Whelp…what can I say? Because I’ve spent the last two months on a drunken bender in Las Vegas with a retired monkey trainer and a band of hobos, I missed the opportunity to stream Prom Night 3 (for free – I ain’t paying for a possibly questionable pile of celluloid excrement). So let’s just skip it and dive right into the fourth and final film of the franchise.
(Spoiler Warning: This flick is over thirty years old so if I spoil any plot points, well that sounds like a YOU problem.)
The basic plot is pretty simple. Four teens decide to skip their prom so they can have an intimate party at a family summer home. Unfortunately for them, there’s a psycho evil priest on the loose looking to punish them (and let’s be honest, anyone else he comes across) for their sins.
And this is a horror movie with teenagers alone in a secluded house. All the sinning is happening.
How It Started
I do love when movies give us a flashback scene to set up the story. Back in 1957, we get to meet Father Jonas, aforementioned crazy priest, as he prays to God to help him save all the sluts and whores of the world. And what better place to find them than at prom.
Hey, didn’t Prom Night 2 take place in 1957….Hello Mary Lou??
Head over to the local prom where we see two naughty teenagers sneak out of the dance for a smoke and some back-seat action in the boy’s car. That’s a very unsecure location when there’s a demented God-loving priest on the loose so…the girl’s throat is cut and the boy is stabbed in the chest with a very pointy metal cross. The killer then sets the car on fire.
If this is the same prom as Hello Mary Lou, hasn’t there already been enough fire?
The killer, Father Jonas, heads back to the seminary where his self-flagellation is interrupted by a gaggle of other holy men. It’s a gaggle right? That’s the correct collective noun? Or is it herd, pod, molestation…? One is appointed as life-long guardian while the others drag the mad priest off to his forever cell.
How It’s Going
Now we jump to the present – 1991. The guardian priest passes the mantle to Father Colin (played by Brock Simpson who was young Nick in the OG Prom Night, Josh in Hello Mary Lou: Prom Night 2, and Larry in Prom Night 3: The Last Kiss). He must keep Father Jonas sedated at all costs so the evil can’t escape the bowels of St. George Church. If anything does happen, call the Cardinal. But instead of doing his FUCKING JOB, Father Colin skips administering a dose. Maybe he thought he could talk some sense into the guy or some shit but it doesn’t go to plan. Father Jonas wakes up, looking no worse for wear after thirty four years, and attacks. Father Colin does manage to get the Cardinal on the phone but not before explaining his cockup, though after Father Jonas kills him.
See, you fuckwit. You don’t follow the rules and shit goes sideways.
when the Cardinal discovers Father Colin dead, he tells the others to hang him in his room to make it look like a suicide. Talk about holy hell. Fuuuuuckin‘ hard core, dude.
Meanwhile, our four plucky teens are getting in all kinds of shenanigans. Mostly just to set up the group dynamic. Meagan is the good girl virgin who actually believes the nuns are right about her being corrupted (good ol‘ Catholic indoctrination at work); Matt, is her patient sweet boyfriend who’d prefer if Meagan didn‘t stay a virgin; Laura is the slut, and her boyfriend, Jeff, rounds out the cast as the average, nothing to write home about, horndog.
It’s Matt’s family home they’ll be partying in and, wouldn’t you know it, it used to be a monastery. What they don’t know, though, is it Father Jonas‘ former monastery.
The HELL you say!
So naturally Jonas makes his way there, discovers the teens and all their rampant sexual deviant behavior and gluttony and all that, but decides he‘d better spy on them for the next hour, just to be sure they’re actually sinning.
Side note two:
it was at this point, about the hour mark with forty minutes to go, that I needed to get more drunk to continue watching this tedious-ass movie.
Long story short. Father Jonas fucking crucifies (and I do mean that in the literal sense) Jeff and Laura before setting them on fire. He finally manages to kill Matt but, in true horror trope fashion, the virgin kills the evil priest, even confessing her sins as she does it, pulling off her God Given Right™ of the Final Girl triumph.
