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The Prowler


Title: The Prowler
Year Of Release: 1981
Running Time: 89 minutes
DVD Released By: Blue Underground
Directed By: Joseph Zito
Writing Credits: Glenn Leopold, Neal Barbera, Eric Lewald, Mark Edward Edens, Michael Edens, Sarah Higgins

Starring:
Vicky Dawson, Christopher Goutman, Lawrence Tierney, Farley Granger, Cindy Weintraub
Taglines:
1. It will freeze your blood.
2.
If you think you're safe... you're DEAD wrong!
3.
The human exterminator.
4.
Just when you thought it was over.
Alternate Titles:
1. Rosemary's Killer

2. Pitchfork Massacre
Review Date: 8.1.20

Shadow's Title: "The Party Pooper"

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Characters
Rosemary Chatham – In 1944 during World War II she writes a “Dear John” letter to her boyfriend, who is away serving in Europe. She explains that she is not going to wait for him any longer. The following year at the graduation dance for the local college, she and her new boyfriend Roy are violently murdered by a killer wearing army fatigues.
Roy – Roy here can easily be summed up in one word: asshole. His daddy is rich and he is accustomed to getting his own way, having people capitulate to him and he makes it a habit to look down at everyone else. This was the face he made when he was murdered, which I think was the same face he made when he pooped or had sex.
Pam McDonald – She writes for the college newspaper and is seeing local sheriff deputy Mark London. There’s not much else to say about her except that she has a tendency to get annoyed and pout when she sees things she doesn’t like. She does manage to run pretty good in high heels.
Deputy Mark London – Avalon Bay’s sole deputy. He’s been there for two years and the Sheriff trusts him to handle things on his own when it’s time for his fishing trip. Mark does his job pretty well, despite having a jealous girlfriend who insists on tagging along everywhere he goes.
Sheriff George Fraser – The law in the small city of Avalon Bay and whatever county in which it resides. He seems like a real friendly and nice guy and when he leaves town for his annual fishing trip near the beginning of the film, you sincerely hope the guy can get in some relaxation time. He leaves Mark to handle things.
Major Chatham – The father of poor dead Rosemary who was murdered back in 1945 on the night of the dance. He has prevented the dance from being held again for the past 35 years out of bitterness, but this year is unable to do so. That can only mean trouble. Last seen clutching part of Pam’s ripped dress and looking creepy.
Sherry – This is Pam’s roommate in the dorm. With graduation upon them, she is sad that many in their group of friends won’t ever see one another again. She doesn’t know how right she is. Her boyfriend tries to join her in the shower but never makes it there.
Carl – Sherry’s boyfriend. He’s only in the movie long enough to talk about spiking the punch at the graduation dance and then get killed. His death is rather gruesome and from here on out, whenever anyone complains of having a sharp pain their head, I will think back to this fool’s demise. I don’t think there’s an aspirin large enough to fix that.
Lisa – This is IMO, the hottest gal in the movie. This is a good thing as she ends up showing a lot of skin during her nighttime swim in the pool. She flirts a lot with Mark, which annoys Pam to no end. Her looks reminds me of a young Carly Simon. Actress Cindy Weintraub only appeared in one other movie, the previous year’s Humanoids From The Deep. Pity.
Paul – This clown is Lisa’s date to the graduation dance. It seems his main goal was to spike the punch, which he does…quite liberally. He ends up so drunk, he spends half the night puking in the toilet and the rest sleeping it off in a jail cell after Mark arrests him for disturbing the peace.
Sally – Lisa’s roommate at the dorm. She hooks up with a dork named Ben. They sneak away from the dance to the basement where they can have some alone time. In other movies this usually leads to violent death, but here it just results in an old fart leering at them while they smooch.
Ben – There wasn’t much explained about this dork. His first appearance was at the dance when Paul was hurling his guts up in the bathroom. Later we see him dancing with Sally. Then he manages to persuade her to sneak down to the basement where they find an old mattress. I wonder if he placed it there earlier. He and Sally then start a smoochfest that may have ultimately led to a fuckfest. We never do find out.
Miss Allison – She’s the chaperon for the graduation dance. I’m not really sure why she was needed, unless it was just to make sure no alcohol was brought in to the dance. If that was the case then she failed miserably. She doesn’t look that much older than some of the students who are graduating (and indeed in real life she wasn’t).
Mr. Turner – He’s some sort of caretaker that has worked at the college for many years. He was around back in 1945 when Rosemary Chatham was murdered and the film even tries to throw suspicion on him at one point for being the killer. One thing he does like to do is spy on young folks while they are getting close with one another.
Kingsley – He owns and runs the local grocery store and employs Otto. He served in the armed forces during World War II and returned to Avalon Bay as a young man. He was also around the night Rosemary Chatham died. In fact he went missing from the dance around the time she was murdered, throwing suspicion on him as well. Now, he’s just an older, irritable man.
Otto – Every town has a simpleton that works some menial job, creeps out the girls, is bullied by the boys, is verbally berated by most everyone and gets blamed for anything odd that transpires. Otto here is Avalon Bay’s resident dolt. Many such clods aspire to greater things, but most never get anywhere aside from developing their own B-Movie website.
The Clerk – This lazy fool worked the desk at whatever place Sheriff Fraser went to go fishing. Mark called, looking for the sheriff, but tubby here was more interested in his solitaire game, his beer and his chew than helping him. I bet the only time he ever really got up out of his chair was to get more food or to hit the crapper.
The Prowler – Our resident killer. He murdered his ex-girlfriend back in 1945 after she broke up with him via written letter, the equivalent in those days if getting your sorry ass dumped via text message or by Twitter. I even got dumped by email once! Now, with the first graduation dance in 35 years, he’s killing once again…but who is it? Kingsley? Turner? Someone else?

