the one.

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Prom Night II is more of supernatural horror special effects extravaganza than the suspense oriented, down to Earth original.  There are plenty of really cool dream sequences and just weird art-house’y almost things going on.  If you treat it on its own and get over the fact this is more of its own thing, you’ll see that this is a pretty fun horror movie.  In fact, I personally think this is a better film than the original.  The film has a lot more going on, has its own sense of creepiness and is a little more colorful with its characters, effects and deaths.  One thing I do appreciate as well, as while it is a horror movie first and foremost, its also not afraid to be a little loose with its tone, featuring some wink-wink references and appreciate for where some things came from (there’s some characters with the last name Carpenter, Waters and Browning).

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Are there any sort of celebrities in this one like Leslie Nielson and Jamie Lee Curtis from the first one?  Well, not as big of names.  We get Michael Ironside most notable.  He plays the school principle and the grown up version of one of the guys whose hi jinx led to Mary Lou’s demise in the opening flashback.  You’ll also get to see a young Louis Ferreira as Vicki’s boyfriend.  Louis may not be a household name, but you’ve likely seen him guest on TV or pop up in a movie somewhere.  I’m pretty sure he was in an episode or two of the final season of Breaking Bad.

Prom Night II a

Upon its release, Hello Mary Lou: Prom Night II did not take the box office by storm.  It made a little bit of money.  Where it banked, however was home video during VHS’s hayday.  Personally, I remember seeing this one in more video stores for rental than I did the first one.  I always really like this poster and unique way of titling the sequel.  Heck, back in the day this was a major home video release, getting the big cardboard standup treatment and everything.  I miss those days.

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Speaking of home video, its time we pick on whoever has the rights to this one.  Warner Bros is actually getting a week off here from my torment.  This one belongs to MGM.  What makes me perk up when I see MGM, is that Scream Factory has sublicensed a lot of their titles.  Synapse Films did quite a remarkable job with the first one, so it’d be cool to see Scream Factory step in and one-up them with a sweet Collector’s Edition of this superior sequel.  Its October, and Scream Factory is announcing future titles like crazy, so maybe this one is down the pike.  Or…possibly they can crush my dreams immediately if they’re reading this 🙂

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Writer/Reviewer, lifelong obsessive film nerd. As eager to educate in the world of film as I am to learn. An avid lover of horror, schlock and trash, Brandon hosts the Cult Cinema Cavalcade podcast on the Creative Zombie Studios Network (www.cultcinemacavalcade.com) You can also find more essays on his blog Naptown Nerd (naptownnerd.blogspot.com).

1 Response to “Brandon’s Blu-ray Wishlist – October 9, 2014”


  1. Eric with Cheese Ashley

    I adore this film! I really enjoyed it because of its obvious influences from the Nightmare on Elm Street franchise, but also because of its really creepy undertones – including a hint of incest. This is my favorite entry in the Prom Night series as i was pretty disappointed in the hokey jokey approach Prom Night III took despite following up with this storyline.