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>
Rosemary's Killer (aka The Prowler) has a central theme similar to the same year's My Blood Valentine - a killer who's psychosis is re-triggered by the reawakening of a long dead tradition, in both cases a dance. The Prowler is not a great little slasher flick, there are a few redeeming features; highish production values, some suspenseful chase sequences, gruesomely effective gore effects courtesy of Tom Savini. The film tries to set itself up as a bit of a mystery and much is made of the snooping couple looking for clues, I factor that I always finds interesting in these movies, the killer's identity is a surprise, It could have been anyone.
A prime example of the slasher genre that gleefully touches all the familiar bases before sliding home (home being an exploding head courtesy of living legend Tom Savini). The bloodbath begins at a graduation party, when a returning G.I. responds to a Dear John letter with a firmly inserted pitchfork through it's author and her new beau. Rather than focusing on capturing the crazed madman with the pointy tool, the town of Avalon Bay decides graduation dances are the problem and bans them indefinitely. This policy works well for 36 years. Then in 1981, having never seen My Bloody Valentine or even Footloose for that matter, the town makes the sudden decision to throw another party. The resulting mayhem is an atmospheric and deliciously gory jolter that, like it's lead heroine, stumbles a bit, but ultimately gets the job done.
All in all The Prowler is definitely up there as one of the best 80's Slasher definitely worth seeing.
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