- Alternative Character Interpretation: While her venom toward Vicki and extravagant bid to win the prom queen vote might indicate a comedic antagonist, theres a warmth to Kellys cheery front of self-confidence, and her hidden insecurity is played poignantly straight. Her fruitless concession to Joshs price of fellatio in exchange for rigging the votes might have been seen as Black Comedy Laser-Guided Karma for her Speak Ill of the Dead jibe, were it not for her quietly devastated reaction to losing a desperately sought esteem and adulation.
- Complete Monster: Mary Lou Maloney, from here and the following film, was a popular, if spiteful and manipulative girl in life, but became something much, much worse in death. When she used two boys, Buddy and Billy to become prom queen, and is killed in a revenge prank gone wrong, Mary's spirit awakens years later, killing a pregnant teenager named Jess and possessing her friend Vicki, trapping the latter in a dark world. Mary Lou seeks to become prom queen again, killing everyone who gets in her way; this includes Buddy, now a priest; Vicki's friend Monica; and attempts to seduce Vicki's father in his daughter's body before killing her mother. Mary Lou learns Vicki is now dating Billy's son Craig, and seeks revenge on Billy through his son. Billy is forced to shoot Vicki, causing Mary Lou's spirit to manifest and go on a rampage, during which she attempts to drag Craig into the underworld. When seemingly defeated, Mary Lou possesses Billy with the apparent intent to try to kill Vicki and Craig again. Escaping hell in the following film, Mary Lou kills another one of her ex-boyfriends before seducing and becoming obsessed with a student named Alex. Mary Lou would go on to kill students and teachers for Alex before he rejects her. In retaliation, Mary Lou kills his best friend Shane, framing Alex for the deed and plans on killing his girlfriend Sarah. At the prom, Mary Lou agrees to let Sarah live if Alex agrees to be her prom king for eternity in Hell. When Sarah seemingly rescues Alex, Mary Lou kills Sarah before leaving Alex stranded in Hell.
- Evil Is Petty: Is. It. Ever. A vengeful spirit whose sole ambitions are to claim her Prom Queen crown and reap revenge.
- Evil Is Sexy: Mary Lou, an attractive (both in her original body and Vicki's), promiscuous Depraved Bisexual who gets a full frontal scene while riding around in Vicki's body and trying to seduce Monica in the shower.
- Jerkass Woobie: Kelly is an asshole, no question. But it's hard not to feel sorry for her seeing how humiliated she is after giving Josh his Sex for Services, and her look of "I went through that for nothing?" when Vicki is announced as prom queen is even worse.
- While vicious to Vicki and Monica, Kelly's perfectly friendly approach to everyone else, and attempt to bribe Josh to rig the votes, hint a desperation to be liked and adulated. While Josh wryly suggests her higher social station, she seems genuinely fond of him. On reading on the computer screen his price of fellatio, her look of forlorn humiliation further indicates that she does indeed have a heart. On finding she went through with it for nothing, her devastated expression may well provoke a strong urge to hug her.
- Narm: Mary Lou!Vicki singing "Tutti Frutti" as she telekinetically crushes Monica in the locker.
- Nightmare Fuel:
- The opening scene where Mary Lou burns to death, at the time the longest staged burn ever done on film, is incredibly well shot, utterly terrifying and also heartbreaking. Audiences can feel her pain and join in the horror of those witnessing the event.
- Other high points include Jesse's incredibly violent death, the locker room scene, and that rocking horse with its fucking tongue.
- Special Effect Failure:
- For the open matte VHS release, Wendy Lyon is clearly replaced by a phony looking dummy when Mary Lou's corpse crawls out of Vicki's body. It's less of an issue in the widescreen version, where the dummy's head cannot be seen.
- When Mary Lou's rotted corpse is standing on the gymnasium stage, the edge of the rubber mask the actress is wearing can clearly be seen when she leans her head back.
- Surprisingly Improved Sequel: Although it can barely be called a sequel, and the first still has a following, Hello Mary Lou manages to be much scarier, better-acted, and less boring than the first. It also takes itself less seriously, and has more fun with its ridiculous premise.
- Values Dissonance: Audiences in the Eighties were probably supposed to take Kelly's humiliation after giving in to Josh's demands for Sex for Services as an appropriate comeuppance for a mean girl. Today, it creates sympathy for a character who's probably not supposed to be sympathetic. By the same token, Josh comes off less as a roguish scamp putting one over on a stuck up princess and more like a sexual predator.
YMMV / Hello Mary Lou: Prom Night II