6.1/10
9,540
137 user 83 critic

The Prowler (1981)

Trailer
2:51 | Trailer
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 graduation dance.

Director:

Joseph Zito

Writers:

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

Videos

Photos

Edit

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
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:

You don't need a chainsaw to have a massacre. (1984 re-release as "Pitchfork Massacre") See more »


Certificate:

R | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
Edit

Did You Know?

Trivia

On the audio commentary for the DVD director Joseph Zito said that he hated the props used for Rosemary's photo album and gravestone so much that he was apprehensive about even allowing the film to be released on DVD. Zito says he always felt the props were painfully fake-looking and avoided coverage on them as much as possible while shooting. 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

Pat Kingsley: Anything else for you today?
Sheriff George Fraser: Uh... yeah. Just some deodorant.
Pat Kingsley: No sweat... Get it?
See more »

Crazy Credits

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

Alternate Versions

The following shots were omitted from the U.S. release to get an "R" rating:
  • Longer pitchfork impalement of Rosemary and her boyfriend.
  • More graphic view of sword going through guy's head.
  • More graphic scene of the girl in the shower being stabbed with pitchfork.
  • More graphic shots of the sword slashing the neck of the girl in the pool.
  • More gore in the scene where the Prowler rams the sword into the guy's neck against the fence.
  • More of a view of the climactic head exploding scene.
See more »

Connections

References Hawaii Five-O (1968) See more »

Soundtracks

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

User Reviews

One of the Better Slasher Films from the Golden Age of Slashers, "The Prowler"
12 June 2007 | by captaincrackerSee all my reviews

"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.


10 of 14 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you? | Report this
Review this title | See all 137 user reviews »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more »
Edit

Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

9 October 1981 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Pitchfork Massacre See more »

Edit

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 »

Contribute to This Page



Recently Viewed