 

The Plot Hold your cursor over an image for a pop-up caption

The MCU has really hit rock bottom.The film begins with some footage from an old Movietime News reel. Back before television was so ubiquitous, many Americans got their news from one of two places: the radio and these short segments that were run before feature films at the cinema. This particular segment is from 1945 and shows American servicemen returning from the war in Europe (World War Two for those of you who went to public school like me) aboard the British ocean liner The Queen Mary. The narrator notes how these brave souls left their homes, families, jobs and their sweethearts to defeat the Nazis. He mentions the psychological scars imparted by the war and how those who received “Dear John” letters will have to build new lives for themselves now that they have returned.

Next we get a close-up of a handwritten letter and a female voiceover that reads aloud the contents. It seems this is one of those “Dear John” letters that this particular young lady sent to her boyfriend while he was overseas and is dated March 12th of 1944. Basically she tells him that despite everything she said in the past about loving him and waiting for him, she can longer do so as she is young and needs to live her life now. In other words, mama needs to get her freak on and she ain’t waitin’ for soldier boy to get himself home to attend to her needs. She signs it Rosemary, with a stylized letter Y that forms a rose.

Text now reveals that we are in Avalon Bay and it is June 28th, 1945 – Night of the Graduation Dance. It’s been well over a year since Rosemary wrote that letter to her former boyfriend. We’re at Pritcher College and the dance is being held in a large five-story Victorian style building. Young couples are arriving to festivities already in progress, including a young Pat Kingsley and his date. There’s a band playing what could only be described as golden oldies and lots of folks are making use of the dance floor to…well, er…dance. What did you think they were doing, having a Twister marathon? Well, that’s what they do these days at colleges. They just forget to wear their clothes.

Also in attendance is Francis Rosemary Chatham, the author of the letter, and her new boyfriend, Roy. He seems to be something of an ass. When another guy in the crowd innocently bumps Rosemary, Roy annoyingly says “keep your mitts off my girl.” Rosemary explains that the other guy was just Jimmy Turner, who took care of the place. Roy doesn’t think much of that. I can see he’s the insecure type. People who think like him believe that everyone else wants what they have, whether it is true or not. Roy thinks the dance is a bore and wants to bail. He wants to go to “The Point” which I’m betting is not a nearby bar for pencil makers. We all know what happens at places called The Point and it isn’t stargazing. Nope, it’s where young men take young ladies in hopes of getting them all nekkid and then trying to comingle boy and girl parts.

Before the band can strike up Glen Miller’s greatest hits and put us all to sleep, Roy leads Rosemary from the dance. As they get in his car, dialog reveals that Rosemary’s daddy has money. However, Roy’s daddy has even more money, which is why Roy is such a colossal asshole, looking down at everyone else as beneath him. So not only is he insecure, he has a raging sense of entitlement, as well. See…millennials do not have a monopoly on that after all. It even started before those damn Boomers! Rosemary and Roy arrive at their destination, while back at the dance, Pat’s date is asking others if they know where he went. This is done to throw suspicion on Pat for what comes next.

Rosemary and Roy cross a bridge over a stream to arrive at a gazebo. Despite it being night, there are plenty of lights strung up to provide illumination. They sit down and Roy instantly starts kissing on Rosemary’s neck. A cutaway shot shows someone in boots approaching. There is a flash of a blade and POOF, the power is cut to the lights, leaving the couple in the darkness. It’s at this point that most sane people would investigate further or take it as a sign to leave the area, but not old Roy. He takes it as sign that the universe is telling him to proceed, so the pair start smooching. Roy assures Rosemary that if one of her “soldier boy friends” shows his face now, he’ll wish he was back overseas. What a cocky little asswipe.

