A masked killer, wearing World War II U.S. Army fatigues, stalks a small New Jersey town bent on reliving a 35-year-old double murder by focusing on a group of college kids holding an annual Spring Dance.
via The Prowler (1981) – IMDb
I’ve owned this movie for a while and on occasion I like to visit it. This is one of those classic slasher movies from back in the early eighties. The ones with this plot – killer seeks vengeance and killer gets vengeance until usually a pretty girl stops him.
The story is similar and you won’t find a lot of uniqueness in the plot, but it does start off kind of unique. It is set back in the mid 40’s, complete with cars and clothes. They did a nice job of bringing that era to life.
Then it moves to the eighties and the slasher part of the movie kicks in to high gear complete with all those things I love about this genre. It may be strange to enjoy a genre that is known for its weak plot and gruesome kills, but there is something about it that just pulls me back each and every time.
Highlights to be found here:
Creepy and effective, punctuating each and every moment in order to add more tension and suspense to each scene.
The direction by Joseph Zito know for such works as these:
Bloodrage aka Never Pick Up a Stranger (1979)
The Prowler (1981)
Friday the 13th: The Final Chapter (1984)
Missing in Action (1984)
Invasion U.S.A. (1985)
Red Scorpion (1989)
Delta Force One: The Lost Patrol (1999)
Power Play (2002)
via Joseph Zito – Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
He did a nice job of not making the movie seem too cliché. He actually built some really good suspenseful moments. I would say of all the slasher movies I have seen that this one did a nice job of getting the heart racing.
The effects by Tom Savini.
If you haven’t seen a film with his effects in it then you haven’t seen a gory movie. This guy is the king of gore. In fact, most of the movies that I consider gory are done by him. He just had real knack for making it look real. So real in fact that you watch the kill and wonder how that person didn’t actually die.
A small bio:
Thomas Vincent “Tom” Savini (born November 3, 1946) is an American actor, stuntman, director, award-winning special effects and makeup artist. He is known for his makeup and special effects work on many films directed by George A. Romero, including Martin (film), Dawn of the Dead, Day of the Dead (1985 film),Creepshow and Monkey Shines. He also directed Night of the Living Dead (1990 film), which is the remake of the classic 1968 Romero film Night of the Living Dead. He created the special effects and makeup for many cult classics like Friday the 13th parts I and IV, Maniac, The Burning, The Prowler and The Texas Chainsaw Massacre 2. As an Actor and stuntman, he has appeared in films such as Martin (film), Dawn of the Dead, Knightriders, From Dusk till Dawn, Grindhouse- Planet Terror, and Machete. He also appeared as himself in an episode of The Simpsons. Currently he has been filming a role in Quentin Tarantino’s new film Django Unchained. As a Director, his credits include 3 episodes of the TV show Tales from the Darkside, an episode of Chill Factor and one segment of the 2011 film The Theatre Bizarre.
via Tom Savini – Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
They also got one of the big things right here and it is probably the one thing that is key and center point to all slasher movies. A great villain. You have to have that villain or your movie will fail. I don’t care how great the effects are, the direction, the score, etc. You have to have someone who the audience thinks is a legitimate threat. The one in this movie was. He was dressed out in army fatigues, with something covering his face, and he brandished a pitchfork, a saw off shot-gun, and a really big knife. I wouldn’t want to face him. I can tell you that.
So with all this said above you now see why I keep coming back to this movie. It’s a must see for all slasher fans. It might not have an endless body count, but it makes up for it in so many other ways. Classic – you bet.