The 80s where a great time for horror films and this Era makes the Rise and Fall of the Slasher film… your standard Stalk and Kill related film (in the Tradition of the film Halloween). I decided to give The Prowler a go or known as here Rosemary’s Killer as many would dub it as being Slow and Predictable.
It’s one of the better Slashers from the 80s that I have seen… And I have seen quite a lot of them. But most still have the same story and The Prowler is no exception…
On 28 June 1945, along the night of the Graduation Ball in Avalon Bay, the youths Roy and his girlfriend Francis Rosemary Chatham are murdered penetrated by a rake and the killer is not found. On 28 June 1980, a new Graduation Dance is organized by the student Pam MacDonald since Major Chatham, who is very sick and in a wheelchair, has prohibited any celebration for thirty-five years. The local sheriff George Fraser is traveling for fishing and deputy Mark London is in charge of the security of the location. But then a serial killer starts attacking the students…
The story kind of reminds me of Graduation Day another 80s slasher but in terms of Quilaty The Prowler sort of takes it home. Again it’s a story that been done before and it follows the same basic structure of any other Slasher Flick…But it has it’s decent amount of twists and the ending is kind of hard to follow but overall it severed me well.
Most of the acting is alright but below Average at times… But what can you expect? I was expecting much from this aspect when I picked it up on DVD. The Dialogue is rather minimal but nothing I can argue with and with the screenplay at hand. I will criticize the fact “Our Killer” is very underdone.
The Special Effects are fantastic for their time! Best Gore effects for any slasher film I have seen and the murder scenes make my top 20 in terms of “Being Realistic”. Tom Savini is a fantastic makeup artist and knows how brutality and gore works for fans like myself. The music is pretty good but nothing that’s going to “Creep you out” but the shadow and lighting that’s at work throw the film covers that.
Here are some facts I found
Tom Savini considers this to be his best work.
Farley Granger was cast in the film because the wife of one of the film's investors happened to be taking an acting class with him.
Director Joseph Zito once told a guard at a movie theater where the film was being screened, that he was the director of this film. To this the guard responded, "You really DID kill those people, right?".
The cemetery scenes were shot at an actual cemetery on Halloween night of 1980. The open grave used in the film was an actual open grave in the cemetery that was awaiting a funeral.
The Australian version was initially refused classification by the OFLC (Office of Film & Literature Classification), whereby the distributor edited 19 seconds of footage from the film to garner an "R"(18 & over) classification. There are only minimal edits to the opening murder, the "bayonet" scene, the "pool" scene & a hedge-side killing. But The 2008 Australian DVD, released by Universal Studios under the title Rosemary's Killer, is complete and uncut.
Overall it wouldn’t make my “Horror films you need to see before you die” but it’s decent and the violence and carnage is over the top. It’s worth a shot mainly on TV… Overall my verdict is up to you.
Jesse’s The Prowler score 71-100%