As they sit there, a figure dressed in army fatigues and a helmet appears behind them, wielding a pitchfork. Rosemary sees it an instant too late to stop the assailant from plunging it into Roy’s back. Roy then makes a face as if was just forced-fed a dead rat puree. The attacker then puts his booted foot up on the pitchfork and pushes down really hard…twice. This propels the tines as deep as they can go, piercing not only Roy’s quivering body, but Rosemary’s as well. We see the tips protruding from her back, blood splattering everywhere. So much for all of Roy's tough talk. Both he and Rosemary are dead. The killer then places a rose in her hand. And yes, we all assume that it is her jilted boyfriend – the recipient of her “Dear John” letter – that was responsible for the double homicide just now. Fade Out and present the title card!

I have to stop things and mention the fact that the gazebo they were in was located on a little island not much larger than the gazebo itself and situated several yards off the shore. The only way to access it was the bridge they crossed. As they sat there, they were more or less facing the bridge, so there was no way anyone was going to cross it without the two seeing them, light or no lights. So then, how in the hell did the killer get over to the island to take up a position behind them? Did he get a running start and make a leap that would make Carl Lewis envious? Perhaps he pranced over the water in a display of stealth and agility that would put ninjas to shame. It must be the old teleportation trick that serial killers in slasher films always seem to possess.

“Ladies, I’m following up on a report of loose women that need tightening.”Text now informs us that thirty-five years have passed and we are now in Avalon Bay on June 28th, 1980…with preparations underway for the graduation dance. Yes, it has been thirty five years to the date since the murders. Tell me you don’t see where this is heading. The same building where the dance was held back in 45’ is being readied again for just such festivities. A couple of young, fit and hot young ladies - Sherry and Lisa - are raising a banner up over a portion of the building’s large porch area. The banner advertises the dance and also makes it clear that this event has not been held in some time.

Sheriff’s deputy Mark London arrives to pick up Pam McDonald. There seems to be the beginnings of a relationship between the two, but I’m sure how far along it may be. She goes with him while he stops off at the office to see Sheriff Fraser. This scene is important because we learn several vital things:

1. This is the first year the dance is being held since 1945.
2. A local, a Major Chatham, has blocked the dance from occurring every year since 1945.
3. Chatham lives all alone in a large house near the dorm.
4. A criminal from another town may be headed toward Avalon Bay.
5. The Sheriff is about to leave town on his annual fishing trip.
6. Mark will be the lone lawman in town during the dance.
7.
The Sheriff’s station is a real pigsty.

Seriously, the place is a mess! There are papers piled up everywhere, discarded coffee cups and soda cans lying about and worst of all…a bunch of rifles just leaned up against the wall, not secured in any fashion whatsoever. What’s to stop some crazy person from waltzing in, grabbing a shotgun and ammo, and then going on a shooting spree? Nothing, that’s what! They must be working with a really small budget in that county.

The Sheriff says that he cannot start his summer without fishing. I can relate. I can’t start watching these older movies without a shot of whiskey. Mark and Pam then head to a local joint for lunch. She wants him to stop by the dance later, despite being on duty and then asks if the guy who robbed a store in a neighboring town might show up in Avalon Bay. Mark figures the state police will nab the guy. Pam wants him to be careful until they do.

Pam returns to the dorm, where preparations are still underway for the dance. Sherry’s boyfriend Carl stops by and reveals his plan to spike the punch with alcohol when the designated chaperon – Miss Allison – is not looking. Ah yes, pouring an entire gallon of cheap 80 proof vodka into a punchbowl, a rite of passage that every generation must go through. Even I can recall engaging in such shenanigans myself in my own sordid past, though doing so during bingo night at the retirement home last week maybe wasn’t the most austere occasion to do so. Still, it sure did liven things up for those old folks.

Meanwhile the Sheriff is making his own preparations…to leave town and go fishing. He tells Mark that the most the deputy will have to contend with are a few kids from the dance gone wild. He reminds him that there are still folks in these parts that are not too keen on the dance being held again. Both he and Mark then head to Kingsley’s Market so the Sheriff can pick up a few things for his trip.

Why is there a crapper right in the middle of the store?Kingsley’s Market is of course owned and run by Pat Kingsley, who as a young man went missing from the dance on the night Rosemary Chatham and her douche boyfriend Roy were murdered. Working for him is local dimwit/creep Otto (every town has at least one), who delivers grocery orders for him. Otto heads outside to load up the delivery van with an order for Major Chatham. As he does so, he gets distracted by Sherry and Lisa who come riding up on bicycles. Mark is waiting outside for the Sheriff to emerge and the girls flirt with him as they enter the store. The Sheriff exits with his newly purchased shaving cream and deodorant. He hops in his car and with a last exhortation to Mark to call him if there is trouble, he leaves for his fishing trip.

