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.
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 »
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>
Shooting the film's special makeup effects would usually take a full day for each setup. The film's entire shooting schedule was built around the filming of the effects. See more »
The camera's shadow can be seen during the POV shot of one of the girls' getting out of the pool when encountering the killer. See more »
[Mark and Pam are at the darkened and empty police station discussing their next move]
I want to check out the dorm again.
[referring to the Prowler]
You really think he might still be there.
Right now, that's all we have to do on.
[they attempt to leave but are stopped when a drunk Kingsley walks in]
Well... looke here.
[referring to the sheriff]
George left you in charge here! Can't you keep those damn kids under control?
What're you doing here, Kingsley?
It's... that damn graduation thing. We ...
[...] See more »
The color of the closing credits turns from blood red to yellow. See more »
As for being your usual copy-and-paste slasher. "The Prowler" was a modest attempt, but its looming reputation makes it out better than it actually is. Don't get me wrong. Everyone talks about Tom Savini's magnificently creative gruesome FX work, and deservedly so. But other than the potently bloody gore, and overall nastiness of some memorable deaths. What really drags this one down is how it gets bogged down with a scratchy story, and inconsistent script which led the film to plod along. Director Zito does his best to in-store some life, but while effectively demonstrating a grim, cruel atmospheric wound. In between the death sequences is little in the way of suspense, or even interest since there are too many vaguely ambiguous and padded distractions that cement themselves in the second half and only go on to annoy. Figuring out whose behind that ominous masked solider in uniform figure, doesn't take much. Baffling though was the choice of weapon no not the army bayonet, but that pitchfork. When did they issue those things out? Odd, but I like it. The stalk 'n' slash angle doesn't entirely wear its self out, since while the jolts are basically telegraphed (but genuine) and having a flimsy story being strung together by its set-pieces that don't tie together. Still it managed to get the heart-racing when needed, and there are few piercing visuals and positioning work by Zito. The shady camera-work luridly focus on the action at hand.
The performances are soundly delivered, but never did I feel anything for these rather one-dimensional characters. Vicky Dawson makes for a strong, likable heroine, but the rest of the cast don't have much affect. Stalwart actors Farley Granger looks embarrassed and there's rather an unusually pointless role for Lawrence Tierney (who also briefly appeared in Zito's 1979 film "Bloodrage") . Christopher Goutman as the local deputy sheriff just pines a lot, and looks clueless. Richard Einhorn's composed a forebodingly hummer music score that superbly complements the film.
There are no pretensions here, in what it wants to be. A middlingly gritty, shocking slasher fare.
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