‘If you’re not back by midnight… you won’t be coming home!’
Prom Night is a 1980 American/Canadian slasher film directed by Paul Lynch and starring Leslie Nielsen (Grizzly; Repossessed) and Jamie Lee Curtis. The original music score was composed by Paul Zaza and Carl Zittrer.
The film was given a limited release in the United States on July 18, 1980 (eventually going wide on August 15) by Avco Embassy, and was very popular, especially within the drive-in circuit. It was released in Canada in September that year, and went on to become the country’s highest-grossing horror film of 1980.
During the video rental boom years, it spawned three unconnected-except-by-title sequels: Prom Night II: Hello Mary Lou (1987), Prom Night III: The Last Kiss (1990) and Prom Night IV: Deliver Us From Evil (1992). A remake, Prom Night, was released in 2008.
For six long years, Hamilton High School seniors Kelly, Jude, Wendy, and Nick have been hiding the truth of what happened to ten-year-old Robin Hammond the day her broken body was discovered near an old abandoned convent. The foursome kept secret how they taunted Robin – backed her into a corner until, frightened, she stood on a window ledge… and fell to her death. Though an accident, the then-twelve-year-olds feared they’d be held responsible and vowed never to tell. But someone else was there that day… watching. And now, that someone is ready to exact murderous revenge-on prom night…
According to director Paul Lynch in the documentary Going to Pieces: The Rise and Fall of the Slasher Film (2006), he was having difficulty securing financing until Jamie Lee Curtis signed on.
Once the film was shot, Paramount expressed interest in distributing the movie. However, they only wanted to open it in 300 theaters whereas Avco Embassy Pictures offered to release it in 1200 theaters. As a result Avco released Prom Night. and Paramount released another independent slasher film… Friday the 13th.
“A lot of people don’t like Prom Night because it’s slow and not very wet with grue, and I’d like to say they’re WRONG! But my inner-Buddha democratic self will not allow it. For Vegan Voorhees, it doesn’t get better than disco NRG, an axe-wielding killer and Jamie Lee f*cking Curtis – what more could there be!?” Vegan Voorhees
“Prom Night may be cheesy and it may seem terribly dated today, but it is the crowning example of the slasher film in its classical stage. Before disco cynicism or post-modern reflexivity, Prom Night is a simple and entertaining piece of 1980 nostalgia. Black Christmas may be more artistic, My Bloody Valentine more frightening and Happy Birthday to Me more surprising, but when it comes to Canadian slashers, no film is more fun Prom Night, because as even the theme song knows, ” At the prom night? everything is alright!”” Canuxploitation
“The most terrifying thing about Prom Night is the ruthless children at the beginning yelling KILL! KILL! KILL!. Little bastards. Other than that, it’s not scary and is ultimately pretty forgettable. Maybe that’s why I’ve seen it so many times. I’ll probably watch it again in a few months, then ask myself why I keep watching it. Well, there’s always Jamie Lee on the light-up dance floor.” Final Girl
Buy the Prom Night Collection Box Set from Amazon.co.uk