Prom Night II: Hello Mary Lou follows the titular Mary Lou: she’s burnt alive at her 1957 prom and returns thirty years later to seek vengeance or become prom queen or …something.
The ghost story lets the film embrace creepy, surreal imagery as the spirit of murderous Mary Lou possesses virginal Vicky (Wendy Lyon). It’s a welcome change from its straight-laced predecessor. While it often feels like it’s ripping off Nightmare on Elm Street, there are some original scares, like when Vicky’s rocking horse becomes a fiendish hellmare while invisible hands clasp her to her bed, or when a classroom blackboard transforms into a swirling dark sea.
In another shift from its tame predecessor, it’s not afraid of nudity; a later scene sees a completely naked (and, frankly, gorgeous) Vicky stalks her best friend (in a further homage to Freddy Krueger, dragging her nails along the lockers as she goes) through a locker room.
This sequel has nothing to do with the first film aside from the prom night setting of the climax, but I’m not convinced that’s a bad thing – Prom Night II is a cheesy, entertaining and fitfully original film that improves upon the original in every respect.