Reviews | Written by JAMES "MAGIC" PERKINS 24/11/2019

PROM NIGHT (1980)

CERT: 18 / DIRECTOR: PAUL LYNCH / SCREENPLAY: WILLIAM GRAY / STARRING: JAMIE LEE CURTIS, LESLIE NIELSEN, CASEY STEVENS, ANNE-MARIE MARTIN, MICHAEL TOUGH / RELEASE DATE: DECEMBER 2ND

A group of high school students, who are all connected by a tragic event that happened years prior, are stalked and picked off one by one in brutal fashion by a masked killer in Paul Lynch's 1980 cult film, Prom Night.

The 1980s - a time when the slasher genre was in full swing and every man and his dog wanted a slice of that sweet money pie, and one of those at the front of the queue was flawed but interesting title. Led by the hottest commodity in the Horror world at the time, the scream queen herself Jamie Lee Curtis, the film's familiar plot stumbles through to its predictable conclusion but is elevated by solid performances, exciting practical effects and chilling score.

The plot from the offset is extremely reminiscent of a mix of the original Black Christmas and Halloween from the creepy phone calls to the first-person perspective - the only interesting aspect was the senior prom setting which allowed the film to end with an exciting set-piece between our killer and our lead survivor. Also, for a film, that boasts an 18 age rating, some of the kills are disappointing lacklustre with a selection taking place off-screen due to budgetary reasons which take the punch out of the punchline.

This new transfer onto Blu-Ray by 101 Films is a mixed bag - many of the scenes look terrific with colour popping and crisp and clear visuals but on the other end of the spectrum, many of the darker moments including when the killer is on the prowl are distorted and difficult to see.

However, with all the negatives aside, the admirable pacing enhances the run-of-the-mill narrative to create a solid slasher with a handful of interesting moments from creative camerawork to the icing-on-the-cake subtle score that intensifies the moment it accompanies.

The special features on this new Blu-Ray release of Prom Night are an interesting selection from behind-the-scenes to a full-blown documentary on the production of the film and are an essential purchase for hardcore fans of this cult classic.

Special Features:

  • Chasing the Final Girl [20:37] - A look at the Slasher genre with a host of filmmakers.
  • Interview with Paul Lynch [15:43] - An Interview with the Director of Prom Night (1980).
  • Commentary with Paul McEvoy and Jake West [1:32:58] - A feature-length commentary of the film from FrightFest founder Paul McEvoy and filmmaker Jake West.
  • Commentary with Director Paul Lynch and Screenwriter William Gray [1:32:58]
  • The Horrors of Hamilton High [41:04] - A "making of" film discussing the production of Prom Night (1980).
  • Additional Scenes added for Television Broadcast [11:11] - A host of additional scenes that had to be added and changed for the TV Version of Prom Night (1980) as discussed by the editor.
  • Outtakes [23:15] - A selection of outtakes.
  • Motion Still Gallery [6:20] - A selection of stills from the film and production accompanied by the music from the film.
  • Original Radio Spots [1:06]
  • Original Theatrical Trailer [1:45]
  • Television Spots [3:17]