The Prowler (aka Rosemary’s Killer) (1981)
A masked killer dressed in US military uniform stalks and slashes his way through a Graduation dance….35 years after a horrific double-murder of a young couple. but what’s the connection and who is the killer?
Joseph Zito directed this quirky slasher which is most well-known for the terrific special make-up effects of Tom Savini – these are probably the best effects in any slasher movie of the period. Blunt instruments burst through prosthetic heads, torsos and limbs all over the place. In addition, there is a cool homage to arguably the first slasher movie, “Psycho”, in the very bloody ‘shower scene’.
There are plenty of scares and Zito handles the pulsating chase sequences with significant directorial flare (he would do the same in “Friday the 13th: The Final Chapter”). The eerie camerawork is worthy of a mention too; this movie is fantastically dark with the only let-up from the blackened screen being the piercing thrusts of the killer’s pitchfork. The screenplay is a bit more developed than your average slasher flick meaning that the audience is nearly as interested in plot and character developments as in the death sequences (a rarity in the genre). That said, the producers obviously couldn’t resist the rather tongue-in-cheek shock ending……
I really like this film, it’s a step above most “dead teenager” movies and whilst it certainly isn’t in the spirit of the bloodless genre-masterpiece “Halloween” (1978), there are certain scenes which could have dropped straight out of Carpenter’s classic.
hotdog rating: 7/10
ps. The Prowler is on at The Prince Charles Cinema in Leicester Square this Wednesday; an opportunity not to be missed!