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4.2 out of 5 stars25
4.2 out of 5 stars
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on 15 May 2016
The happiness and the sanity of a W.W.II vet is destroyed when he returns home and finds his girl in the arms of another at the town's annual dance.

Outraged, he kills them with a pitchfork, and the town does not hold the dance again for 35 years.

When the vet hears about the dance being resurrected, it stirs up those bitter painful memories once again, so he comes back to do a little more killing...

This is one of those film that have been mimicked so many times, if you haven't seen the original before the slew of re-imaginings/side-quels/homages, you may lose the overall effectiveness of the original.

Much like I did.

For me, it's pretty perfunctory stuff, with the added bonus of some wonderful make up by Tom Savini. But other than that, it's just a case of teen girls running down a corridor and reaching a locked door, while being prowled by the bad guy in Hellboy.

The cast are fine, they do their job as you'd expect, it can be slightly tense in some places.

It's my bad really for not seeing it any sooner, as I'd probably regard it a lot higher than I actually do.

But I will give it something to its credit, it hasn't been remade as of yet.

If you are just starting out with horror films, and you want a good old fashioned stalk n' slash horror, you'd be good to catch this as soon as possible.

You'll appreciate it a lot more than I did.
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on 10 August 2007
Also Known as Rosemary"s Killer directed by Joseph Zito(Friday the 13th The Final Chapter) with gore effects by Tom Savini. This is a rarely seen little number which in places is very gruesome (the shower scene) if a little slow in places.The "plot" such as it is starts in 1945 with Rosemary and her date murdered at the graduation dance by her jilted boyfriend a solider on shore leave. The killer was never found!!!
30 years on the graduation dance is back on but someone else has also returned. Watch the population of Avalon bay meet their BLOODY end at the hands of THE PROWLER!!
PS Great Extras.
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on 23 June 2016
it was utter garbage and bored me rigid. most of it was just the main characters - who were dull as dishwater - wandering around in dark rooms with some really irritating orchestral music thats supposed to be tense and keep you on the edge of your seat. it was just so boring and dragged on and on. one scene which just somes up this piece of boring garbage was when they phoned the boss of a caravan site to find out if the sheriff was there. get this - the boss - some boring fat bloke in a cap says hell go out to check if the sherrifs there and puts them on hold. he then just stays in his seat for about five minutes doing nothing and the camera stays on him the whole time interspersed with shots of the caller waiting on the phone. then after all that he just tells the caller the sherrif wasnt there without even getting off his fat backside to check. it was five minutes of absolutely nothing and sumed up this piece of garbage. i didnt even care about the death scenes in the end because i was struggling to keep awake for most of this sad excuse of a film. even the killers identity at the end was a joke and it had no relevance to anything - it could have been anyone doing the killings. also the main cop character had the most ridiculous hairstyle ever which irritated the hell out of me. i absolutely hated this film and there are waaaay better slashers out there so there is no reason to have to sit through this boring garbage ever again.
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If you're making a list of must-see 80s slashers, The Prowler should definitely be one of them. Yeah, the plot isn't all that great, the pace of the movie drags in places, and several questions ultimately go unanswered - but I was genuinely surprised at the identity of the killer (who is pretty intimidating in his killing garb), the lead actress is fairly cute, and - as is always important for us gorehounds - I was absolutely delighted at the spectacle of blood and gore on display. The filmmakers really let makeup/special effects genius Tom Savini go hog wild. Where other slasher movies give you a quick cut shot of a knife slicing a neck open or a pitchfork going all the way through a body, The Prowler lingers deliciously on such gruesome sights. You get to see that last little convulsion as he raises a skewered body up, with the tines of the pitchfork scraping against the tile; you watch him working his knife back and forth as if he has trouble removing it from his victim's neck - it's these little details that show you just how much Savini cares about his gruesome craft. Admittedly, one death is wholly and patently fake, but you still have to appreciate the effort and intent of the shot.

