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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars "If you think you're safe... you're DEAD wrong!", 1 Aug 2013
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This review is from: Prowler [Blu-ray] [1981] [US Import] (Blu-ray)
A letter dated March 12, 1944 has been sent from Rosemary to her unidentified lover who is away fighting the war, she informs him that she can no longer wait for him and she has to move on with her life.

Avalon Bay, June 28, 1945 and the Second World War has just come to an end. Rosemary is attending the town's graduation dance with her new boyfriend. The two of them sneak off from the party to spend some intimate time together in a gazebo, when someone dressed fully in army fatigues and carrying a pitchfork, approaches the couple and plunges the pitchfork through them both. The stranger then leaves a single red rose in her hand.

Avalon Bay, June 28, 1980. It's exactly 35 since Rosemary was murdered, and this is the first time the town has decided to hold the graduation party. Once night time comes and the party starts to get into full swing, someone wearing full army fatigues starts picking off the guests.

The acting is really good, especially for an '80s slasher film. Vicky Dawson is great as Pam, the lead female character who is targeted by the killer early on in the film. So often in slasher films, the characters are completely throw away and are nothing but cannon fodder for the killer, that isn't the case in The Prowler. Pam is one of the most three dimensional characters in any slasher film, I thought Vicky Dawson really had a look of Amy Steel who was the "final girl" from Friday The 13th part 2, which just so happens to be one of the other great female characters in a slasher. Dawson was last seen in a made for TV movie way back in '89, she seems to have completely disappeared since that. Christopher Goutman is also very good as Mark, the young deputy Sheriff who's left in charge when the Sheriff goes on a fishing holiday. Mark and Pam have a bit of a thing for each other, and after Pam survives her attack, it is Mark who she informs. I couldn't get over how similar Goutman looked to Cillian Murphy, his character is very likeable and the chemistry between himself and Dawson is excellent. Goutman hasn't acted since 1986, focusing on directing and producing instead. There's two actors in small roles who should be easily recognisable, Lawrence Tierney plays the crippled Major Chatham and Farley Granger plays Sheriff Fraser. Even a character in a very small role who sits down and talks on the phone is really entertaining.

The Prowler is wonderfully directed by Joseph Zito, this is definitely his best work, even though Friday The 13th: The Final Chapter was his next film and was also really good, probably the best of all the Friday The 13th sequels. Zito really should have stuck to directing horror as he seemed to have a natural flair for them, he instead went on to direct Chuck Norris in Missing In Action and Invasion USA. He then directed Dolph Lundgren in the hugely enjoyable and yet utterly ridiculous Red Scorpion, it then took 12 years for his next film which is rated 2.5 on IMDB, so I'm assuming it's not great. The Prowler really is one of the nastiest and goriest slasher films from the early '80s, the killer is really intimidating and kills extremely brutally. Tom Savini did the effects and they're some of the most violent and realistic effects put on screen. Some stand out scenes involve a young man taking a very sharp blade through the head, a naked woman getting stabbed through the stomach with a pitchfork, a woman having her throat slit where she sinks into the water and bubbles are released from the wound, and a shotgun head explosion. Savini has stated himself that he believes this is his best work, and I certainly won't argue with him. There's a little nudity, but nothing gratuitous. The music score by Richard Einhorn is absolutely terrific, it has to be just about the most effective score from any horror film. On top of Einhorn's fantastic score, we have songs from a band called Nowhere Fast who are playing live at the party, the songs are great and there's a brilliant moment where the end of a woman's scream is blended perfectly with the beginning of one of their songs, it's just another brilliant little touch in this slasher classic.

The Blu-ray from Blue Underground looks very nice, I'd seen the film on DVD and this is definitely an upgrade. It doesn't look amazing, but it looks like it should. There's a little more detail, the colours are a little more vibrant and the whole film is just nicer on the eye than the previous version I watched. There's English, French and Spanish subtitles. There's three different audio options, 7.1 DTS-HD, 5.1 Dolby digital surround and the original mono. The Blu-ray is region free. There's a commentary by Zito and Savini which is a really good, theatrical trailer and Tom Savini's behind-the-scenes gore footage which is 10 minutes long. There isn't currently a Blu-ray release for this film in the UK, it was released on DVD as Rosemary's Killer, the picture quality is pretty good but there's no extras, so this is definitely the version to get.

I absolutely love The Prowler and class it as one of the greatest slasher films ever made, it's certainly in my top 5. I really am struggling to find fault with it, but I will point out that the set-up for the film is very similar to another slasher masterpiece called My Bloody Valentine, and if you're a regular viewer of slasher films, I'd be amazed if you haven't figured out who the killer is by the 15 minute mark. I don't really view that as a fault though, as I don't believe any real attempt at hiding his identity was made anyway. If you like slasher films, The Prowler AKA Rosemary's Killer is an absolute must have.
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Showing 1-4 of 4 posts in this discussion
Initial post: 6 Aug 2013 14:35:36 BDT
Last edited by the author on 7 Aug 2013 17:38:08 BDT
Nelson Viper says:
This is probably my favourite slasher film. I don't know if anyone else had the same problem with Rosemary's Killer disc, but my copy sounded and rattled my DVD player like a WWII bomber.

In reply to an earlier post on 7 Aug 2013 16:43:25 BDT
West25 says:
Hi Nelson, it's far too hard to choose a favourite slasher film from so many good ones, but I'm fairly confident now on my top 5. Black Christmas, Halloween, My Bloody Valentine, The Prowler and The Burning. I love a lot of other slashers, but I think I'm settled with those as my favourite. I didn't have any problem at all with the disc, I do have a few DVDs though that make a lot of noise.

Posted on 1 Dec 2013 12:58:56 GMT
With regard to Vicky Dawson, I had to look twice on my copy of Friday the 13th 2 [Blu-ray] [1981] to see if it was the same actress as the resemblence is striking.

Blue Underground, did a great job on this release.

In reply to an earlier post on 2 Dec 2013 10:33:39 GMT
West25 says:
I was convinced Vicky Dawson was Amy Steel from Friday the 13th part 2 the entire time I was watching The Prowler, I was actually quite shocked to discover that they weren't the same person when I checked afterwards. They could definitely pass as sisters, even identical twins.

I love Blue Underground, it's a shame all studios don't treat their releases with as much care and respect as they do.
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