The Prowler is one of my personal favourites. With Tom Savini at the helm on the gore effects and Zito directing (the guy who directed my favourite Friday the 13th) this film does stand out as one of the most memorable of the 80s slasher movies.
The film begins with troops returning home from Europe 1945, most come to a hero’s welcome but not the boyfriend of Rosemary, who gets a little lonely whilst her boyfriend is off fighting for freedom. On his return, on the night of her prom dance he murders her and her lover. The killer is never found and the main story of the film jumps forward 30 years where the local collage are preparing for another dance, the first since the murders.
Whilst the plot is unimportant in the grand scheme of things, as stripped down this film is basically another teen slasher, but the story gives it more credibility and gives the killer an excuse to wear a pretty cool outfit. The Prowler is still wearing his combat gear, uses knifes, bayonets and a pitchfork to dispatch his victims. I don’t really know where the pitchfork comes into play but still it makes some pretty gruesome deaths.
Moving on to the best aspect of the film, the gore:
The gore in this film is probably the best, and brutal I’ve seen. Each of the deaths scenes are drawn out, very brutal and contain extreme close ups of pitchfork impalements and knife slashing. The impalements look realistic, the skin shots don’t look rubbery at all and with blood gushing from fresh puncture wounds I was unsure myself how it was done!
Sadly there is one negative point to be made in that is that there are only around 5 to 6 deaths throughout the 89 minute duration of the film and as the deaths tend to come in pairs there is a fair amount of screen time left to fill in the space between. As I have said the plot is good, and the acting isn’t bad either but it’s not exactly deeps stuff and as you know roughly where it is going the pace does drag in parts; this is especially frustrating as the death scenes look so good!
Overall buying the Prowler is a must, Blue Undergrounds DVD is irresistible. Uncut and with a decent picture it’s the best version you can get! As for the film, well despite its flaws I love it. Its lack of sleaze and limited humour means that a really grim atmosphere lingers throughout and with such realistic gore it is a film which stands out from the crowd.