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Prom Night
Prom Night
Actors: Leslie Nielsen, Jamie Lee Curtis, Casey Stevens, Anne-Marie Martin, Antoinette Bower
Director: Paul Lynch
Genres: Horror, Science Fiction & Fantasy
R     1998     1hr 29min

When it comes to an expressive set of lungs for horror, it's hard to match Jamie Lee Curtis, who set the standard for nonstop screaming in Halloween. She built her reputation as a scream queen in such subsequent outings as...  more »

     

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Movie Details

Actors: Leslie Nielsen, Jamie Lee Curtis, Casey Stevens, Anne-Marie Martin, Antoinette Bower
Director: Paul Lynch
Creators: Robert C. New, Brian Ravok, Peter R. Simpson, Richard Simpson, Robert Guza Jr., William Gray
Genres: Horror, Science Fiction & Fantasy
Sub-Genres: Horror, Science Fiction & Fantasy
Studio: Starz / Anchor Bay
Format: DVD - Color,Widescreen,Letterboxed
DVD Release Date: 02/18/1998
Original Release Date: 07/18/1980
Theatrical Release Date: 07/18/1980
Release Year: 1998
Run Time: 1hr 29min
Screens: Color,Widescreen,Letterboxed
Number of Discs: 1
SwapaDVD Credits: 1
Total Copies: 0
Members Wishing: 1
MPAA Rating: R (Restricted)
Languages: English
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Member Movie Reviews

Chad B. (abrnt1) from CABERY, IL
Reviewed on 2/5/2012...
One of the worst of the first wave of slasher films. The director is a raving ego-maniac who has stated numerous time in interviews that his film was far superior to Friday the 13th (released around the same time to much larger box office success).. Seems like Lynch is really out of touch with reality. Prom Night is a badly made film that has the look & feel of a made for TV movie most of the time. The basic premise is showed promise, but the actual execution was handled so badly it's hard to watch. The kill sequences (the major draw to a slasher film) are very unoriginal and shot in such a way that it's hard too see what's happeneing. When your horror film takes a long break to show it's star disco dancing you know you're in trouble.

Movie Reviews

"It's not who you go with, it's who takes you home."
R. Pepper | Los Angeles | 09/25/2007
(4 out of 5 stars)

"For a few years, it was hard to obtain a decent DVD copy of this film. The Anchor Bay version had been long out of print and could only be obtained from private sellers at a ridiculous price. I never saw the 1998 Anchor Bay version but heard it was a nice release. The 2004 edition from Alliance Atlantis (or Echo Bridge Home Entertainment) where the cover art displays a knife blade with Jaime Lee Curtis' face reflected was a dispicable release in every way. It was like watching a used VHS copy with terrible picture and sound quality and that is not why DVD's evolved. The companies releasing these films should have to pass some sort of inspection for DVD transfers. At last, Echo Bridge released a new version of Prom Night in 2007 with fancier cover art (Jaime Lee Curtis standing in the school hallway with her prom dress and tiara on holding a bouquet of flowers with a bloody ax in them). I was very impressed with the effort that went into this as it was well done. Great picture quality (the scenes that were too dark to see what was going on before are now visible). Also included was a nice chapter menu and more chapter stops (the previous release only had 5 chapter stops and a bad looking menu). If you are a fan of eighties slashers, this version needs to be in your collection beside Terror Train and Halloween. A nice chase scene with Eddie Benton in this film is also worth savoring. What to recommend is the Australian thriller Road Games featuring Jaime Lee Curtis that many people may have missed. For the genre, I give Prom Night 4 stars. I really liked this one. There was something about the Canadian horror films that made them stand out (Black Christmas and Happy Birthday to Me were some others). Another Canadian horror gem I'm still waiting patiently for is Curtains which has unfortunately not seen the light of day on DVD yet."
Would You Like Some Cheese To Go With Your Horror?
Graboidz | Westminster, Maryland | 10/25/2004
(3 out of 5 stars)

