THE PROWLER (1981) Reviews and overview

New! Visitor ratings! Click on a star to indicate your rating of this movie!

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

the prowler blu-ray

Buy Blu-ray: |

“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


Waxwork Records is releasing the original motion picture soundtrack for The Prowler (1981) by Richard Einhorn. The movie is one of the early and seminal entries in the American slasher genre. It also features special effects by Tom Savini (Friday the 13th, Creepshow, Day of the Dead) and was directed by Joseph Zito (Friday the 13th: The Final Chapter).

The film’s music by Richard Einhorn (Shock Waves; Don’t Go in the House) introduces the composer’s departure from the primitive, monophonic synth scoring of his earlier work, and implements a blend of orchestral cues and mature electronic soundscapes.

Waxwork Records worked with the composer to research and locate the master tapes that were thought to have been destroyed for decades. The tapes were restored, transferred, and the music was mixed, constructed into a cohesive soundtrack listening experience, and mastered specifically for vinyl.

This new, definitive double LP film score release of The Prowler features all of the film’s music composed by Richard Einhorn pressed to 180 gram Army Green Swirl with Rose Petal Red Splatter, new artwork by Ghoulish Gary Pullin, exclusive liner notes by director Joseph Zito, and a printed insert featuring Rosemary’s break-up letter. Order here



Cast and characters:

  • Vicky Dawson as Pam MacDonald
  • Christopher Goutman as Deputy Mark London
  • Lawrence Tierney as Major Chatham
  • Farley Granger as Sheriff George Fraser (So Sweet, So Dead)
  • Cindy Weintraub as Lisa
  • Lisa Dunsheath as Sherry
  • David Sederholm as Carl
  • Bill Nunnery as Hotel Clerk
  • Thom Bray as Ben
  • Diane Rode as Sally
  • Bryan Englund as Paul
  • Donna Davis as Miss Allison
  • Carleton Carpenter as 1945 M.C
  • Joy Glaccum as Francis Rosemary Chatham
  • Timothy Wahrer as Roy
  • John Seitz as Pat Kingsley
  • Bill Hugh Collins as Otto
  • Dan Lounsbery as Jimmy Turner
  • Douglas Stevenson as Young Pat Kingsley
  • Susan Monts as Young Pat Kingsley’s Date

Filming locations:
Cape May, New Jersey


FRIDAY THE 13TH: THE FINAL CHAPTER (1984) Reviews and overview

More slashers

Tom Savini

MOVIES and MANIA rating: