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Hello Mary Lou Prom Night Ii Ost Main

Hello Mary Lou: Prom Night II Album Review

Written by Richie Corelli

Released by Terror Vision

hello mary lou prom night ii ost 01

Composed by Paul Zaza
Released on April 22nd, 2023


Every critic who cites The Godfather Part II as the best film sequel ever made has clearly never seen Hello Mary Lou: Prom Night II. This movie has everything anyone could ever want and deserves to be hailed as a classic of Western Cinema.

Okay… maybe that’s an exaggeration.

Hello Mary Lou is a schlocky, derivative ‘80s horror flick. But with its inventive kills, a love-to-hate villain, and a satisfying if predictable climax, Hello Mary Lou is also goddamn fun. The story begins at Hamilton High School's senior prom in 1957, where a pompous and despicable yet somehow alluring young woman named Mary Lou Maloney (portrayed by Lisa Schrage) is killed in a freak accident. Three decades later, Vicki Carpenter, a student at Hamilton, unknowingly unleashes Mary Lou's wrathful spirit, leading to a series of supernatural disturbances and grotesque, violent deaths.

Hello Mary Lou: Prom Night II was never intended to be a Prom Night sequel. It was supposed to be a standalone movie called The Haunting of Hamilton High. But the success of 1980’s Prom Night engendered producers to rebrand Hamilton High as a sequel. Actor Brock Simpson, son of Prom Night franchise producer Peter Simpson, has a small role in both movies, but he plays different characters. So, there was only one real through-line to connect the two films: composer Paul Zaza. While he doesn’t directly recycle his material from the first Prom Night for Prom Night II—the first score is indebted to the sounds of the ‘70s while the sequel nods to the ‘80s—Zaza’s eerie orchestration bridges these unrelated movies, giving them a semblance, albeit slight, of a singular world.

Hello Mary Lou Prom Night II Side A. Image credit Terror Vision
Hello Mary Lou: Prom Night II - Side A. Image credit: Terror Vision

The score opens on a bed of eerie synths, cold and shimmering. Those tones are quickly subdued as they’re trampled by a bobbing synthetic baseline and a sharp stab of dramatic melody. The track feels like it’s building towards something, but fades out before it has a chance to get there. Zaza’s playing the long game. Instead of jumping into melody, he builds his sonic vision with stretched-out moments of chilling ambiance.

There are two major themes that drive the album’s aesthetic: atmosphere and religion. The opening track establishes mood, the second dives into theology. “Mary Lou’s Confession” juxtaposes a men’s church choir against sinister tones. Icy strings wrap around the heavenly voices and pull them down into darkness. Track #5, “Father Cooper Exorcising” feels equally oppressive. On this track, an album highlight, deep church organs and grinding waves of noise fill the song and blackout any sense of light. The religious themes reprise in track #7 (the title is a spoiler). Here, they float way in the back as a hushed choir swims through discordant drones, John Carpenter-esque synths, and dirty, low-end piano keys.

When the end credits roll, Zaza finally delivers the melodies he promises on the first track. The song begins with a sense of tranquility as gentle orchestration sways peacefully. But around the one-minute mark, the sound shifts. Synths wash in with a pulsating beat. The melody hinted at in the opening track unfolds in full and overtakes the song; a circular composition that ends the album as it began.

The record, released by Terror Vision, is the first time the music has been available on vinyl. And while it’s great to spin this wax, the release is disappointing. The cover art comes from the original marketing posters. It features a red-eyed image of Mary Lou Maloney in her prom dress, squeezed into a high school locker with flames bursting all around her. The coloring is off and the image quality is poor. It’s loaded with noise and soft edges. This may have been a stylistic decision to make it look more like something from the 1980s, but a cleaner presentation would have elevated the design.

Hello Mary Lou Prom Night II Side B. Image credit Terror Vision
Hello Mary Lou: Prom Night II - Side B. Image credit: Terror Vision

The inner gatefold illustration splits the likenesses of two main characters onto one face. It’s similar to the character Two-Face from the Batman comic series. While it works conceptually, the illustration over-relies on crosshatching and is too busy to be as effective as it could be.

The most puzzling thing about this release is the packaging. For some reason, the record cover is 12.75” x 12.75”, which is slightly larger than the standard size. This will be a problem for collectors to prefer to shelve their vinyl with a crisp, clean display.

If the artwork is less than stellar, the sound quality makes up for it. The music is clean without much surface noise. Terror Vision released a few different versions of the vinyl itself. There is a split pink and black record, a yellow and pink pinwheel design, a pink and white swirl, and a release that is purely neon pink. (This review is on the neon pink vinyl, but all should be comparable.)

Overall, the music for Hello Mary Lou: Prom Night II is moody and atmospheric. Fans of melody may be disappointed. While there are repeated fragments, Hello Mary Lou is never able to develop a memorable refrain until the very end. In other ‘80s genre pictures, the antagonists are supported by iconic themes. Look at the big three—the whispery melodies played under Jason Voorhees, the eight crawling notes tied to Freddy Kruger, and the frantic, asymmetrical meter associated with Michael Meyers. With each of these characters, their onscreen terror is heightened by the music. Mary Lou Maloney is never gifted with such a backdrop.

But if Zaza falls short on melody, he comes in full-force with mood. All twelve tracks are weighted by heavy drones, harsh noise, and sharp cues with an ambiance that never wavers. Criticisms on the packaging and artwork aside, Hello Mary Lou is worth picking up, especially for fans with a love of ‘80s genre movies. It’s unrelentingly dark and sinister, just as a good horror score should be.


Music: Threeandahalfstars Cover
Buy Amazon Us
Buy Amazon Uk
Art: Twostars
Physical Quality: Twoandahalfstars
Overall: 3 Star Rating

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About The Author
Richie Corelli
Staff Reviewer - USA
Richie isn’t ignoring you. He just can’t hear you over the music. He’s been plugged in to his headphones for decades, diving into the zine culture of the 90s, blogging relentlessly through the 00s and beyond. He knows more about certain bands than he knows about himself. His love of music is rivaled only by his love of horror. If it’s creepy and spooky, he’s into it.

Horror DNA sutures his two passions together, giving him a platform to analyze and express his feelings on horror scores, soundtracks and live performances. It’s a celebration of all that goes bump in the night.
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