‘The Prowler’ (1981): Flashback to the ’80s slasher film

What happens when a jilted soldier comes back?  Murder and mayhem!

The Prowler  (also known as Rosemary’s Killer) is a 1981 slasher that was directed by Joseph Zito. Zito also directed the slasher Friday the 13th: The Final Chapter.  Anyway, the premise of the film is simple, World War II is over and there is a college graduation dance. Two people are gruesomely murdered — fast forward to 35 years later. The first dance since the murders in 1945 is on its way, while someone dressed in military fatigues stalks the area.

We know that the killer is the same from 35 years ago, but the headscratcher is who is under those military fatigues? I actually was surprised on who the killer ended up being. I do have to agree with others about it being close to My Bloody Valentine too. The two movies would make the perfect double feature!

The cast includes Vicky Dawson (who reminded me of Amy Steel’s character in Friday the 13th: Part II)  Christoper Goutman, Thom Bray, and classic movie stars Farley Granger and Lawrence Tierney. Granger is known for the Hitchcock thriller Strangers on a Train, and Tierney is known for his tough guy attitude in movies like Dillinger and Born to Kill. Though while those two big names are in the movie, Zito doesn’t utilize them, which is a shame.

The gore effects are done by the legendary Tom Savini. The weapons of choice include bayonets and pitchforks. The gore scenes last a lot longer than most slashers of the time. The camera doesn’t leave once the carnage starts.

While it does get lost in the mix of the others slashers of the decade, The Prowler is still worth the watch. Fans of the slasher genre will appreciate the movie the most!

Next: Peter Lorre marathon is heading to TCM

Have you seen “The Prowler?” If so, what did you think about it? If you haven’t seen it, it’s currently on Shudder and Amazon Video. 

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