Later at the dorm, the girls are getting ready for the dance. Pam seems pensive and Sherry tells her not to mope as this may be their last night together, with the likelihood that many of them will never see each other again. Truer words have never been spoken! Pam admits that she is worried about Mark. She’s afraid that the unseen criminal who stabbed a guy over in some other town may show up in Avalon Bay and Mark may get hurt.

We cut really fast to a shot of someone lacing up their army boots, and despite what Timmy Fisher told me in the first grade, it is clearly NOT my mom. This person is wearing fatigues and is obviously the same person who killed Rosemary and Douche Roy back in 1945. It seems this individual is not happy about the dance being held again and is about to take matters into his own hands to ensure people know just how disappointed he is about the entire situation. I suppose there are other ways of addressing the problem without involving so much cutlery and potential blood loss, to say the least of the inconvenience of people suddenly finding themselves dead. I mean, it’s nothing that a really strong, hard, fast and decisive leaflet campaign could not have handled, but that’s just me. I guess there are two types of people when problems arise. Those that go to Kinkos and those that get all stabby.

Back at the dorm, Lisa and her roommate Sally discuss old man Chatham, who lives in the adjacent building. It seems the old guy is wheelchair bound and spends a large portion of each day sitting by the window, staring over at the dorm and the girls. I know I’d be doing the same damn thing if I lived there! Lisa decides to give the old guy a coronary when she stands by the window, pulls back her robe and shows off her bare chest. Too bad she was facing away from the camera when she did that. Old man Chatham just stares blankly out the window, as if his mind has slowly drained way from watching too many Three’s Company reruns.

Sally, Lisa and a guy named Paul leave for the dance, the latter two fighting over a bottle of alcohol. Not even at the dance yet and these two are getting sauced! We then get a series of alternating shots that show Pam and the Prowler getting themselves ready. Each takes time to make sure their attire for the evening is just right. Pam leaves for the dance, with roommate Sherry remaining behind in the shower. As Pam leaves the dorm, she keeps looking behind her as if someone was following. This just provides an opportunity for her to walk backwards and bump into Paul, Sally and Lisa in a cheap and predictable jump scare. The four continue on to the dance.

Back in the dorm, we see the shadow of someone ascending the stairs. Sherry is still in the shower, unaware of anyone approaching. A POV shot lets us know that this person is entering her dorm room, then approaches the bathroom. Sherry is bathing away when the shower door is quickly drawn aside to reveal…her boyfriend Carl. After some playful banter, he wonders if she is going to invite him into the shower. “How fast can you take off your clothes?’ She asks in return. He tells her to start her stopwatch and then returns to the bedroom to disrobe. I don’t know about anyone else, but if a hot girl ever asks me to join her in the shower, I would find a way to teleport out of my threads right then and there.

The home brain surgery kit often yielded poor results.He removes his coat, closes the door to the adjacent dorm room as well as the one leading to the hall and then sits on the bed to removes his pants. Behind him appears the Prowler, who quickly slaps a hand over his mouth to prevent him from crying out and then just as rapidly plunges his bayonet blade down through the top of Carl’s head. We see the tip of the blade protrude from under his chin. There is lots of blood. Amazingly enough, Carl struggles, his eyes shut tight. I would think that having a long blade like that pierce your skull and brain would kill you instantly, but he squirms quite a bit. I guess that means Carl was a jock and therefore did not have very much in the brains department. The blade probably just nicked what little grey matter he had up there. Finally, Carl’s eyes open wide and all we see are the whites of his eyes. His arms drop from where he was grabbing at the Prowler. He’s dead.

I have to wonder, where was the Prowler hiding? Was he invisible? The dorm room is not that big and as Carl was moving around closing doors, he would have faced the direction the Prowler came from. Watching the scene again (about 10 times) and noting where each of the three doors (bathroom, hallway, adjacent room) are located in relation to the bed, and I must conclude that the Prowler was hiding under the bed and managed to get out, stand up and position himself behind Carl in the 1.245 seconds it took Carl to turn and sit down on the bed. Now, that is fast!

The Prowler takes a cloth and wipes his blade clean of blood. Needless to say, Sherry has not heard a damn thing. Not only is the shower running, but Carl died without letting out much more sound than a wet fart. The Prowler enters the bathroom, but all Sherry can see is a vague figure through the frosted glass of the shower door. She thinks it’s Carl, but when the shower door is thrown open to reveal the Prowler dressed in his army fatigues and brandishing a pitchfork, she realizes her mistake and instantly screams. The Prowler wastes no time in thrusting the pitchfork right into her body, just below her boobs. He then lifts her up off the floor. There is a lot of screaming and blood, which is a description that could easily fit any monthly cycle, but in this case I’m pretty sure it means she’s dead.

