1980’s PROM NIGHT was an early entry in the post-HALLOWEEN slasher boom and proved most memorable for featuring Jamie Lee Curtis, a number of endurance-testing disco sequences and Leslie Nielsen in perhaps his last serious role as a strict high-school principal. Although the movie was a success—and spawned three sequels with unrelated plots—when Fango visits the set of Screen Gems’ upcoming remake, director Nelson McCormick promises that this is not a rehash of the original. “The resemblance is name-only,” says the director, making his motion picture debut after working on such hit television series as PRISON BREAK and CSI. When he was offered the film, scripted by J.S. (THE COVENANT) Cardone, he admits, “I saw the original in 1980 and I was kind of relieved to hear that this is a different take. This is my first feature film, so it’s all or nothing, and you’ll see elements of movies like SEVEN and THE SILENCE OF THE LAMBS in this.”
Despite that comparison, one thing that may surprise fans is that this slasher spinoff will be rated PG-13 when it hits theaters February 1, 2008. “There were times when we thought, ‘That shot is more R than PG-13,’ so we would go with less blood,” admits McCormick. “But the goal of our killer is not to rack up a body count. His goal is to seize on an opportunity and do whatever he needs to do in his demented state of mind.”
Essaying the role of the murderer is Johnathon Schaech, the actor (with credits including Cardone’s THE FORSAKEN) who has recently turned screenwriter with ROADHOUSE 2 and MASTERS OF HORROR: THE WASHINGTONIANS. “Horror is such a great genre,” Schaech says. “I play a teacher who develops a major crush on one of his students, a beautiful girl called Donna [AMERICAN DREAMS’ Brittany Snow]. Then I get fired, visit her home and get into a confrontation with her mother and father. After that I’m sent to a mental asylum, which I eventually escape from, and when I get out I go looking for her again.”
“He becomes a little like a machine,” says McCormick of Schaech’s villain. “He kills whenever he feels it is necessary. This guy doesn’t have a bloodlust—he just wants Donna.” Look for lots more on PROM NIGHT in upcoming issues of FANGORIA.