Once again the world of Prom Night is changed up as Prom Night III: The Last Kiss brings the series into the world of horror comedy. The third film in the series, and the second following the character of Mary Lou Maloney, offers much more death, but also tries to bring plenty of laughs. It succeeds mostly because of how lame everything feels over 25 years later, turning into one of those ‘so bad, it’s good’ kind of films.
This time around, the focus is on slacker Alex Grey (Tim Conlon), whose dreams of going to med school seem hopeless with his inability to even focus on his homework in highschool. Enter Mary Lou Maloney (Courtney Taylor), the tormented soul of the former Hamilton High prom queen who burned to death at prom in 1957. She’s managed to escape Hell and is looking to get a new lover. She begins eliminating anybody who stands in the way of Alex and his goals, offering her help as long as Alex keeps burying the bodies. Alex’s girlfriend Sarah (Cynthia Preston) isn’t happy about his nights running off without her knowing where he’s going, and his new relationship with Mary Lou is ruining the good thing he had with Sarah. Eventually Mary Lou figures that Sarah is in the way of her and Alex being together, but Alex isn’t willing to give up on his love for Sarah.
If there’s one thing that Prom Night III: The Last Kiss gets right, it’s the fact that they’ve amped up the gore and death. It’s not all perfect, but there are some great moments including death by battery acid and a teacher who becomes the bowl for a very large banana split. We get a glimpse into Hell, which for Mary Lou is an eternal prom (perhaps not the worst place to spend eternity), and there’s plenty of rotting corpses and zombie action to be found.
There’s also a lot of clunky laughs to be found in Prom Night III. You may not be rolling around on the floor, but the lame one-liners and out of time name dropping jokes will be enough for bad movie lovers to groan. It’s goofy fun. The kind that a ten-year-old would love, if they could manage to overcome the fear they may have at watching a melted corpse come back to life. The laughs seem to get left behind closer to the end of the film, where things try to get a little more serious as Alex is sucked into Hell, but that’s also when things really get goofy, as a prom attended by the undead has a hard time being even slightly serious.
Conlon is great as the balance between dorky and cool, never quite reaching the peak in either direction, while Taylor plays the sultry Mary Lou with the right amount of sex appeal and black humour. Their chemistry is good, even if some of their delivery is a little wooden. It’s all just filler until you get to the various death scenes in the film though, which are at least creative.
There’s the banana split teacher and the guidance counselor who gets doused in battery acid, along with an old janitor who gets a jolt to his pacemaker and one unlucky stiff who has Mary Lou put her hand right through his chest to reveal his heart. The editing seems to be trying to limit the amount of gory moments in Prom Night III, so it’s best to search for the uncut edition, which is still brief in its moments of horror.
Is Prom Night III: The Last Kiss Worth Watching?
This is a bad horror movie with some good gore for the time. If you enjoy a groan inducing horror comedy or the kind of films that get labelled ‘so bad, they’re good’, add this one to your list.