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Film / Hello Mary-Lou: Prom Night II

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An old flame returns.

Hello Mary Lou: Prom Night II is a 1987 sequel to Prom Night (1980).

The film centers around the ghost of one Mary Lou Maloney, a girl who was accidentally killed during her prom queen crowning in the 50s. Her spirit is accidentally released by a girl named Vicki when she finds her supposed prom queen regalia in the school's prop room. Mary Lou possesses her, and sets out to get revenge on those responsible for her death and become the prom queen once more.

The movie actually has nothing to do with the original Prom Night, other than the title, and the film's school having the same name (this is a coincidence). It was filmed as its own independent movie as "The Haunting of Hamilton High", but the studio purposed it as a sequel to Prom Night in an attempt to make more money. The producer, Peter Simpson, blames this for the film's box office failure, and insists that it should be watched as its own movie, not a sequel.

The film has developed a small cult following following its release on home video, and got a direct-to-video sequel of its own: Prom Night III: The Last Kiss.

This film has the examples of:

  • Accidental Murder: Mary Lou's death is caused by Billy dropping a stink bomb on her as she is crowned, which ignites her dress, turning her into a Woman on Fire.
  • Alpha Bitch: Mary Lou when she was alive, and Kelly in the present, though Kelly is more of a deconstructed type; venomous to her rivals but nice to everyone else, with hints of insecurity.
  • Ambiguously Bi: Mary Lou, as suggested during the scene of her in Vicki's body walking into the girl's shower room completely naked to kiss Monica on the forehead. Monica might count as well, as she is shown enjoying the kissing at first before freaking out and running, though this seems to be more because kissing her is so unlike Vicki, rather than because she finds the idea inherently disgusting.
  • Anachronism Stew:
    • The song "Hello Mary Lou", which the writers presumably named the villain after, didn't come out until 1961, whereas in the movie Mary Lou died in 1957, yet they still play the song in the movie and it seems to be a sort of trademark favorite song for her that comes on the radio whenever she's in the vicinity.
    • The “Mary Lou ” song played during the 1957 prom sequence was initially recorded in 1955 by Young Jessie, but the recording used in the film, by Ronnie Hawkins, wasn’t released until 1959.
  • Anomalous Art: Shortly after looking at a sketched self-portrait, Vicki looks at it again to find the drawing rearranged in the likeness of Mary Lou.
  • The Atoner: Buddy and Billy both seem to be struggling to move past what happened to Mary Lou by shedding the traces of their old selves.
  • Beta Couple: A lot of the film follows Craig and Vicki, but Monica and Josh's flirtation and agreement to go to the prom together gets some attention.
  • Beware the Nice Ones: Vicki loudly calls Kelly a bitch for mocking Jess after her death, and also proceeds to slap her.
  • Create Your Own Villain: Sort of. Billy accidently killed Mary Lou after a silly prank gone wrong, so now she's trying to get revenge on Billy for what he did.
  • Creator Cameo: Just before the climax, writer Ron Oliver plays a prom attender who makes an unwitting Double Entendre.
  • Dark World: Shortly after unearthing Mary Lou's 1957 crown, Vicki intermittently finds herself in darkened, decayed versions of the school, peopled with the ghosts of former students.
  • Deadly Prank: Billy simply tried to embarrass Mary Lou as a revenge for cheating on him and rubbing it in his face, but instead caused her death.
  • Demonic Possession: Once Mary Lou's spirit is freed, she starts harassing Vicki until she manages to take over her body.
  • Depraved Bisexual: Mary Lou swings both ways, as evident on her attempt to seduce Monica.
  • Disproportionate Retribution: Jess chips off one of the rhinestones on the prom queen tiara, which causes Mary Lou's spirit to violently toy with her by dragging her around the art room by the cape from the trunk, making it look like that she is going to chop her head off with a paper trimmer before hanging her by the cape and then throwing her body out the window.
  • Dolled-Up Installment: The film was originally an unrelated original movie, The Haunting of Hamilton High, before it was refitted to capitalize on Prom Night's success.