By the way, it should be noted that we cannot see the Prowler’s face. In addition to the army fatigues with a hood pulled over his head, he’s also wearing a helmet and some sort of see-through cloth over his face that’s decked out in camouflage colors.

We cut from Sherry screaming her last breath to Sally cutting a cake at the dance. That’s better than cutting the cheese! While she hands out cake, Pam is dispensing cups of punch. No word on whether it’s been spiked yet or not. Pam sees Mark working his way through the crowd and smiles. He makes his way to her, but just as he is about to reach the punchbowl, Lisa appears out of the crowd, grabs him and leads him onto the dance floor. Pam does not seem too happy about this. She watches as Mark dances with Lisa and seems to be having a blast, laughing and smiling. In the words of Hermione Granger: What. An. Idiot. Dancing with another broad is one thing – and make no mistake, Lisa is a babe, but if he truly cared about Pam, he would have quickly bowed out of the dance rather than carry on like he was having the time of his life without her.

As she pouts, Paul comes over and produces a large bottle of booze and quickly pours a sizable amount into the punch bowl. Well, that answers that question. There’s a band playing that seems like a third rate version of The Knack. Chaperon Miss Allison chats with a Mr. Turner, who has been around for forty years. This must be the same Jimmy Turner who annoyed Douche Roy back in 1945. I guess he continued to work at the school in the custodial department for the last four decades. Mark finally walks up to Pam, who gives him an icy stare so cold his balls are probably still thawing out. She hands him a glass with some punch, but then Lisa bumps Mark from behind, causing him to slosh the punch all over Pam’s dress. In a huff, she stomps off back to the dorm to change.

She walks down the dark street, the wind blowing occasionally. She makes it back to her dorm room and hears the shower still running (sheesh, all the hot water for the entire building must be gone by now) and thinking Sherry is still in there, shuts the door to the bathroom, failing to notice all the blood on the other side. Carl’s body has been moved from the bed, as it is no longer in sight. As she fishes a new dress out of the closet, the door slowly swings open again. Oh, shit! The Prowler is still there. As she changes clothes, we see Sherry crumpled up in the corner of the shower, dead. The Prowler places a rose on her face.

Pam leaves the room, but stops in the hall. She quickly returns to her room to retrieve her purse. Whew! And here I thought she was gonna run right into the Prowler as he exited the bathroom. She heads for the stairs and after she descends one floor, she hears a door open above. She stops and looks back up the stairs. There at the top is the Prowler, decked out in his army gear! Pam now shows a modicum of common sense. She doesn’t bother wasting time with pointless questions for this mysterious individual, which would allow him to draw closer to her. Nope, one look and she turns and bolts down the stairs.

She hauls ass down to a lower floor where she bangs on all the doors for help. Alas, no one is about as they have all gone to the dance. Prowler-cam shows us drawing closer to Pam and she struggles to open a door marked EXIT before finally giving up and running down a side hallway, completely ignoring the stairs that lead further down. At the end of this hallway is another door that won’t open, but in this case, there is a bolt at the top that needs to be moved in order to gain egress. She struggles mightily with the bolt as the Prowler slowly walks her way, ever calm and patient in the way of many such cinematic murderers. Naturally, when the Prowler is nearly upon her, she gets the bolt moved and opens the door. It should be noted that that was a sequence that was very well done. There was tension and suspense as she worked at the door because you could see the Prowler turn the corner behind her and walk in her direction. While he wasn’t running, he wasn’t exactly dragging his ass, either, so this instills in the audience the desperate need to run or at the very least, squirm in our seats because we cannot run.

“Hands off, perv! Roll yourself to the truck stop if you want a date!”Pam flies through the door which leads her outside and to a wooden staircase that descends to the ground. Geez, was her dorm room in the freaking attic? We saw her descend one flight of stairs before she saw the Prowler and then another after she spied him. Now there is another before her, which she takes at about fifty miles per hour, flying down the steps faster than I could fall down them, which is quite the accomplishment given the heels she is wearing. These stairs deposit her near the back of the building. She then turns and runs along the side back towards the front. A hand reaches out of the darkness to grab her. It’s the Prowler! No! It’s actually Major Chatham from next door, now sitting out in his wheelchair and being creepy. Ok, creepier. He clamps down on her arm with an iron grip and hangs on with all the ferocity of a man riding a rollercoaster who just discovered his restraints have come loose right before the triple loop-de-loop. In turn, she struggles to get away from him with all the fervor of any young woman who finds herself being hit on by some creepy old dinosaur of a man. She finally manages to break away, ripping her dress in the process and leaving some material behind. Does that mean she has to go change again?