The story begins in 1945, when a young woman and her beau are ruthlessly murdered on the night of the big college graduation dance; while their killer was never caught, it is made quite obvious that the murderer was the young woman's former boyfriend, to whom she had sent a Dear John letter while he was still fighting overseas. 35 years later, the college prepares for the first graduation dance since that awful night. With the sheriff away on a fishing trip, only a pretty boy deputy (Christopher Goutman) and his coed girlfriend (Vicky Dawson) are available to try and stop the returned killer's bloody rampage. 35 years may have passed, but the killer is still strong enough to shove a knife completely through a young man's skull. Deputy London isn't every good at his job and drags his girlfriend from one dangerous scene to another, but fortunately his little cutie has a lot of spunk - and she needs every bit of it as she comes face to hidden face with the killer, all decked out in his World War II army gear, on several occasions.

Unlike many slasher films, The Prowler actually tries to scare you a little bit, and it does succeed in generating a certain amount of tension in places. Still, the basic storyline isn't particularly noteworthy, and some viewers might complain about a few characters being introduced and then forgotten about for no apparent reason (it's not as if they're red herrings helping to keep the killer's identity a mystery). Speaking of the killer, I never really figured out who it was before the secret was revealed in the end, but a number of viewers probably won't be as dense as I was - and that will obviously take away from their enjoyment of the film. No one can take anything away from Tom Savini's memorable special effects work, though, and that makes The Prowler a must-see film for slasher fans.
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on 30 September 2013
After the phenomenal success of slasher movie classics such as Halloween, Black Christmas and Friday 13th the genre exploded and spread like wildfire throughout the early 80s. From a film-making point of view these were relatively easy to produce. All that was needed was a killer in a mask, an array of murder weapons and some hapless characters at the killers disposel. Plus with the arrival of the new format of video tape these movies were made more readily available than they ever had before. Entries in the slasher genre ranged from bad with such crude examples as Pranks or Don't Go In The Woods which instantly jumped to mind, where as others were fantastic examples of genre with titles such as The Burning and My Bloody Valentine popping up on fans top ten lists everywhere. The Prowler falls somewhere between. Hardy original although the jilted soldier scenario had never been used before, this is a mostly by the book slasher film which is literally held together by some superb FX work by the legendary make-up artist Tom Savini. Ranking as some of the best and most realistic the maestro has ever produced and on par with the wonderfully nasty effects utilised in Day Of The Dead this is truely genre leading. You get hunting knives through a head, ultra nasty throat slittings, shot gunned exploding heads and in one scene an unfortunate girl is pitchforked in the shower complete with the sound of metal scraping against the tiles behind as the blades passes through her. Despite this The Prowler struggles to maintain tension although the finalé in an abandoned mansion does build up a good amount of thrills. The characters are mostly boring generic slasher cardboard cut-outs and the killers identity isnt all that hard to work out either. Director Joseph Zito does build up a pretty good and foreboding early 80s style atmosphere though making this a decent example of low budget horror filmaking the sort of which we rarely see anymore.

Picture:
Blue Underground released this to DVD in the early naughties and was infact one of my first import DVDs. For its time the SD transfer was good if a little soft but at least it was uncut unlike the old UK tape version entitled Rosemary's Killer which had almost all the gore removed. Well Blue Undergrounds Blu ray does improve over the DVD but not by a huge amount. The 1080p image here is still a little soft but does tighten up with a slight boost in clarity. Detail is never that well realised even in close ups and the colours are mostly bland and pastel looking. Black levels are abit hit and miss too but shadow detail is certainly better than the DVD which is essential for some of the dark locations used in this movie. Film grain is present and at times can look a little noisey and the odd pop of print damage does creep in from time to time but never so much that it destroys the viewing experience. The Prowler in HD definatly does look a product of its time but also probably looks as good as it ever will given what it actually is.....a low budget early 80s slasher flick.

Sound:
For some unfathomable reason Blue Underground saddled a good percentage their early BD titles with mostly pointless and totally overkill 7.1 channel remixes.The Prowler has also been treated to one of these in the form of a lossless DTS-HD MA 7.1 channel bump of its original mono. Despite the 7.1 array the audio rarely strays from the front of the soundstage and then its very centre channel focused. The music score occasionally sounds like its spread across the three front channels but foley effects and atmospherics barely sound stereo let alone realisticly placed in the soundfield. For what they are used for you may as well have the rear channels out of use for I counted on one hand the amount of times I even noticed they were there. Same goes for the .1 LFE channel which has little to no real use apart from a couple of musical interludes. All this doesent mean the track is of bad quality and indeed dialogue is mostly crisp and clear and on the whole the lossless audio does sound more potent in lossless compared to the DVDs bland lossy counterpart. As with the visuals i'm sure Blue Underground have done what they can to enhance what are probably dated sources and presented them with the best possible care although with the sound a straight HD mono track would have been more suitable here.