  • Downer Ending: Mary Lou is subdued by now older Billy by putting her prom crown on her head, which presumably satisfies the conditions of her revenge. He also decides to steal a kiss from her as a form of trying to make right what happened 30 years ago. Cue romantic flashback to the original prom. What is actually happening is that the prom queen is using the opportunity to Body Surf into the guy, who then goes on to (presumably) kill his children off-camera. So, essentially, The Bad Guy Wins.
  • Establishing Character Moment: Mary Lou's first scene has her going to a Confessional and listing various adulterous behaviour to the priest. But instead of asking for forgiveness, she instead tells him that she loved every minute of it and scribbles "For a good time call Mary Lou" on the confessional booth's wall with her lipstick, presumably to show she considers the whole idea of goodness in general to be a joke
  • Every Man Has His Price: Josh refuses offers of several hundred dollars from Kelly to rig the voting, but does offer her oral sex for it (although since at the time he was wooing Monica, it's unclear if he meant that and was a Bitch in Sheep's Clothing or was just trying to name a price he thought Kelly wouldn't go for to make her leave).
  • Evil Is Petty: Is. It. Ever. A vengeful spirit whose sole ambitions are to claim her Prom Queen crown and reap revenge.
  • Fan Disservice: The possessed Vicki making out with her dad. Need we say more?
  • 555: Averted. The phone number Mary Lou writes on the confessional booth was screenwriter Ron Oliver's actual phone number in Toronto at the time. He used it as a gag just to see what would happen, but wound up never receiving a phone call asking for Mary Lou.
  • Freeze-Frame Bonus: When Vicki studies Mary Lou's yearbook photo, pause and take a closer look at the entry to the right of Mary Lou, describing Paul White. His nickname is Petunia, his favorite activity is hanging around the locker rooms after football practice while dropping soap, and his life's ambition is to have a body like Jayne Mansfield.
  • Freudian Excuse Is No Excuse: Mary Lou's tragic death might have made her somewhat sympathetic, if not for the fact that even when she was alive, she was a massive asshole and as a ghost, she kills a bunch of innocent people who had nothing to do with her death, seemingly just for fun.
  • Full-Frontal Assault: Mary Lou hunting Monica through the locker room. Hot, yet terrifying. A particularly effective illustration of the trope in that the character who is unashamedly naked is visually much more powerful and intimidating than the one who hides her nudity with a Modesty Towel, even though both are young women of approximately equal build and by rights should be much more evenly matched.
  • Haunted Technology: Briefly, and lethally, a computer.
  • High-Voltage Death: Mary Lou electrocutes Josh as he tries to rig the prom queen vote tally for Kelly's favour with his computer.
  • Hollywood Atheist: Mary Lou seems to be a variant of this. Her "confession" at the beginning implies she considers the whole idea of religion (or feeling guilt, or being good in general) to be a joke, and later when she possesses Vicki she tells Father Cooper there's no God or Heaven (which seems a bit odd coming from a ghost, but oh well.)
  • Icy Blue Eyes: Mary Lou has some admittedly beautiful ones. At the end, when Bill is possessed by her, his eyes flash blue briefly.
  • Innocently Insensitive: After Vicki wins prom queen, another one of the prom-goers calls out to Kelly, asking how she blew it. Since she has just given Josh a blow job while trying to win, this comment visibly hits her a lot more painfully than the guy had meant it.
  • Laser-Guided Karma: Smug Kelly ends up having to give a blow job to win the title of the prom queen, doesn't get it, and is killed completely by accident when she gets stabbed in the chest when one of the neon lights in the auditorium comes loose during Mary Lou's rampage.
  • Light Is Not Good: In the basement prop room, a chest which housed Mary Lou's crown, on provocation of her ghost, exudes a brilliant white glow.
  • Lovable Alpha Bitch: For all her venom towards Vicki and Monica, Kelly's friendly approach to everyone else hints a genuine desire to be liked.
  • Made of Plasticine: That neon light doesn't really look like it's hitting Kelly that hard. It just kinda... falls against her. It seems like impalement would take more force.
  • Mind over Matter: Mary Lou kills Monica by crushing her inside the locker that she's using to hide from her.
  • My Beloved Smother: Vicki's mom comes across as a really watered down version of Margaret White, though thankfully her dad is still around and he is much more understanding.
