(R, 1:28:16, Released 1981)
|Release Date:||Nov 6, 1981|
|DVD Release Date:||Sep 3, 2002|
|Starring:||Vicki Dawson, Christopher Goutman, Cindy Weintraub, Farley Granger, John Seitz, Thom Bray, Carleton Carpenter, Bill Collins, Lisa Dunsheath, Bryan Englund|
|Directed by:||Joseph Zito|
|Synopsis:||In this gory (the special effects are especially well done) slice-n-dicer, the happiness and the sanity of a W.W.II vet is destroyed when he returns home and finds his girl in the arms of another at the town's annual dance. Outraged, he kills both with a pitchfork and the town does not hold the dance again for the next 35 years. The story jumps to the future and the town prepares to hold the dance again. Unfortunately, the vet hears about the dance and comes back to do a little more killing. ~ Sandra Brennan, Rovi|
|Full movie details|
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Other Top Reviews
August 26, 2011
Bloody stalk 'n' slash classic about a disgruntled WW2 Vet with a dislike of happy young teens who goes around dispatching them violently during a graduation party. The kills in this one are among the most brutal from the 80s slasher era with some of them actually being quite disturbing as the camera lingers on the last agonizing moments of the victim. One of Savini's career highlights for sure! Aside from the death scenes the film does build some quite effective suspensful moments too and the musical score adds well to the atmosphere. Essential viewing! One of my favourite slashers.
July 28, 2011
"If you think you're safe... your DEAD wrong."
You know a genre is bad when it's enthusiasts call a movie like The Prowler one of the best of the genre. In reality, all The Prowler is, is another generic and actually pretty boring slasher from the 80's. The story is a lot like My Bloody Valentine(my favorite 80's slasher). Everything else about the film falls into a dead genre that besides a few exceptions is horrible. Among the good ones are Black Christmas(the best), Halloween, My Bloody Valentine, and I guess you can throw Psycho into the equation, but I really don't see it as a slasher. There are some other decent to good slashers out there. There are a few Friday The 13th's that are ok, not good, but ok. The first Nightmare on Elm Street is pretty good. So the genre is pretty flat. This movie is no exception to that.
The Prowler is a movie that suffers from horrible pacing. It's boring in sections and that just can't happen if you want to make a good slasher. It offers a few good kills, but supporters of this movie act like the kills are the best ever. Their ok, but none of them really excited me. I did like the opening sequence, but after that I was less than impressed. It was the same cliche slasher, where every door is locked and I'm going to run from the killer turn a corner and run into someone I know. There's nothing original here.
I guess the hype of people saying this was one of the best slashers out there, killed it for me. It turns out to be just an average slasher, which in the real world means it's a bad movie.
January 11, 2011
An okay, average slasher movie, pretty routine with a little blood and gore here and there. It's entertaining, but that's it.
December 22, 2010
One of the greats. Tom Savini and Joseph Zito at the top of their game. It may be the cliche'd 80's slasher we've all come to expect (right down to the storyline), but it's extremely well-made and the special effects are some of the best you're likely to see.
December 12, 2010
The Prowler is one of the best, most intense slasher films of the 1980's. Brilliantly directed by Joseph Zito, who would later helm Friday The 13th: The Final Chapter, this slasher film has barely made a ripple in the Horror world, or so it seems. I say barely because no one has ever really heard about this classic gem of slasher cinema. The Prowler has often been compared to My Bloody Valentine, and yes, the film does have similarities. However both of them are great slashers in their own right. The Prowler features some intense gore sequences by Tom Savini. Obviously the film will never win any Oscars, but for what it is, The Prowler is one of best slasher films of the early 80's. The killer himself looks badass in full army fatigues and helmet as he prowls the night for his victims. The bloodbath begins in 1945 after a Veteran receives a Dear John letter and his ex is brutally murdered, and the crime has remained unsolved. Over thirty years later, the slaughter resumes after a graduation dance is held for the first time in the 35 years since the murders. Joseph Zito crafts one good slasher, and he's able to convey an atmospheric and mysterious mood which sets the tone of the film. The mood displayed here is something not seen since Halloween. The film is more violent and gory than Halloween, but the essence that made Halloween such an unforgettable slasher are present here. The cast here do a good job and The Prowler ends up being a better slasher than most Halloween or Friday The 13th imitators. The effects will satisfy the gore hounds and the kills are well thought out, especially the shower scene and the Bayonet through the head. Tom Savini's effects are a high point of the film, and Joseph Zito has crafted a fine slasher film.
