6.1/10
8,189
123 user 81 critic

The Prowler (1981)

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.

Director:

Joseph Zito

Writers:

Glenn Leopold, Neal Barbera (as Neal F. Barbera) | 4 more credits »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Vicky Dawson ... Pam MacDonald
Christopher Goutman ... Mark London
Lawrence Tierney ... Major Chatham
Farley Granger ... Sheriff George Fraser
Cindy Weintraub ... Lisa
Lisa Dunsheath ... Sherry
David Sederholm ... Carl
Bill Nunnery ... Hotel Clerk
Thom Bray ... Ben
Diane Rode Diane Rode ... Sally
Bryan Englund Bryan Englund ... Paul
Donna Davis Donna Davis ... Miss Allison
Carleton Carpenter ... 1945 M.C
Joy Glaccum ... Francis Rosemary Chatham
Timothy Wahrer Timothy Wahrer ... Roy
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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:

The human exterminator. See more »


Certificate:

R | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

6 November 1981 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Pitchfork Massacre See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$1,000,000 (estimated)
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Graduation See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

| (cut)

Sound Mix:

Mono

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Released internationally as "Rosemary's Killer". See more »

Goofs

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 »

Quotes

Carl: Aren't you going to invite me in?
Sherry: How about you take off your clothes?
Carl: Start your stopwatch, coach.
See more »

Crazy Credits

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

Alternate Versions

The film was initially refused in Australia by the OFLC (Office of Film & Literature Classification). The distributor edited 19 seconds of footage from the film to garner an 'R' rating There are only minimal edits to the opening murder, the "bayonet" scene, the "pool" scene & a hedge-side killing. See more »

Connections

Featured in Slice and Dice: The Slasher Film Forever (2012) See more »

Soundtracks

Hard Way
Composed and Performed by 'Nowhere Fast' (uncredited)
Courtesy of Trust Me Music, Inc.
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more »

User Reviews

 
Outstanding gore. Some suspense, too.
5 June 2005 | by TOMASBBloodhoundSee all my reviews

The Prowler is an overlooked horror film from that golden age of slasher films of the late 70s and early 80s. The film is directed by Joseph Zito who has special effects wizard Tom Savini to thank for the film's best scenes. The two also teamed up for Friday the 13th: The Final Chapter (part 4), and that film is a superior effort to this one.

The Plot of this film is very similar to My Bloody Valentine. We have a brutal act of violence taking place many years ago. We have the first big social event scheduled in several years on the very grounds where the trouble took place. And we have a spooky killer chopping up victims left and right. Only instead of full mining gear, our Prowler is dressed in WWII era military fatigues.

The gore is by far the best thing this film has going for it. There are some DISGUSTING killings which look very much like they could be the real thing. Our killer loves to use his bayonet, a pitchfork, and a sawed-off double barrel shotgun on his victims. Most of the killings in the version I have are not mere snippets of knives piercing flesh. You see the killer slice and penetrate these victims until they aren't breathing any more. There is a tidal wave of blood spilled in this film. They saved the best for last, when we see just what a blast from a shotgun at point blank range can do to someone's face. (I would not dream of revealing the victim's identity here!) The film has some glaring dead spots, too. Lawrence Tierney who is billed pretty highly makes such a short appearance you wouldn't believe it. Character development is nearly non-existent, and the motivation behind the carnage is not defined by any logical means. Let me put it this way; I have absolutely NO IDEA why the killer committed these murders. I wonder if the writers even knew.

Gore fans will definitely need to see the uncut version of this film at some point in their lives. It's like a golfer having to play a certain course he heard is interesting before he dies or a skier having to try a certain slope. That kind of thing. See this film out of a sense of duty, but don't expect a true classic.

6 of 10 stars from the Hound.


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