  • Nice Girl: Other than a well-deserved remark towards Kelly, Vicki is nice and polite to everyone and seems like the most innocent of the girls (which may be why Mary Lou decided to possess her over the others)
  • Not My Driver: The film ends with our protagonists getting in a car that's being driven by Mary Lou. It is likely that they were killed by her.
  • Our Ghosts Are Different:
    • Mary Lou's spirit manifests as a brilliant white glow from the chest which houses her crown; in various outbursts of psychokinesis, commandeering of Vicki's body, as a charred corpse which climbs out of a bullet wound in Vicki's chest, and finally, as a virtually unscathed phantasm of her seventeen-year-old self.
    • Vicki sometimes finds herself in dark, derelict phantasms of the school, peopled by the ghosts of former students. Those in the gym have a slight greyish pallor.
  • Parental Incest: Late in the movie, Mary Lou (while controlling Vicki's body) seduces Vicki's father and later tries to seduce her mother when she walks in on them, before ultimately killing them both.
  • Percussive Prevention: In order to protect him, Principal Cooper knocks out his son Craig when he tries to go look for Vicki.
  • Pet the Dog: Either her actress or the script gives Kelly too many moments of this to be completely unlikable, such as showing concern when Jess hurries out of the art room (upset after learning she's pregnant), when Vicki is lying unconscious in the gym (although to be fair, Kelly had been the one to accidentally knock her out with a thrown volleyball in the first place) and when Vicki has been shot due to being possessed.
  • Plot-Triggering Death: Mary Lou's death instigates everything that happens in the film.
  • Prom Wrecker: Billy's plan to get revenge on Mary Lou for making out with another boy is to toss a stink bomb on her when she gets named prom queen. Unfortunately, the bomb ignites her dress and burns her alive.
  • Really Gets Around: Mary Lou when she was still alive, which ultimately led to her cuckolded boyfriend Billy accidentally killing her.
  • Sequel: The Original Title: Done by combining Titled After the Song ("Hello Mary Lou" is a pop song from the sixties) and Numbered Sequels.
  • Shout-Out Theme Naming: Plenty of characters share surnames with famous horror creators: Craven, King, Romero, Browning, Dante, Carpenter, Waters, Henenlotter....
  • Shower Scene: Gratuitous nudity is provided when Mary Lou, in the guise as Vicki, tries to seduce Monica while she is taking a shower.
  • Sliding Scale of Comedy and Horror: This film has a much lighter tone than the previous Prom Night, and could be considered a black comedy, but still has enough genuine terror to split it about half/half.
  • Small Role, Big Impact: Mary Lou is the central character and the film revolves entirely around her, but Lisa Schrage only has about six-and-a-half minutes of screen-time - appearing at the beginning, end, and sporadically seen through photographs in between. Most of Mary Lou's scenes occur while she is possessing Vicki.
  • Speak Ill of the Dead: Kelly, being the Alpha Bitch that she is, does this after Jess' death, (specifically the day after her funeral) straight to the faces of the latter's best friends, Vicki and Monica, no less! Vicki understandably doesn't take it well.
    Kelly: The competition seems to be dwindling. You two should take the hint from Jess.
    Vicki: You shut your fucking mouth, BITCH!
  • Sour Outside, Sad Inside: Kelly's attempt to bribe Josh to rig the voting tally, and her sad, defeated reaction to his price of fellatio, hint at insecurity.
  • Tap on the Head: Craig is knocked out long enough for his dad to drive to the prom after being hit once with a plimsoll-like shoe.
  • Uncertain Doom:
    • Kelly who is stabbed in the stomach by a falling decoration during the prom, but still seems to be stirring a little in the last scene, and might not have been stabbed too deeply. During the final scene, there's only one bodybag in the background, and judging by the lack of breasts curves, it was Josh's.
    • Billy, Craig and Vicki are all trapped by Mary-Lou at the end of the movie, but the fact that the next movie begins with Mary-Lou trapped in hell implies that they could have defeated her.
  • The Vamp: Mary Lou was a spiteful bitch even before she died; killing her gave her a power boost and propelled her into pure evilness.


Video Example(s):


Prom Night 2 Ending

Evil ghost Mary Lou has been defeated and all is well...or is it?

How well does it match the trope?

5 (1 votes)

Example of:

Main / NotMyDriver

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