She comes running around the corner of the building to the front and runs right into Mark. She explains that she was being chased by some unknown person and then Major Chatham grabbed her. He tells her to stay by his jeep while he goes to take a look. He walks around back and we see the Prowler’s feet, denoting that he is close. The Prowler moves away and Mark locates Pam’s discarded purse, but no sign of Major Chatham, who has probably wheeled himself back inside so he can sniff the torn segment of her dress in private. Mark looks around some more and then returns to the jeep where he informs Pam that he found both wheel tracks and boot prints. Pam wants him to check the dorm since she believes that Sherry and Carl are there. Well, they are, they just happen to have gotten a head start over everyone else on being dead.

So Mark enters the dorm to check things out. He finds the door to Pam and Sherry’s room now locked. A quick shot shows us that the Prowler has placed Carl’s body in the shower alongside Sherry with the water still running. Damn, but it must be ice cold by now. He returns to the jeep and announces that they will head over to Major Chatham’s place. They drive over a grassy area, stop, get out of the jeep and approach steps leading to a door. Is this Chatham’s back door? Why else would there be grass and no pavement? Why did they come this way? Anyway, they knock and call out to Chatham but there is no reply. Then they do what people in these movies always do. They try to find a way inside.

They locate a window which they are able to open and climb through to gain entrance. Mark calls out to the Major and we get a quick shot of the Prowler reacting. Is he in the house, too? They poke around the house for several minutes but find no one. Pam sees an old framed photo of Rosemary Chatham. While she stays in that room, Mark goes to check out the rest of the house, including upstairs. We see the Prowler lurking about with his pitchfork.

Pam opens a small box filled with photos of the late Rosemary Chatham as a child. Under the photos is a book, which turns out to be a photo album. She opens it to a page marked with a dried rose. There is a picture of Rosemary as an adult, shortly before she was murdered. Meanwhile, Mark has turned up nothing and returns to Pam. She shows him the photos and relates to him how despite being named Francis Rosemary Chatham, everyone called her Rose. When she was murdered, the killer left a rose at the scene, meaning that whoever the murderer was, it was someone who knew that she went by that name. He might even still be around these parts. Mark dismisses it, saying the murder happened over thirty years ago and whoever it was that chased her earlier was likely the guy the state police are currently pursuing. They leave so they can return to the dance and make sure everyone stays inside. Of course, they don’t bother to switch off any of the lights they turned on while in Chatham’s place. Are they gonna pay his electric bill?

Speaking of the dance, we return there to see that Paul guy in the men’s room, puking into a toilet. I guess he spiked the punch just a little too much. Another guy named Ben waits for him. The movie doesn’t make it very clear, but Paul was Lisa’s date to the dance while Ben seemed to be Sally’s partner for the night. Lisa now enters the men’s room, tired of waiting for Paul. He’s still disgorging the contents of his stomach into the porcelain throne. Lisa tells him she is going to go cool off and when he’s ready, he can find her in the pool. She stomps off and leaves the dance just as Pam and Mark arrive.

They don’t notice Lisa leaving, as they are intent on finding chaperon Miss Allison and informing her of the creepy guy that chased Pam earlier. Mark says everyone needs to stay put, so Miss Allison says she will make an announcement. She gets up onstage and tells the entire crowd that a prowler has been spotted on campus and for everyone’s safety, they need to remain in the building.

Paul and Ben finally emerge from the bathroom, Paul having puked so much, no doubt last Sunday’s dinner came up. Ben rejoins Sally on the dance floor, but Paul tries to stumble his way out the door, only to be stopped by Miss Allison and Mr. Turner. Seeing that Paul is obviously drunk, Turner tells Mark that he wants him arrested or he will have to call the sheriff. Seeing that he has no other choice, Mark takes Paul away.

“Screw those HOA regulations prohibiting swimming at night.”“Violation!”Elsewhere, Lisa is at the pool and has stripped down to her bra and panties. All right! She tests the water with her toe and then dives right in. She swims a bit and then climbs out so she can dive in again. She splashes around some more, but this time when she climbs the ladder out, there is a figure waiting for her. It’s the Prowler! He kicks her really hard in the face with his booted foot, sending her back into the pool. She thrashes around a bit, recovering from the blow. When she comes up, there is no one to be seen nearby. In a panic she heads for the edge of the pull to climb out. Just as she gets there, the Prowler rises from the water behind her and grabs her in a headlock with one arm. His other arm swings around holding that long bayonet blade, which he then uses to cut her throat. The blade goes in quite deep and we see lots of blood pour from the wound and into the water. Lisa struggles a bit, gets this cross-eyed look on her face like someone was trying to teach her quantum mechanics and then dies, her legs kicking one last time.