Extras:
There are no new extras for this BD release compared to the DVD. The same excellent audio commentary with director Joseph Zito and Tom Savini is again included and if you havent heard this it does come highly recommended. Having worked together on different projects both men know each other well building up a great rep that is thoroughly enjoyable and full of production and special effects information. As with the DVD the behind the scenes footage of Tom Savini at work is again included as is the original theatrical trailer.

Conclusion:
Hardly the most original entry this remains a firm slasher favourite no doubt down to the ultra realistic effects by the legendary Tom Savini. The Blu ray is a slight improvement over the standard def DVD with an improved image and uncompressed audio and at the cheap price it goes for here on Amazon its well worth a look if you have an interest in the genre. As a footnote it is worth noting that this Blu ray is region free and playable on all players worldwide.
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on 30 November 2015
This is perhaps a lesser known slasher movie (in the UK it was known as Rosemary's Killer on VHS), but I have to admit that I think it is one of the better ones.
The story is pretty simple and its got a bit of the old whodunnit? element to it as well but the actual murder scenes are pretty heavy with some excellent effects by Tom Savini.
My only gripe is that this movie doesn't seem to have benefitted from the Bluray transfer, I don't think the picture quality is that much improved.
All in all, its a good purchase with some nice behind the scenes extras that I hadn't seen before.
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on 26 November 2015
Bland and boring - not what I expected at all. Very basic story - not a lot happens - a couple of gruesome kills and a lot of dead air. I still have 20 mins to watch so things hopefully will pick up but the first hour is excruciatingly slow and stupid in terms of character actions, I had to turn it off out of boredom - I felt very distant from it
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on 12 September 2007
You may remember this released as Rosemary's Killer, in the UK, in the early 80s. If it was'nt for the graphic violence, this movie could pass itself of as an episode of Murder, She Wrote. The premise is: GI, receives Dear John letter from his sweetheart, whilst he's fighting in World War II, overseas. Upon return, he discovers she's romantically involved with another guy; this tips him over the edge into being an unhinged maniac. At a Graduation Dance he disposes of them with a pitchfork, dressed in military fatigues and wearing a gas mask.

The film then transports itself to 1980, whereupon the same guy (whose identity is'nt revealed til the end) goes on another killing spree around the time of another Graduation Dance. I'm not going to give any spoilers, but I enjoyed this film, as it's a good mystery movie, however i have the un-cut version, and it's pretty nasty in places.
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on 27 June 2009
This 80's slasher flick is definitely worth checking out especially if you're a slasher fan or like Tom Savini's gory special fx, The prowler was directed by Joseph Zito, same director who did Friday The 13th part 4 which was the best film in the series in my opinion, so you probably know how good this is going to turn out. It is a great example of a slasher flick with the slow pace so it could build up the tension and suspense and it has alot of gruesome death scenes in it, I'm not sure why critics hated this but then again those same critics wouldn't know a good horror film if it hit them in the face.

I can't pick a favorite death scene but I would have to say when the killer stabs one of the students on top of the head with a large knife and having his eyes roll back, very nice and it looked gory as hell. In 1945 during a college graduation dance a young woman and her lover are violently murdered by an unknown killer, 35 years later the killer comes back to the campus to murder off unsuspecting students when they try to throw another dance. The killer has a really cool army fatigue outfit and wears a gas mask, which makes him one of the best looking and most memorable serial killers in the 80's slasher genre.

There's a blond girl who teams up with the local sheriff in order to catch the killer you also have some typical 80's teens getting drunk and partying as they get picked off one by one. I also liked the part where one girl gets impaled by a pitchfork in the shower, a very viscous and bloody death scene I might add. Anyway I highly recommend this film to slasher/horror fans. I also enjoyed the special features especially the behind the scenes with makeup wizard Tom Savini.
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on 30 January 2015
It's been years since I'd seen this film and to finally get hold of the uncut version is a treat & the Blu-Ray, both picture quality and cover artwork are very good. If you like classic slasher horror then you've got no excuse if you don't have this in your collection.
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