THE PROWLER (1981) Reviews of slasher classic

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The Prowler 1

‘If you think you’re safe… you’re DEAD wrong!’
The Prowler is a 1981 American slasher horror film directed and co-produced by Joseph Zito (Abduction, Bloodrage, Friday the 13th: The Final Chapter) from a screenplay written by Glenn Leopold and Neal F. Barbera. It was filmed as The Graduation and also released as Rosemary’s Killer.

The movie stars Vicky Dawson, Christopher Goutman, Cindy Weintraub and Farley Granger as the sheriff.

The end of the Second World War: newsreel footage of troops returning from Europe on board the Queen Mary. In a letter sent to her lover abroad, a woman named Rosemary writes that she can no longer wait for him.

On June 28, 1945 – Avalon Bay holds its graduation dance. G.I.s escort their girlfriends to the ball. Rosemary (Joy Glaccum) is attending with her new boyfriend Roy (Timothy Wahrer). The two go off and spend time together in a gazebo.

Ominously, someone approaches the couple. The stranger is wearing full combat gear and carrying a pitchfork. As Rosemary and Roy embrace, she looks up and sees the pitchfork over them. Rosemary screams and the stranger plunges it through the both of them.

Thirty-five years later, the town prepares for another graduation dance…


“The performances are all way above par for an 80’s slasher, the score is wonderfully effective, and Tom Savini‘s visual effects are gruesomely convincing. The titular killer gets around in army fatigues and some sort of desert storm face covering. Whilst this is not as iconic as the kit that other 80’s slasher antagonists got around in, it’s still an effective way to keep the killer’s identity hidden until the movie’s finale…” Banned in Queensland

“Uneven writing and a lack of originality aside, this is a competently made for what it is. And once it starts to settle down towards the end and our heroine has to face off against the killer by herself, the movie manages to actually generate some suspense. It’s also topped off with a Carrie-like final shock, which is surprisingly effective.” The Bloody Pit of Horror


” …director Joseph Zito employs a very moody atmosphere, it is well shot with some gorgeous cinematography for a film of its ilk by Raoul Lomas and I think with more contribution from João Fernandes who is uncredited here and the musical score is filled with dread to a supreme effect. Above all else though, the big achievement here is the fantastic special makeup effects from maestro Savini.” Cinematic Shocks

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“In addition to spectacular effects, the film also features some great fashion. It’s feathered hair and outrageous ball gowns as far as the eye can see […] While The Prowler isn’t perfect, it’s a noteworthy effort from a bygone era that fuels my nostalgia quotient. If you enjoy a giallo-esque slasher with memorable effects work, make haste and check it out.” Dread Central




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