Prom Night IV: Deliver Us From Evil – Canada, 1992 – reviews

‘They ditched the prom for a private party. Now it’s their last dance.’

Prom Night IV: Deliver Us from Evil is a 1992 Canadian slasher horror feature film about a psycho Catholic priest murdering teenagers on their prom night. It was also released as Prom Night: Evil of Darkness

Directed by Clay Borris from a screenplay written by Richard Beattie, the Norstar Entertainment production stars Nicole de Boer, J.H. Wyman, Joy Tanner and Alle Ghadban. Former actor Ray Sager produced and has a cameo role.

Despite its title, the movie has no connection with Prom Night (1980), Hello Mary Lou: Prom Night II (1987) or Prom Night III: The Last Kiss (1990).

Review:

Like Hello Mary Lou and Prom Night III, Prom Night IV also opens with the 1957 prom. Now, of course, the 1957 prom was famous for the fiery death of Mary Lou Maloney but apparently, that wasn’t the only death that occurred that night. While Mary Lou was getting ready to be named prom queen, two other students were making out in the parking lot. When a homicidal priest named Father Jonas came across them, he stabbed them to death a sharpened crucifix.

Thirty-five years later, Father Jonas is hidden away in a church basement. He is being kept in a drug-induced coma.  Father Jaeger (Kenneth McGregor) is his guardian but when the Jaeger passes away, the young Father Colin (Brock Simpson) takes his place. Foolishly, Colin decides not to give Jonas his daily injection.  Jonas wakes up, murders Colin, and then sets off for his old church. While Jonas is out murdering sinners, the Cardinal tries to cover up any evidence of his existence. In case you hadn’t guessed, Prom Night IV is probably one of the most anti-Catholic films ever made.

What Jonas doesn’t know is that the old church is now a summer home.  Four teenagers — virginal Meagan (Nikki de Boer), her boyfriend Mark (J.H. Wyman), his best friend Jeff (Alle Ghadaban), and his girlfriend, the adventurous Laura (Joy Tanner, who later played Fiona and Declan’s mom on Degrassi) — are spending the night at the house. After all, who wants to waste prom night by actually going to the prom? Mark’s younger brother, Jonathan, is also hanging around outside the house, secretly filming everything that happens inside.  Or, at least he is until Jonas shows up and kills him.

There really aren’t any big surprises to be found in Prom Night IV but the film is still a step above the average slasher film. Director Clay Borris keeps the action moving and does a good job maintaining a properly evil atmosphere. Some of the shots of the snow falling over the isolated house are actually quite stunning. As played by James Carver, Jonas is a truly menacing and ruthless villain. Seriously, Jonas is so mean! Even the fact that he utters a few regrettable one-liners does nothing to diminish Jonas as a threat.

Prom Night IV may be missing both Jamie Lee Curtis and Mary Lou Maloney but it’s still a surprisingly effective little horror film.  And remember: It’s not who you come with … it’s who takes you home.

Lisa Marie Bowman, guest reviewer via Through the Shattered Lens

Other reviews:

“Better-than-average slasher flick, despite clichés and predictable twists, primarily because the Richard Beattie script spends time setting up four characters for the climactic kill.” John Stanley, Creature Features, Berkley Boulevard, 2000

“The actresses pose in lingerie like a 1992 Cinemax movie, and one of them receives a nude body double scene that’s hilariously unconvincing. This is a stealth Christmas movie, but it’s no Black Christmas. It brings the series to an unexpected conclusion – with a high school prom movie that doesn’t bother with the high school and doesn’t show us the prom.” Midnight Only

“If Prom Night IV is a course correction from the previous entries, then it is accomplished, for better or worse (okay, mostly worse). Both films are plagued by stagnant middle acts and split the difference on various elements. The original has (marginally) better characters, while this one has a bigger body count and a less generic killer…” Oh, the Horror!

“If you’re alright with the entirely predictable then you could do worse than Prom Night IV […] It’s plainly obvious that goody-two-shoes Meagan (de Boer) will be the last one standing but there are some decent riffs thrown into the mix…” Vegan Voorhees

“While this is a bit slow on deaths and the religious themes in the script aren’t explored much (in fact the whole plot thread about the church “containing” the killer is mostly forgotten) this is still an entertaining sequel with an alright killer (gotta love his cross/knife combo weapon) and some decent mood.” The Video Graveyard

Choice dialogue:

“Hey, don’t call me stupid and don’t tell me what to do!”

Cast and characters:

  • Nicole de Boer … Meagan (as Nikki de Boer)
  • J.H. Wyman … Mark (as Alden Kane)
  • Joy Tanner … Laura
  • Alle Ghadban … Jeff
  • Kenneth McGregor … Father Jaeger (as Ken McGregor)
  • James Carver … Father Jonas
  • Brock Simpson … Father Colin
  • Krista Bulmer … Lisa
  • Phil Morrison … Brad
  • Fab Filippo … Jonathan
  • Colin D. Simpson … Larry (as Colin Simpson)
  • Thea Andrews … Louise
  • Bill Jay … Cardinal
  • Deni DeLory … Jennifer (as Deni Delroy)
  • Carolyn Tweedle … Sister Jude (as Caroline Tweedle)
  • Tyler Daniels … Dave
  • Ray Sager … Rafe
  • Brad Simpson … Rick
  • Suzanne Vaillancourt … Suzi
  • Garry Borris … Father (uncredited)

Filming locations:

Toronto, Ontario, Canada

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