Sunday, March 20, 2016

In short: Prom Night IV: Deliver Us from Evil (1992)

Mary Lou who? Never heard of her. For in this film’s 1957, Prom Night was ruined by some crazy, possibly possessed priest named Father Jonas (James Carver) ranting about “sluts”. Holy misogyny, Batman! Not that he’s against killing men too, mind you.

Anyway, after his deeds, the Church keeps Jonas drugged into a coma, imprisoning him somewhere down in the cellar of some church or other, where he doesn’t seem to age but grows a fierce beard. All is comparatively well until he gets new a minder. This new guy is that most frightening of things – a priest with a conscience. Conscientious priest (Brock Simpson) decides to cut it out with the whole drugging business, and soon finds himself garrotted for his efforts.

Jonas then goes on a very timid killing spree, concentrating on four teens (Nicole de Boer, Joy Tanner, J.H. Wyman and Alle Ghadban) who have skipped their prom night to shack up in a luxury hut in the boons. So yes, the final Prom Night film doesn’t even feature a prom night.

Other things Clay Borris’s slasher movie doesn’t feature are excitement or a way to get the time back I spent with it. I don’t have any problems with the fourth prom night film featuring yet another different killer, and in fact, a misogynist, probably demon possessed killer priest was (and still is, really) quite the big gap in the slasher pantheon, but in practice, he’s a guy who breathes really hard, makes anonymous threatening phone calls of the most generic kind, and needs a whole film to kill off four teenagers and a couple of bonus victims.

Now, a low number of victims does not need to be bad for a slasher, but to avoid boring the audience, a low body count slasher needs something to fill the time: interesting characters (nope, though they are not totally hateful), huge wallops of sleaze (nope, because the sleaze here is so prudishly polite one can hardly stop oneself from making Canada jokes, eh), spectacular gore (see sleaze), or just a director who is really, really good at facilitating suspense (ha, nope). Not featuring any of these things, Prom Night IV ends of quite the bore.

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