aka: Rosemary’s Killer, The Graduation
Director: Joseph Zito
Starring: Vicky Dawson, Christopher Goutman, Lawrence Tierney, Farley Granger, Cindy Weintaub
It will freeze your blood
The summer of 1945 saw the return of thousands of soldiers from World War II. One of them is going home to Avalon Bay, New Jersey where he is going to crash the graduation party where his ex-girlfriend and her new lover is attending. She has broken up with the soldier in a letter during the war and he is out for revenge. When they go outside for a minute, he takes the chance to kill them off with a pitchfork.
After this sad event, the town hasn’t had another graduation dance in 35 years. The officials are not convinced that the idea of having the dance again is a good idea, but the kids are very enthusiastic. Not far after the announcement, teenagers end up brutally killed and there’s no doubt that a killer has emerged and is after the everyone who is attending the dance.
The Prowler is one of the many slasher flicks that came out after Friday the 13th (supposedly filmed several months ahead) and just follows the same type of formula as most of these flicks did back in that era. This could have switched things up a little if it kept itself in 1945 instead of present day, and that could have been an interesting change. The acting is decent, I’d even say above average for being a slasher film. Vicky Dawson is especially great as our heroine Pam. She didn’t have a big career and this is actually her biggest movie. It’s too bad that she didn’t go on to do more genre movies, this did set her up as a potential scream queen.
Joseph Zito is the director of this film. He later went on to do Friday the 13th: The Final Chapter, which I enjoy quite a bit and also the two Chuck Norris action films Missing in Action and Invasion USA and also the Dolph Lundgren film Red Scorpion. Even though he does a good job here, he does create a very slow pace and it takes awhile before it really gets going. That is perhaps the biggest flaw of this film since you do expect a slasherfilm to entertain you from start to finish.
He does get good help from the legendary Tom Savini who does an incredible job on the gore here. It is perhaps his best work in the early 80’s and I believe he has also been quite positive about it when looking back at his career aswell. As usual in slasher flicks, the gore is what people will remember and here it really delivers.
The Prowler is a fun and well made slasher flick with great effects. It does feel like something you’ve seen thousands of times, but since it is done by talented people it still keeps you entertained throughout the film.