An unknown killer, clad in 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.
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.
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>
One of the Better Slasher Films from the Golden Age of Slashers, "The Prowler"
"The Prowler" is worth all the viewing that any horror fan can muster up the time for. It is a decent little viewed slasher that has some good story qualities but will mostly be remembered for its extremely graphic gore (especially for the time period of which it was made). Aside from the gore, one of the things that was actually enjoyable about "The Prowler" was that it did offer a little bit of suspense and tension, and the direction by Joseph Zito is perfect while he creates a scary atmosphere and uses the camera to make his killer all the more terrifying. It is rare that people nowadays can cringe at slasher films from this era, but "The Prolwer" certainly will add a little bit of suspense.
The acting isn't as bad as one might think, and its shocking that most of these stars were never heard of again. The musical score is very well done, and keeps the audience tuned into the film. However, as mentioned, it is the director Joseph Zito and the make-up artist Tom Savini (of the "Friday the 13th" and "Dawn of the Dead" fame) who really make "The Prowler" worth your time. Zito knows how to create a scary and ominous villain and he knows how to pace the storyline so that it isn't at all boring. Savini adds a lot of blood to some truly gross death scenes. Knives going through heads, through throats, head explosions, throat slashes, pitchfork killings... its all due to Savini's brilliance. I must say that these effects are the best I've seen in a horror film from the time period, and they surpass "The Burning", "Friday the 13th: The Final Chapter", and "Sleepaway Camp".
"The Prolwer" is available on DVD, from the Blue Underground Company completely uncut, uncensored, and relentless. It also includes a commentary by Zito and Savini, a brief featurette featuring Savini, a theatrical trailer (which will remind anyone of the "Thanksgiving" trailer in the film "Grindhouse"), as well as a poster gallery. Its a nice package for such a rarely seen little gem.
5 of 6 people found this review helpful.
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