August 12, 2009
By far my favourite of the early eighties dorm slashers, THE PROWLER is an excellent and exciting film brought to the screen with finesse by Joseph Zito. He also directed arguably the best of the FRIDAY THE 13th sequels - The Final Chapter. He shows us his love for the hack and slash cycle here, by renewing a few scenes from two of the genre's pioneers. You've got the 'murder in the shower' fresh out of Hitchcock's renowned classic PSYCHO. Here Zito makes it a lot more brutal, with some realistic and visually stunning gore effects from horror maestro Tom Savini. And then there are various references to Carpenter's HALLOWEEN, including the assassin digging up the grave of the victim he killed some 35 years earlier. Michael Myers steals his sister Judith's headstone from her grave when he escapes from his 15 year spell in Haddonfield's asylum. But although there are brief nods to his obvious influences, Zito also manages to supply some originality and some genuinely scary sequences. Back in the day it was thought that he was going to be the next Tobe Hooper after his flawless work within the horror genre. But sadly he went on to work with more action-orientated films such as Missing in Action, Red Scorpion and Invasion USA.
The plot is believable and also extremely well written. It opens with black and white footage of GIs returning victoriously from WW2. Cut to a letter from a girl named Rosemary to an unseen receiver, stating how she 'does not want to hurt him, but could wait for him no longer...' In other words someone's been dumped and it looks as if a few people are going to have to suffer because of it! Again cut to Avalon Bay Graduation dance 1945 and we're shown the lady Rosemary for the first time with her new 'fella'. While the host merrily talks about Glenn Miller's death, Rose and her cocky boyfriend head out under the stars for a spot of good old harmless (or extremely harmful in these films!) huggin' and a kissin'! They choose a spot at the end of a brightly laminated pier and continue to smooch the night away under the stars, unaware that a somewhat unfriendly looking guy disguised in GI garb and brandishing a bowie knife is watching their every move! Suddenly the lights go out, and Rose and her partner are brought a little bit closer together...Both impaled on a pitchfork!
Skip 35 years and Avalon Bay is preparing for the first graduation dance since the fateful events that occurred before. While the young enthusiastic teens are shown getting ready to find romance at the dance, it looks as if a certain unknown someone is preparing for another bloody massacre. One girl unknowingly predicts the events that follow while she's getting dressed for the party by saying to her sulky looking friend "Hey you're not gonna mope about tonight are ya? Some of us will never see each other again..." Her remarks prove to be surprisingly accurate!
THE PROWLER is often pipped in the popularity stakes by the same year's similar slasher MY BLOODY VALENTINE. Many reviewers also find the latter to be the slightly better of the two. However I beg to differ, because even though MBV is a decent enough movie, I find this to be a scarier and for the most part more sinister attempt with a much stronger cast. Zito's spooky direction is superb and Savini's 'almost too realistic' gore touches just round it off perfectly. There are a few jumps to increase your heartbeat and I strongly wouldn't recommend any young femme fatale who's trying to grow her finger nails to watch this flick alone, because there are a couple of scenes when I guarantee you'll be biting them off!! One of my favorite ever murder scenes is also in this flick, the excellent swimming pool killing. A female teen who is bathing by herself under the moonlight paddles over to the ladder to climb out of the pool. She reaches the steps and begins to ascend them when all of a sudden she is brutally kicked in the face. She finally comes back to her senses and looks around to see who attacked her, but no one is anywhere to be seen! The silence is broken when the killer jumps out of the water behind her and gorily slices her throat in amazing detail. Watch for the blood that leaks out of her wound as her lifeless body sinks in to the murky depths of the cold water; it's Savini at his best...Excellent! The cast are also superb, which, must've helped the general production no end. Veteran actors Farley Granger and Lawrence Tierney have small roles, but the real 'round of applause' goes to fresh faced newcomers Goutman and Dawson who actually steal the show. It's only a shame they never went on to do much worth noting in the movies after this.
All in all THE PROWLER is everything a slasher should be dark, scary, gory while at the same time fun. It's incredibly underrated so I would most definitely recommend it, try and hunt down a copy if you can and I guarantee you will not be disappointed!