Again, I have to wonder: how did the killer get into the pool unnoticed? This guy is as stealthy as ten ninjas! Back in 45’ he crossed several yards of open water to magically appear behind Rosemary and Roy; and now he has entered the pool and submerged himself without the only other person in that pool even noticing! Seriously, a pool isn’t that big unless it’s one at an Olympic stadium. However, this one is like one you’d find in any suburban backyard. How can one person be in the pool and not know that another person was also in it? It just boggles the mind. I can only assume that after taking that blow to the head, Lisa’s vision wasn’t working the best. Neither was her hearing, as I’m sure she would have heard something if the Prowler had jumped in. He must have eased himself in without creating so much as a ripple. Now that is stealthy.

Back at the dance, Sally is telling Miss Allison that Lisa left for the pool right before the announcement for everyone to stay. Miss Allison leaves to check on her, telling Sally to inform Mr. Turner of things. However, before she can do this, Ben convinces her to follow him away from the dance, down into the basement, which is littered with junk and discarded items.

Miss Allison arrives at the pool and calls for Lisa, but doesn’t see her. She does find Lisa’s clothes and when she looks in the pool she sees a lot of blood. Horrified, she runs away, but she has barely passed through the gate when a hand reaches out from the bushes and grabs her. It’s the Prowler! He pulls her head back with one arm and then plunges his blade deep into the front of her throat with the other. Blood pours down her body. She dead.

Down at the station, Mark has tossed drunken Paul into a cell. Paul isn’t too happy about it, but when everything is said and done, I’m sure he’ll be glad he was safe behind bars while so many others were busy being murdered. Mark is writing up his report, charging Paul with disturbing the peace.

We return to Sally and Ben in the basement. They’ve found an old mattress and are currently on step one of the five step trip to fucksville. There is a shadow of someone approaching. As they smooch away, they are being watched by a figure on the other side of a big stack of chairs. Sally thinks she hears something, but Ben believes it was just the wind. They go back to smooching and we see that it is Mr. Turner leering at them, licking his lips as he does so. I can only imagine what his hands are doing right now…at least, one of his hands. Gross.

At the station, Mark says he wants to go check the dorm again. As he and Pam are about to leave, Pat Kingsley enters. He voices his displeasure at having the dance again for the first time in 35 years. He wants Mark to keep the college kids under control. He then says that he noticed that the cemetery gate was open and blames more young people and their lustful antics, even though he couldn’t see anything. He heads home and Mark says to Pam that the cemetery gates are supposed to be locked. Ruh roh, raggy!

BAM. Just like that we’re at the cemetery as Mark and Pam arrive in his jeep. She remains in the vehicle as he goes looking around. There’s a long sequence where he goes wandering around the headstones while she sits in the jeep looking increasingly worried, as if at any moment a panhandler was going to come stumbling out of the dark, spit on the windshield and then demand a dollar from her to clean it up. Eventually Mark comes across a grave that has been dug up. We get POV shots as if someone was walking up behind him, but no one is there. Inside the grave the coffin has been exposed. So Mark does what anyone would do in such a situation. He climbs down into the grave and tries to open the coffin lid.

“Couldn’t we have just gone to Ancestry.com to learn about your grandparents?”Back at the jeep, Pam is looking more and more unsettled. Another POV shot reveals that someone is approaching the jeep. Pam looks around and sees a face looking at her through the driver side window. It’s Otto, the store delivery guy, looking all creepy as he stares in at her. She screams and jumps out of the jeep. Mark, hearing her, high tails it back and she explains that she thinks she saw Otto. Then Mark takes her to the open grave. Again he climbs in and tries to open the coffin. The lid must be made of pure lead, because he really has to struggle with it. He finally gets it open and inside is…dead Lisa.

This means that the Prowler pulled her body from the pool, brought it all the way out here somehow, either by lugging it over his shoulders or ferrying it in a vehicle, dug up the grave, opened the coffin (which seems to be quite the chore if Mark’s efforts are any indication) removed the remains from the inside, put Lisa’s body in it and then absconded with the corpse. All within a short time span because he needed to get back to the pool area to kill Miss Allison. Plus, somewhere in there he managed to dry himself after being in the pool. Talk about fast and efficient. I know a few city, county and state agencies that could learn a thing or two from this guy. Mark notices that the headstone, while missing a name, is adorned with the carving of a rose.

We turn now turn our attention to the camping ground where Sheriff Fraser has rented a cabin for the duration of his fishing trip. There is a rather large and portly gentleman manning the office desk. He’s playing solitaire with some cards and several empty beer cans are seen close at hand along with what appears to be the remains of a sizable sandwich. If that’s what he didn’t eat, I wonder how big that sandwich was before he got started. The phone rings and after the fourth ring he answers it, looking annoyed by having to do so.