"Okay, I was going to give Prom Night two stars, but..come on...any movie that features Leslie Neilson cutting a rug to a disco soundtrack deserves at least 3 stars! Jamie Lee Curtis, riding high as the 80's scream-queen poster girl tackles a six-year old mystery, steals a hot-blond's boyfriend and engages in some of the most hilarious disco dancing seen this side of the Village People in the movie "TGIF". Actually, Prom Night was a bit ahead of it's time in that it not only is a slasher flick, but also creates a pretty decent little mystery as to who the killer may be. Later movies like "Scream" and "I Know What you Did Last Summer" borrowed this plotline to varying degrees of success almost 30 years later. The kills are pretty standard early 80's stuff, not really gory, but there are a couple intense chase scenes that will keep you riveted. Also, this movie may feature one of the ugliest casts in filmdom. The main heel, bad-guy with the unibrow and unfortunate teeth is just disturbing to look at. One of my favorite characters is Slick, an overweight, dork who drives a 70's conversion van, that is just too damn funny to be taken seriously. There are two main drawbacks to Prom Night; 1. How come everyone is 30 years old and still in high school? I mean come on, I can suspend belief for quite a bit, but most of these actors looked closer to middle age than to 18 and 2. Sure Disco was the sound of the time, but man it really dates this movie. I have seen worse slasher flicks, but I have seen a lot better too. If you are a fan of the genre then you should check this out, but I would wait until a $10 version is available before I would buy it."
At least this guy has a reason
G. Garner | vicksburg,ms | 10/16/2004
(5 out of 5 stars)

"In watching a wide variety of slasher movies, I have noticed that the killer usually doesn't have a very compelling motive for butchering all those people. In many films, such as Halloween and Friday the 13th, the villain kills people simply because they are there to be killed. Michael Myers, Jason, and Freddy seem to brutalize people as naturally as most of us brush our teeth. It's what they 'do.' On the other hand, most slasher films that provide their killer with a motive usually make that motive so obscure that it's hard to relate to them as human beings. Or, if they do have a reasonable motive, it gets lost in the carnage. In Valentine, for instance, the killer does have a good reason to kill Dorothy, but how about the other dozen or so folks who get the knife? What did they do wrong?

This brings me to the reason why I love Prom Night. This killer has a motive that makes sense. He does what he does for reasons of his own, and only once, with Slick, does he kill someone who wasn't involved in the event he was trying to avenge.And that seemed accidental, in a fashion, since he went out of his way to drop his axe before confronting Slick. (Is it just me, or does Slick give off somewhat of a Meat Loaf aura?) For the benefit of anyone who hasn't seen it yet, I won't name the killer, but I can say that his motivation is by far the most powerful and logical of any slasher villain I've seen. (Remember-he has no way of knowing that the initial incident was accidental.) And even if it was an accident, the whole thing was still their fault, owing to their bullying the little girl so incessantly. The actions of the killer are perfectly reasonable if you look at matters from his perspective. It is a nice change of pace to see a slasher movie that builds its story around the devotion of the killer to a loved one.

I've seen this at least 200 times, now, and continue to find new elements to appreciate. It is rather like a diamond of the macabre. It is comprised of starkly disparate facets, and each of these lend support to the others. The film would not be the same if you subtracted any of them.It's a creepy slasher film, but it's also an elegy. A horror movie, but one that centers around a nice, normal, well-adjusted family who are legitimately fond of each other. There are moments of mystery, of violence.......but also of intense,overriding melancholy. The underlying motivations of the people involved are timeless, yet there is an undeniable sense of nostalgia, as well.

For many, childhood represents a paradox, of sorts. Childhood is a time of magic, of wonder. But it's also a time that can be quite feral, even brutal. The opening scene of Prom Night reconciles that paradox about as well as anything I've ever come across in a film. The high school culture is effectively portrayed, as well. The kids are self-absorbed and flawed, but not the monsters that some movies seek to depict. While the actors may be somewhat older than the roles they are playing, the teenagers do seem pretty true to life.

There are so many things about this film that just 'work'. First and foremost, the setting. A school building is among the very finest settings for a slasher movie. The long, winding corridors, the dark corners, the abandoned staircases...........Prom Night features one of the finest environments I've ever come across in a horror film, and they make optimal use of it. In fact, it even works during the daylight hours. There are a couple of scenes, during the afternoon, where the school setting is used to ideal effect. The scene in the shower room, with the broken mirror, or the part where Jamie Lee Curtis is walking the halls, alone.........these are beautifully atmospheric moments. Anyone who has ever been in an empty school in the late afternoon, after everyone has left, may have noticed that the building suddenly seems much more interesting then. This movie captures, and takes advantage of, this phenomenon.

The cast is quite good. The token 'bad' girl is extremely well portrayed. She doesn't come across as evil for the sake of evil. Rather, she seems to be an unhappy person who takes that out on the people in her orbit. The Hammond family all seem authentic, as well. The soundtrack is incredible. It is one of the finest I've ever heard for any horror film. And it's one of those movies that is actually more enjoyable the second time you watch it, owing to the strength of the climax, and the pathos of the final revelation.

I'd rank it as one of the three greatest slasher films ever made, along with Halloween and Friday the 13th."