Friday, May 20, 2016

School's out...Forever!

"I'll remember this night for the rest of my life."
---says Jude (Joy Thompson) in the shag van with her man, Slick, right after taking a drag from a joint and right before the back door opens to reveal the revenge killer, stabbing her in the throat repeatedly in Paul Lynch's Prom Night (1980)

You know, it passed my mind that the moment when Wendy ( the delicious Anne-Marie Martin) is about to get the axe, the entrapment and slaying of Brinke Stevens in Slumber Party Massacre (1982) resurfaced. I wonder if Wendy's demise inspired Stevens'? The running in the halls, with doors chained / locked closed, and exits cut off...the similarities are noticeable.

Something about the very night when you are supposed to celebrate the end of your teenage years and beginning of adulthood, the close of one era into the dawn of another with such passage interrupted by death too soon, resulting from a horrible event when just all were children that has always resonated with me in regards to this film. It might not hold its water with many slasher fans, and it's rep as a dull chore to get through seems to gain in number with each passing year, but that central emphasis on vengeance in the memory and honor of a little girl lost, stutteringly begging the kids to quit, as they close in to terrorize her (Gah, kids are cruel, aren't they?), with the end result an accidental flight out a rickety window into a fallen window on the ground stories below, remains quite resounding in its power. The ending, too, as Kim (Jamie Lee Curtis) holds her dying, mourning brother's head in her hands, realizing what he has done and that she is about to lose him; this is tragic stuff!


Because Eddie satisfies my "lovely lady and her drag from cancer stick" fetish.


Just because...


And the start of what I consider the best sequence in the film

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As I was making plans to watch Terror Train (1980) early Saturday morning, I wanted to mention before it escapes me that I liked the idea in Prom Night (1980), made in a different part of Canada before TT, of the movie taking place almost entirely in one day--the day of the prom--for the exception of the flashback to the tragic death of the sister which functions as an albatross for Curtis' new boyfriend's conscience. He wants to tell her the truth but fails to. Someone else was there besides the four kids responsible for the tragedy and that plot development, significant in behind the motive that drives the murders, starts right in the morning, before school, and maintains throughout the day, into the late night, as the prom concludes. Hard not to think about Carrie (1976) when seeing the prom kids rushing out of the room in terror after Lou, umm, loses his head.
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It's crazy but I realized while watching Prom Night (1980) that this week marks 20 years since I graduated high school! Crazily also is that I was pondering on the fact that this film is around 36 years old! As I was watching Jamie Lee Curtis strut her disco dancing stuff on that prom night dance floor, seemingly lost in her grooving, so young and alive, I hearkened back myself to that time of my youth, remembering how it felt to be 18 and the pressures of adulthood hadn't yet quite sunk their teeth in deep and sharp.

Curtis is certainly the name that the film has routinely benefited from in all its releases since 1980. I still think of this film as an ensemble, not as much a Curtis showcase. Interestingly this came after The Fog (1980) where she's a young woman hitchhiking to wherever, and so her stepping back into that teenage role considering Halloween (1978) was two years prior fascinates me. Prom Night is indeed kind of sandwiched among a series of horror thrillers before stepping out in Trading Places (1983), eventually putting the genre behind her for some time. After Prom Night is Terror Train (1980), Road Games (1981), and Halloween II (1981). She clearly cashed in on Halloween (and I don't blame her, because her name had value to it), and Prom Night (I can't help but just look at her pose in the prom dress, with the roses and ax in hands, and think that those behind it were spot on in marketing her image that way. I love it). I was just thinking that perhaps--I don't know this for sure because I've never read or seen an interview with Curtis that says one way or another--Curtis was living in that moment when on that dance floor (she was around 21 when filming this movie), as if 18 and celebrating her fictional teenage moment as if it were the real thing. At any rate, I can just imagine disco kids that were actually in high school around 1980--and perhaps celebrating their own prom that year--holding this movie a bit more to their heart than millennials today who have no clue what makes it so appealing. Trust me, I read it all the time, "I don't get it! Why doesn't this film just die already???" I guess you just had to be there.
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Seriously, though, Eddie Benton (Anne-Marie Martin) has to look back at the film and think to herself, “I looked pretty fab, didn’t I?” That red dress: if Jamie Lee Curtis wasn’t her rival, she might have knocked the socks off the guy she was going after. Loved that car, too!

