MOVIEmeter
SEE RANK
Down 1,761 this week

The Prowler (1981)

6.1
Your rating:
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 -/10 X  
Ratings: 6.1/10 from 4,351 users  
Reviews: 109 user | 94 critic

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.

Director:

0Check in
0Share...

Watch Now

Free at IMDb + 1 more

User Lists

Related lists from IMDb users

a list of 30 titles
created 28 Nov 2011
 
a list of 45 titles
created 09 Mar 2012
 
a list of 23 titles
created 16 Feb 2013
 
a list of 30 titles
created 11 months ago
 
a list of 29 titles
created 3 months ago
 

Related Items

Search for "The Prowler" on Amazon.com

Connect with IMDb


Share this Rating

Title: The Prowler (1981)

The Prowler (1981) on IMDb 6.1/10

Want to share IMDb's rating on your own site? Use the HTML below.

Take The Quiz!

Test your knowledge of The Prowler.

Videos

Photos

Learn more

People who liked this also liked... 

The Burning (1981)
Horror
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.4/10 X  

A former summer camp caretaker, horribly burned from a prank gone wrong, lurks around an upstate New York summer camp bent on killing the teenagers responsible for his disfigurement.

Director: Tony Maylam
Stars: Brian Matthews, Leah Ayres, Brian Backer
Abduction (1975)
Crime | Drama | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5/10 X  

Daughter of a wealthy family is kidnapped by left wing terrorists.

Director: Joseph Zito
Stars: Judith-Marie Bergan, David Pendleton, Gregory Rozakis
Horror | Mystery | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6/10 X  

After a seemingly innocent prank goes horribly wrong, a group of sorority sisters are stalked and murdered one by one in their sorority house while throwing a party to celebrate their graduation.

Director: Mark Rosman
Stars: Kate McNeil, Eileen Davidson, Janis Ward
Madman (1982)
Horror | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.3/10 X  

At a summer camp for youths, cockey pre-teen calls out the name of mass serial killer "Madman Marz". Suddenly, counselors are being maimed and slaughtered in various ways by the ... See full summary »

Director: Joe Giannone
Stars: Gaylen Ross, Tony Fish, Harriet Bass
Horror | Mystery | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.1/10 X  

A decades old folk tale surrounding a deranged murderer killing those who celebrate Valentine's Day, turns out to be true to legend when a group defies the killer's order and people start turning up dead.

Director: George Mihalka
Stars: Paul Kelman, Lori Hallier, Neil Affleck
The Howling (1981)
Horror | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.6/10 X  

After a bizarre and near fatal encounter with a serial killer, a television newswoman is sent to a remote mountain resort whose residents may not be what they seem.

Director: Joe Dante
Stars: Dee Wallace, Patrick Macnee, Dennis Dugan
Horror | Mystery | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6/10 X  

Virginia Wainwright is proud that she belongs to a clique with the best students at a private school. But before her 18th birthday, a grueling series of murders take place and her friends ... See full summary »

Director: J. Lee Thompson
Stars: Melissa Sue Anderson, Glenn Ford, Lawrence Dane
Terror Train (1980)
Horror | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.8/10 X  

A masked killer targets six college kids responsible for a prank gone wrong three years earlier and who are currently throwing a large New Year's Eve costume party aboard a moving train.

Director: Roger Spottiswoode
Stars: Ben Johnson, Jamie Lee Curtis, Hart Bochner
Horror | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.5/10 X  

A recently institutionalized woman has bizarre experiences after moving into a supposedly haunted country farmhouse and fears she may be losing her sanity once again.

Director: John D. Hancock
Stars: Zohra Lampert, Barton Heyman, Kevin O'Connor
Horror | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.3/10 X  

Five campers arrive in the mountains to examine some property they have bought, but are warned by the forest ranger Roy McLean that a huge machete-wielding maniac has been terrorising the ... See full summary »

Director: Jeff Lieberman
Stars: George Kennedy, Mike Kellin, Chris Lemmon
Horror
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.8/10 X  

A troupe of struggling stage actors is rehearsing for a small-town production of a play. Everything seems to be as it should until one of the cast members turns up dead. In a panic, the ... See full summary »

Director: Michele Soavi
Stars: David Brandon, Barbara Cupisti, Domenico Fiore
Bloodrage (1979)
Crime | Thriller | Horror
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5/10 X  

A sexually frustrated young man kills hookers.

Director: Joseph Zito
Stars: James Johnson, Judith-Marie Bergan, Jerry McGee
Edit

Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Vicky Dawson ...
Christopher Goutman ...
...
...
Cindy Weintraub ...
Lisa Dunsheath ...
David Sederholm ...
Bill Nunnery ...
Hotel Clerk
Thom Bray ...
Ben
Diane Rode ...
Bryan Englund ...
Donna Davis ...
Carleton Carpenter ...
1945 M.C
Joy Glaccum ...
Timothy Wahrer ...
Roy
Edit

Storyline

The film begins with the return home of a wwII veteran who was the recipient of a "Dear John Letter". After swiftly dispatching a courting couple in a Gazebo we leap to present day where a college celebration becomes the hunting ground for a uniform clad killer. Written by Barry Wall <Barry@Mage.demon.co.uk>

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

if you think you're safe... you're DEAD wrong! See more »


Certificate:

See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

 »
Edit

Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

6 November 1981 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Pitchfork Massacre  »

Filming Locations:


Box Office

Budget:

$1,000,000 (estimated)
 »

Company Credits

Production Co:

 »
Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

| (cut)

Sound Mix:

Color:

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See  »
Edit

Did You Know?

Trivia

The house used for Major Chatham's house was actually a museum. The furniture in the house was all antique and the owners would only allow a skeleton crew to shoot inside the location. See more »

Quotes

The Prowler: [synthesized] i want you to be my date, Rose.
See more »

Crazy Credits

The color of the closing credits turns from blood red to yellow. See more »

Connections

Referenced in Video Nasties: Draconian Days (2014) See more »

Soundtracks

View Through a Tear
Composed and Performed by Nowhere Fast
Courtesy of Trust Me Music, Inc.
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more (Spoiler Alert!) »

User Reviews

Possibly the greatest of the early eighties dorm slashers...
13 June 2002 | by (London) – See all my reviews

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!


30 of 44 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

Message Boards

Recent Posts
Death match... The Prowler versus My Bloody Valentine Aomalle27
Due for a remake timg88
The Major Problem With This Film JGrossoiii
Region 2 DVD adriangr
Widescreen DVD release adriangr
non-halloween/friday1 3th slashers with high-ish production values?? pallisrs
Discuss The Prowler (1981) on the IMDb message boards »

Contribute to This Page

Create a character page for:
?