But is it the end? While the Cardinal is in the ambulance with the charred body of Father Jonas (oh, I forgot, Meagan set him on fire – what’s with all the damn fire?), Meagan is in a separate ambulance but reacts to the Cardinal’s prayers for Jonas.
Did the evil escape Jonas? Did it transfer to Meagan? Are Father Jonas and Meagan linked somehow? WHO FUCKING CARES?!?
How Did We Get Here?
Okay, let’s talk about it.
Released in late 1991 (or early 1992 depending on the source) for a limited run at theaters before promptly dumped onto video, it’s not a surprise that the fourth film of the franchise is lacking, to say the least. The pacing is uneven and drags worse than a MOPAR trying to win a race on four flats; the plot is cliché but my guess is general audiences never tire of such things; characters are stereotypes; T&A is rampant – a staple for teen slashers; cinematography is dull; Clay Borris‘ directing is…well, I can’t really say because I don’t think I’ve ever seen any other movies he’s directed. Though I have seen all seventy episodes of the T.V. show, Forever Knight, and Mr. Borris directed eight of them. And I loved that show, so…
In other words, there’s just a lot of meh and blah for the fourth installment of what started out a good slasher franchise.
There’s heavy use of narration while Father Colin is going through the motions of his new guardianship. However, I do suppose that’s better than him talking to himself or explaining his duties to someone else. Kudos for that, I guess.
I did enjoy that the characters of Mark and Meagan weren’t stupid. Yes, they make questionable decisions as teenagers. Yes, they should have called the police when they arrived at the house and found it burgled; yes they should have called the police when Laura disappeared and they found a shit ton of blood all over the house.
But when dealing with a psycho killer on the loose, they both showed immense ingenuity or, at the very least, used common sense to figure out how to find or evade Father Jonas as needed. Don’t see a lot of that when 95% of the cast is made up of the killer‘s cannon fodder.
And while the stereotypical slut character in Laura was pretty cookie cutter, I still enjoyed how she gave zero fucks when talking back to Mother Superior after getting caught having sex with her boyfriend, in his car, ON SCHOOL GROUNDS. I was twenty-two when this flick came out and at that time in my life, I would have been horrified by her attitude, especially after attending eleven years of Catholic school and being named after my aunt, who was a nun.
As a fifty-four-year old, grown ass woman now, I think it’s fucking hysterical.
From some of the research I did on the film (Shut up, I do actually think on these movies, you know. Just because I‘m a drunkard doesn’t mean I don’t do the work.) the use of a priest as a murdering psychopath, and perhaps the cavalier attitude of Laura in the face of Catholic authority, was a nod to the sex scandals rocking the church at the time. But let’s face it. There is always some seedy underbelly to many “Christian” organizations. Also worth a mention that taking something supposedly good and righteous and turning it on its head is not a new concept. It’s a trope for a reason.
And biting one’s thumb at authority is as old as time.
I do have one question for any high school virgins from the nineties that might be reading this. Did y’all wear garters and thigh highs on the regular, even if you weren’t trying to titillate your boyfriend/partner? I mean, maybe Meagan had them on to wear with her fancy party dress but WHHHYYY? Why would she even have them? I didn’t get any of that shit until I was in my forties and it was because I needed it for a cosplay!
Anyway, just curious if that was an actual thing or just a horny male writer getting his school girl fantasy dick stroked. Let me know, all right?
Prom Night IV: Please, Let’s Just Stop Now
While the first two Prom Night films are highly enjoyable, those who took the tattered remnants of this franchise and sewed it into the ugliest Christmas sweater ever, can rest now and never speak of this plodding, trite mess of a film. Despite some people trying to connect the movie, The Club, to the Prom Night franchise as part V, it’s pretty clear that Prom Night IV: Deliver Us from Evil is the final nail in the coffin of this series. And thank God for that.
Drunken Monkey Review: Prom Night IV - Deliver Us From Evil - Malevolent Dark
Director: Clay Borris
Date Created: 1970-01-01 00:33