Friday, July 16, 2010

Can you feel the disco MADNESS?


A fat pot head named Slick, t-shirt tuxedos, disco madness, public decapitation, electric shocks that send people shooting back ten feet, a less than surefooted killer, hair helmets, Leslie Nelson and Jamie Lee Curtis disco dancing, all dealt cold straight with a poker face; well player Prom Night, well played indeed.

Never been to a prom, school dance, discotheque, or hoe down; I had better things to do like maybe heat up some Alphabet soup to scalding hot intensity and pour it over my face. Had I have known however that prom included decapitations and classy t-shirt tuxedos I’d have been all over it like a wino on Tenafly Viper.

Prom Night; the Little House on the Prairie of slasherdom; innocent, well paced, and wholesome compared to its slasher sisterhood of the 80’s. It comes from the bygone era of valuing competent storytelling over ‘excessive’ blood and guts in the hack and slash deals of the golden age of horror. I love my excessive, heaping, overflowing trash plates of gore and violence, but there’s something magical to be had in enjoying the simpler pleasures of horror flick content with weaving a simple, believable, slow burning revenge tale involving a masked murderer stalking hapless discoing teens on their prom night. There’s also something magical about the sleazy, drunk driving, cheeseburger mooching bully in the film, Lou Farmer. I’d definitely hang ten with that guy hassling patrons of the local drive in fast food dump for some gravy.

And despite Prom Night’s silly eccentricities the movie has a satisfyingly depressive undercurrent flowing throughout; child death is a powerful tool to pave the tragedy trail and the subtle theme of premature death might tug the heart strings of less calloused viewers. Leslie Nelson weeps, I don’t immediately burst out laughing, and the fabric of the universe slowly unravels. Well played Prom Night, you made me a believer, and even if I did guess the killer’s identity in the first act I’d still invite you out in Slick’s molester van with promises of disco dancing fun.