June 24, 2009
One of the finest slasher films ever made. Like many slasher films (and many films in general), this one is not without it's problems. There are many similarities to My Bloody Valentine, although that is not one of the problems. Both films came out in 1981, both have identical basic plots (although the specifics differ), great direction, tons of mood and atmosphere, and both have creative, brutal death scenes. Both films are standouts of the subgenre, and MBV is a better film in terms of story and structure, but (until recently) suffered from being severely edited/cut in the gore department. And that is where The Prowler shines. Here's why: Tom Savini. The man is a legend, and his talent for creating brutal, realistic, and graphic gory death scenes are on full display here totally uncut (in the Region 1 DVD version). Joseph Zito is a really director of these types of films, and three years later that fact would be reinforced whe nhe again teamed up with Savini to do Friday the 13th The Final Chapter. The biggest weakness with htis film is the pacing and story issues, especially during the second half. The atmosphere remains, but thigns drag needlesly. However, throughout the film, there are lots of great little quirky and idiosyncratic things that, along with the gore make this fairly obscure slasher gem worth checking out.
July 14, 2007
A minor slasher horror film with some good death effects. But it really seems to be lacking in the story and character department for a very empty film.
September 22, 2013
What a draaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaggggggg!
This crap feels longer than Lawrence of Arabia and not in a good way. Save for some savy Tom Savini effects on the gore, very little saves this snooze fest.
November 22, 2011
Overall, the movie is not good. Its script hits many dull points and the characters, as always, are too underdeveloped to feel like anything other than victims (I can't even remember what happened to a couple of them and I just finished watching the movie literally 7 minutes ago). However, the film gets extra points for its gory effects, courtesy of Tom Savini, and for at least trying, to mixed success, to balance its jump-scares with suspense and tension.
August 2, 2010
A well done slasher movie, lack of story but succeeded at building suspense and good death special effect that made them look real. I would give it more stars but the weak ending made me decide not to. This movie is also known as Rosemary's killer.
June 16, 2010
By the numbers slasher flick, but a damn good time anyways. That being said this movie is severely flawed. The characters arent given anytime to grow, and therefore you won't have any emotion invested in them when they die. Also people started to die way to early and the moviie felt like more of a collection of death scenes at times, than a cohesive film. Either way I enjoyed this as a mindless slasher flick, and Tom Savini always delivers in the gore department. For die hard Slasher fans only.
July 25, 2008
Graduation Night 1945 a girl and her boyfriend are killed in what police figured was a jilted lover home from the war but no one was ever arrested fast forward 35 years later and the sleepy town of avalon is haveing there first dance since then but of course a killer shows up to spoil the fun kinda predictable towards the end but a fun and what i think very underated 80's slasher flick that fans of these kinda movies should check out
January 18, 2013
Gave this a re-watch back during the Halloween season, and I can confirm that my initial impressions held up rather well:
'This was one of those infamous slashers that I'd always heard about but had never gotten around to checking out until it hit Netfux Instant Watch. The kills are impressive and the overall look of the killer is enough to make me want to re-visit this one at some point, very decent little flick.'
Plus the Blu-ray looks great!
Worth a rental.
September 5, 2012
The Prowler (1981) -- [6.0] -- It may not be as famous as Jason or Michael's outings, but "The Prowler" is a quintessential slasher film nonetheless. Tom Savini serves up some memorable kills (the shower scene takes the cake) and director Joseph Zito wrings several cliched scenarios for all the suspense they're worth. Zito would go on to direct what many consider the best installment of the "Friday the 13th" franchise, part four, "The Final Chapter."
August 26, 2010
This movie reminded me of My Bloody Valentine, but the ending wasn't as shocking as it was in that movie. For the most part, this is a routine slasher movie. There is a little gore, but the special effects are pretty good. I really didn't like the actors in this movie and their characters aren't very interesting either. Overall, it's a so-so movie.
February 15, 2010
Soooo Boring! Classic Slasher film, Good blood and killing effects. But everything else to the quietness of the film and slow pace sucked.
July 27, 2009
I'd seen this movie sampled dozens of times in horror specials and all the build-up was a bit of a let-down. The major feature here is Tom Savini. Pitchfork killings, huzzah!
February 29, 2008
Perhaps one of the most underrated horror movies ever made. I wish more people had seen it because it's definitely an above average horror movie. The killer is awesome, but it's the gore and kills that were the strong points.
February 19, 2008
A masked killer, wearing World War II U.S. Army fatigues, stalks a small New Jersey town bent on reliving a 35-year-old double murder by focusing on a group of college kids holding an annual Spring Dance.
April 18, 2007
Yeah, this is a pretty generic slasher flick. I didn't have any idea who some of the character were because they were never developed. Some cool deaths and a good ending save this one.
February 17, 2007
A personal favorite of mine in the slasher drama, this one features the usual revenge driven storyline and dimwitted teens, but is bolstered by a decent surprise at the ened and some absolutely fantastic gore effects, courtesy of FX master Tom Savini. A good time all around.