Tuesday, September 8, 2009
The Prowler (1981, Joseph Zito)
The Prowler - aka Rosemary's Killer - is an early 80's slasher film. Yup, that's pretty much it. Not much more to say. It's not really too well known but it came out at the dawn of the genre and has a memorable villain. He actually reminds me a lot of the miner from My Bloody Valentine, a film from the same era. I forget where I first heard of the film but I knew that Tom Savini did the makeup effects for it so when I found a copy for rent, I went for it. I remember it was at the Blockbuster that used to be on rte 135 in Framingham. They had a decent selection of videos, especially for a Blockbuster, and I occasionally found an oddball title like this one. I actually remember that my best friend and I watched this the day of our high school prom, I don't remember if it was junior or senior year. I actually wasn't impressed by it and it was about a year ago that I finally saw it again. Though still underwhelmed all these years later I decided to give it a third watch.
The Prowler begins in the 40's around the time of World War 2. A woman named Rosemary sends a letter to her boyfriend in the army telling him that she cannot wait any longer for him to come home and hopes they can still be friends when he does. Can you imagine? Going to war to kill some Nazis and some bitch can't even wait for you to come home to break up with you? I tell ya, it's the bitches that'll git'chas. Anyway, he finally does come home and decides to find the girl and put a pitchfork through her and her new boytoy, all while dressed head to toe in an all black army uniform. Ah, sweet revenge. Flash forward 35 years and someone dressed in the same uniform starts killing college kids at their graduation dance, the same place where the first two victims were killed.
The Prowler is a slasher that relies on equal parts gory kills by the master Tom Savini and atmosphere. The story is pretty simple and it's not very original or inventive. In other words, you've pretty much seen everything before. What really hampers the film is the pace. It gets off to a good start but the middle third of the film is reaaallly sloooow. That's not to say the film is a complete waste of time or even bad for that matter, it's just not the best of its kind. Still, the fact that I watched it for a third time means that I knew I would get something out of it. The acting is ok, nothing great. The dialogue is a little cheesy in parts but it's nothing out of the ordinary for this type of film. So other than the great makeup effects, the movie is really just average. Still, I actually thought the killer looked really cool and the whodunnit story worked well enough (I didn't know who the killer was the first two times I watched it).