On this episode of BehindTheNerdyGirl, I’m exploring one of my teenage self’s favorite horror movies.
This ghost story fueled my obsession with the spirits left floating around after they leave their body.
We start off back in 1957, a teenage Mary Lou Maloney goes into her church to confess her sins to the priest. She tells him she disobeys her parents, she takes the Lord’s name in vain, and she have “sinful” relations with several boys. He tells her how these are great sin and she needs to prepared for the consequences. She tells the priest she loved every minute of it, walking out. In the confession booth, she left her phone number saying “For a Good Time Call Mary Lou”.
Later at prom, Mary Lou is given a ring with her initials on it from her date Billy. She thanks him and sends him off for a cup of punch. While he’s gone, Mary Lou sneaks off with another boy Buddy, backstage. Billy sees them making out, storms after her, where she tells him she was just using him. In the bathroom, Billy sees a couple of guys preparing a stink bomb, but abandon it in the trash when a teacher walks in. Billy grabs it. Billy sneaks up on the catwalk above the stage as Mary Lou is named Prom Queen. While she is being crowned, Billy lights and drops the stink bomb down on Mary Lou, but to his horror as well as everyone else’s, the wick catches her dress on fire. She is burned alive in front of everyone, but not before she sees Billy is the one responsible.
Thirty years later, a high schooler Vicki goes to the school prop room to look for a prom dress after over extremely religious mother refused to allow her to get one. While searching, she comes across an old trunk. After having a bit of trouble getting into it, she finds Mary Lou’s prom queen sash, cape, crown, and ring. She takes them and releases Mary Lou’s evil spirit. Vicki leaves the belongs in the art class ,after showing her friend Jess, her recent find. Alone in the classroom, Jess begins messing with the crown, prying out one of the stones. She is then attacked by an unseen entity, ending in her hanging from a light with Mary Lou’s cape. Her death is ruled a suicide, as Jess recently found out she was pregnant, and authorities assume this was her only way out.
After her friend’s death, Vicki starts having intensely scary hallucinations, given to her by Mary Lou of course. She confides in her priest, which happens to be Buddy, yea the one Mary Lou was making out with backstage before she was killed. Hearing Vicki’s stories, he believes Mary Lou may have come back. He goes to Mary Lou’s grave and his bible bursts into flames. Buddy goes to Billy and tires to warn him, but it falls on deaf ears. Billy is now the high school principal, and wouldn’t you know, the father of Vicki’s boyfriend.
Vicki slaps the crap out of her high school rival Kelly, believing she was Mary Lou, and receives detention. Serving her hour in detention, she sees someone writing on the chalkboard, like from the other side. Of course, like all good ghost stories, she goes over to investigate and is drug through the chalkboard. I have to say, it is probably one the best scenes I’ve seen in these types of horror flicks. Quite awesome seeing her swirled around and around, as if the chalkboard was made of liquid. Mary Lou has now possessed Vicki’s body and takes control. Mary Lou heads over to the church and reveals herself to Buddy. The she stabs him in the face with a crucifix and disposes his body in her resting place.
Mary Lou makes Vicki over, changing up her clothes, makeup, and even mannerisms. This causes concern with Vicki’s best friend Monica. Mary Lou takes matters into her own hands after Monica confronts her about Vicki’s strange behavior. While in the locker room, Mary Lou begins “chasing” Monica, to which Monica hides in a locker. During this chase, Mary Lou has been singing, when she gets to the end of her song, the lockers smash together squishing Monica in between, causing her parts to squish out through the locker vents. Another favorite scene of mine. Really kind of gross, but also way cool. Yes, I’m an usual woman, I know lol.
After killing Monica, Mary Lou seduces Craig, Vicki’s boyfriend, and lures him away with promises of sex, only to knock him unconscious. She confronts and taunts Billy, revealing her identity. Billy finds Craig and takes him home, just to knock him back out when he wants to go after Vicki/Mary Lou. Billy goes to Mary Lou’s grave and digs it up, but instead of finding her he finds Billy’s body. He retrieves a gun and heads to the prom.
Meanwhile, at Vicki’s house, Mary Lou grossly seduces Vicki’s father, kissing him. Vicki’s mother walks in on them kissing and tries to stop Mary Lou/Vicki from leaving for the prom. Don’t try to stop a ghost on a mission, otherwise she’ll use her mind powers on you and throw you through the front door….like Mary Lou did with Vicki’s mom.
At prom, Mary Lou enjoys herself while rival Kelly, tries to ensure her win as prom queen. Kelly goes to Josh the tally counter and well there’s no nice way to say it…well there might be but this is a teen horror flick…she blows him to claim her win. Josh then changes the votes in the computer, however, Mary Lou “senses” the change and poor Joshy gets electrocuted through the computer. The votes are then changed back. Vicki is named prom queen and Mary Lou heads up on stage to be crowned. Billy shoots Mary Lou right before she is crowned. Craig arrives right after she is shot and runs to her side on stage. He’s knocked back out when Vicki changes into the burnt up prom queen, then into Mary Lou. During Mary Lou’s “change”, Kelly is killed by a lighting fixture and Craig is chased down to the prop room, where Mary Lou’s trunk is creating a portal to Hell and Craig is about to be sucked in. Moments before Craig is pulled through, his father appears and places the crown on Mary Lou’s head and kisses her. Seemingly pleasing her spirit, Mary Lou vanishes, and Vicki is found in the trunk.
Vicki and Craig leave with Billy, climbing into the backseat of his car. Billy turns on the radio and “Hello Mary Lou” is playing. He reveals he is wearing Mary Lou’s ring, and drives off with the screaming teens.
This might not be the best movie out there, but it is definitely entertaining. A lot of the “kill” scenes are epic. And it ends the way I wish a lot of horror flicks would end….no one gets out alive. Now no they don’t show the trio killed, but they certainly imply it.
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