She’s a devious minx, though. Conniving and territorial, if she wasn’t such a cipher she might never have lost her man. Still, her chase death sequence is my favorite in the entire film. It wasn’t for a lack of trying, Eddie did whatever she could to try and get away. There was no saving herself, however.

Her role in the death of Curtis’ sister at the beginning was initiating the cover-up which led to an innocent man being considered the culprit, resulting in bodily harm and asylum stay. He wasn’t exactly a saint, as his sex crimes past put him on the police’s radar. He would escape, kill a local woman, and eventually be caught fifty miles away from the prom. The quintessential red herring. Meanwhile Eddie was running around in a fleeting attempt to keep from being on the receiving end of a chopping axe. To no avail, Eddie wasn’t running from her past. Nope.

Wendy’s (Eddie) plot to humiliate Kim (Curtis) using a school louse known to sleaze around and make daily malfeasance, giving him a rotten reputation, Lou (David Mucci), paints her as a bit insidious, wanting to ruin what should be one of her rival’s most important nights of her life. So Wendy is the perfect candidate to have the lengthy flee-the-killer-only-to-be-cornered-and-caught-with-nowhere-else-to-run sequence. Wendy has perhaps the most colorful part in the film along with Mucci who is a rather skuzzy nuisance.



Will he or won't he call???
Eddie and that dress. And the hair. And the scowl.

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Battlestar Galactica - And So It Begins

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Sbut
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Jtm 2

Jtm 2

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Gb

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Rv1

Rv1

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Countess Zaleska: Be thou exorcised oh Dracula, and thy body long undead find destruction throughout eternity in the name of thy dark unholy Master.

mh2

mh2

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z2

Hiii

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Fred

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Ghspo

Ghspo
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Enl

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gm

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No 2

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Jason Lives

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Ahorr

Ahorr

Cbi1

Cbi1
Case of the bloody iris

Wsha

Wsha

Mouth3

Mouth3
In the Mouth of Madness

Fdfn2

Fdfn2
Freddy's Dead '91

Vyr

Vyr
Vampyres 1974

Sh fr

Sh fr
Friday the 13th Part 2

Vlov

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f133

f133

Edpos

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Ttf2

Ttf2

Jm2

Jm2
El Hombre Lobo

Psycho '60

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Kife

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Meg

Meg
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ring 2

ring 2
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poster

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exor1

exor1
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Conj

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Tz1

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In the kitchen, The Shape

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Ps56

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Hun

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Murders in the Rue Morgue 1932

Ps89

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Cof

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pcushig

His

His

Efny

Efny

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sus
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--Innocent Blood 1992
Rest in Peace, Robert Loggia

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WZ

Edfen

Edfen
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h1

h1
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Bs

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Amer

Amer
Taste of metal

The h gang

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Nlc

Nlc
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Hp

Hp

Smoke

Smoke
Got a smoke?

Strek

Strek
Live long and prosper

Hill

Hill

Castle

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SRW

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Frere and dummy

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Mlove

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Alone/dark

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Lips

Lips

Fhz

Fhz

Ph

Ph

Vestron

Vestron
Vintage VHS

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sm 3

Monique parent

Monique parent
Erotique in Review

Were5

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f13

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Bmate

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I think there is something about the American dream, the sort of Disneyesque dream, if you will, of the beautifully trimmed front lawn, the white picket fence, mom and dad and their happy children, God-fearing and doing good whenever they can, and the flip side of it, the kind of anger and the sense of outrage that comes from discovering that that's not the truth of the matter, that gives American horror films, in some ways, kind of an additional rage.

Ms45 w

Ms45 w

Churcvh

Churcvh
The Church 1989

Ww

Ww
The Whip and the Body 1963

Lsho

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Christopher Lee

Every actor has to make terrible films from time to time, but the trick is never to be terrible in them.

Vampyros lesbos

You are one of us now. The Queen of the Night will bear you up on her black wings

The Unknown 1927

No....not sick. But I have lost some flesh.

Alonzo, the Armless.

Ckvh

Ckvh

Blood of Dracula's Castle (1969)

Glen: We'd like to speak to the Townsends, please.

The Butler: They are not available till after sunset.

Bw5

Bw5

Jill

Jill

Mad Love 1935

Doctor Gogol: Did you ever hear of Galatea?

Lavin - Waxworks Proprietor: Gala - who? Not wanting a statue of him, are you?

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Lavin - Waxworks Proprietor: [calling to his assistant] Start the motor, Henry. There's queer people on the streets of Montmartre at this time of night.

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