JANUARY 27, 2009
The last thing I expected Prom Night III: The Last Kiss to be was INTENTIONALLY funny, but there it is. It’s a lousy horror movie, in that there’s nothing scary or even minorly suspenseful about it (something I could just as easily say about the first two installments), but yet it entertains, coasting along on its laid-back approach and oddball humor.
The key provider of the comedy is the droll PA announcer that pipes up during pretty much every establishing shot of the hallways or immediate grounds of the high school where most of the movie takes place. “The chess club meeting has been canceled, members are to report to the library and play with themselves.” Juvenile to be sure, but damned if it didn’t make me crack up, and that’s probably the weakest quip of the bunch.
Another source of humor is the completely blasé attitude of the hero whenever Mary Lou kills someone. He reacts as in the same way, if not even stronger, as someone might to a dog that piddled on their floor. This, of course, is awesome to someone like me, who misses the old days of horror movies in which human life was never really respected by villains OR heroes.
And it’s a good thing that all this stuff kept me entertained, because the horror aspect was a total bust. Mary Lou starts off by killing anyone who would impede the success of our hero, but after a while she’s just killing anyone (even the guy who is attempting to move in on the hero’s girl; you’d think she’d WANT him around). Then the final 20 minutes inexplicably turns into a zombie movie, and damned if I even understood what the hell was going on in the final scene. I don’t mind the kitchen sink attitude in some movies, but there’s a difference between being random and simply making it up as you go along, so after a while it began to wear a little thin.
One random thing I did enjoy, to whatever extent one enjoys such things: like yesterday’s movie, this had a character doing something completely inappropriate and then using the ill-fitting excuse “I was looking for a contact lens”. I am willing to bet that I am the only person in the world who can claim such a thing.
I also liked that, for the first (and I think last) time in the Prom Night series, the film was actually connected to the one before in a manner that didn’t involve actor Brock Simpson. Mary Lou was, as you all didn’t really care, the villain of the 2nd film, and even though she looks completely different and such, I liked that they seemed to be trying to establish some semblance of a mythology and connective tissue. It made it feel less cheap.
Unfortunately, Artisan didn’t care as much, and the DVD that I spent my hard earned 3 dollars on is actually a TV cut of the film, a fact the DVD (which lists an R rating) never addresses (i.e. with a warning like “This film has been modified...”). I noticed something was up when a guy was clearly dubbed to say “Dork” instead of “Dick” at one point (yet “Fag” was left in for another scene – I guess it’s more acceptable to general audiences to take a shot at a homosexual than at the male anatomy). The uncut version, which has nudity and gore and presumably more harsh language, is not available on region 1 DVD, and that is a shame; I for one wouldn’t mind looking at the knockers of the girl who played Mary Lou. And with Blu-Ray coming along, and the economy in the crapper, I doubt a deluxe DVD edition of a 19 year old DTV movie is high on anyone’s priority list. Oh well.
What say you?