Wednesday, May 13, 2015

PROM NIGHT (Blu-Ray Review)

PROM NIGHT (1980)

review by AARON ALLEN

Directed by Paul Lynch
Written by William Gray and Robert Guza Jr.

Starring Jamie Lee Curtis, Casey Stevens, Anne-Marie Martin, Michael Tough
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The disco lights have never been brighter, and the blood has never been bloodier than in the Synapse Films Blu-ray special edition release of Prom Night. Packed with special features and boasting a new 2K high-definition transfer from the original 35mm camera negative, this release of Prom Night should be considered an immediate pick up for any Canadian horror or slasher film fan.


22-year-old Jamie Lee Curtis still playing high school girl in Prom Night
It's time for prom at Hamilton High School. Girls are getting their dresses and finding their dates. Boys are primping their hair and perfecting their disco moves. Too bad that this prom night also coincides with the 10th anniversary of a tragic death shrouded in conspiracy. Now, a group of teens led by final girl supreme Jamie Lee Curtis find themselves being knocked off by a masked killer over the dark secret they share about what really happened ten years ago. Is it the escaped and disfigured sex-offender lunatic? The creepy groundskeeper? The school's sociopathic local bully? Red herrings abound until the mystery is finally unmasked to tune of some killer disco beats and a string of violent murders that turn the prom into a night of polyester pandemonium.

It's okay to lose your head over this Blu-ray; it's that good
Prom Night was filmed in Toronto and part of the early boom of North American slasher films that began in Canada with Black Christmas (1974) and was fueled by further Canadian contributions such as Terror Train (1980), Happy Birthday to Me (1981), My Bloody Valentine (1981), and Curtains (1983). As such, Prom Night's a decidedly classier slasher with more emphasis on mystery and suspense than gory kills and much more time spent developing the relationship of its young cast. Jamie Lee Curtis obviously shines on screen -- but everyone who saw here in John Carpenter's Halloween knew that already. The rest of the cast is perfectly lovable or despicable depending on their characters, but few others really jump off the screen...that is except for Sheldon Rybowski as Slick, the chubby Romeo with the sweet van. Prom Night's real claim to fame is its slow-burn tension added to its bustling original disco music score and dazzling giallo-inferno light cinematography. It's these latter features that are best served by Synapse's blu-ray restoration of Prom Night. The colours are bright and captivating in HD while Paul Zaza and Carl Zittrer's original score thumps in a 5.1 Surround Remix.

"Killers are coming....."
The rest of the disc is rounded out with a very satisfying bounty of special features including  an audio commentary with director Paul Lynch and screenwriter William Gray, a "THE HORRORS OF HAMILTON HIGH" making-of featurette (in which Jamie Lee Curtis is sadly and conspiciously absent), additional scenes added to the TV broadcast, trailers and tv spots, and exclusive to the Blu-ray release a collection of outtakes and a stills gallery.

Not the goriest movie, but definitely very cheeky at times
Prom Night has been available on Blu-ray for some time now, but if you still have not added it to your own collection, there's no better time than the present. Not only has the film never looked or sounded better, but it's readily available online for a decent price and you can even pick up Synapse's Blu-ray release of Curtains for your own double bill of cult Canadian horror.

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