On the other end is Mark, having returned to the Sheriff office along with Pam. He wants to talk to Fraser and says it’s an emergency. Mr. Lardass says everyone is asleep, then says he will walk out to Fraser’s cabin to get him. He puts the phone receiver down on the desk, slams the short door near the desk area and then goes back to his card game. He pulls out a bag of chew and sticks a sizable chunk in his mouth with a smirk. Mark waits on the other end, thinking Lardass has gone to look for Fraser. After a bit, Lardass slams the door again as if he was returning and picks up the receiver. He tells Mark that Fraser is not in his cabin. He then jots down a quick message to relay to Fraser if he should happen to see him.

Mark now calls the state police to inform them of the murder. Pam checks on Paul, who is sleeping it off in his cell, unaware that his date for the evening is now dead. Mark then informs her that three hours earlier the state police caught the guy who robbed a store and stabbed someone in another town. That means it was someone else that killed Lisa. Pam realizes that the open grave they found belonged to Rosemary Chatham. She wonders if the same man that killed her also murdered Lisa. Mark loads a rifle to take with him.

Mark now drives Pam back to the dance and tells her to stay there. She says that doesn’t make any sense. Is she deficient? Of course it makes sense! She’s not a deputy. It isn’t up to her to investigate these crimes. Wow, what an ego. She wants to stay with him, but he says he doesn’t want to drag her around anymore. Of course, he’s trying to protect her and in addition to that, it’s probably unlawful for him to drag a civilian around under such dangerous circumstances, putting them into further jeopardy. She gets all pissed off at this and tells him to go play sheriff. What the hell? That’s his job, you dumb ass! There is this long awkward moment of silence where she stands with her back to him, then she turns and gets back in the jeep. He doesn’t say anything, but just drives off. I guess she has been deputized!

 

Note - It is at this point that the movie enters its final segment, so if any of you really feel the need to watch this film and not know the ending ahead of time, skip the rest of this section.

 


They return to Major Chatham’s place, parking again on his lawn. This time they find the door unlocked so they let themselves inside. Like morons, they split up. Pam remains below while Mark ascends the stairs. A quick shot shows the Prowler unsheathing his blade. Pam wanders around below when suddenly the lights go out. She calls out to Mark who stupidly asks, “What happened?” He saw the lights go out, too so I don’t know why he asked that. He says it must be the fuse and he will go down to the basement to look at it. As he turns to descend the stairs, the Prowler pops out of a door and attacks him. It happens really fast, but there was no blood, so I think Mark was just bonked over the head. The Prowler pulls him back into the room in which he had been hiding. We see Mark on the floor, the Prowler standing over him. He raises his pitchfork and it appears that Mark’s number may be up.

We cut back to Pam below as the lights come back on. On the fireplace mantle she sees the photo album with the images of Rosemary Chatham, a fresh rose placed atop it. Elsewhere we see gloved hands locking the outside door to prevent her escape. She then notices something hanging within the fireplace. It appears to be a locket on a chain and when she reaches up into the flue to retrieve it, out comes the desiccated corpse of Rosemary Chatham herself, freshly arrived from her 35 year stint in the cemetery.

Meet the new Bachelor.Pam lets out a yelp and runs for the hall door. Opening it, who does she find on the other side? Yep, the Prowler! He extends a rose towards her before tossing it aside and unsheathing his blade. She runs for the outside door, but of course it is now locked. She calls out for Mark, getting no reply. She runs off deeper into the house to evade the Prowler. The usual final girl cat and mouse chase now begins, with her running through the house and the Prowler coming after her. She runs upstairs and flies through a couple of rooms where all the furniture has been covered with sheets. The Prowler approaches, now armed with his pitchfork. She hides under a bed. The Prowler starts overturning the furniture and stabbing things with his pitchfork. As she hides, a big rat walks by hear head, forcing her to stifle a scream. The Prowler, who has obviously never seen a horror movie and would therefor know to check under the bed first, is still knocking around other things when Pam climbs out from under the bed and races out of the room. Sadly, the Prowler sees her and comes after her.

She now locks herself in a room, but the Prowler wedges his pitchfork into the doorframe and pries it open. Pam manages to break off the end of the pitchfork as it sticks through. The Prowler bashes down the door and enters, pulling out his knife. Pam holds the end of the pitchfork in front of her in defense. Just as the Prowler takes a swing at her, who should appear but creepy Otto. He has a rifle and quickly points it at the Prowler and fires. The Prowler is thrown against the wall and slides down to the floor, leaving a big blood smear. He’s dead! Right?

Pam looks at Otto and smiles and he smiles back in much the same way a child smiles at a puppy. Neither notice the Prowler start to stir or fumble around with something until KABLAM!! The Prowler produces his own sawed-off shotgun and blows poor Otto away. The poor simpleton slides to the floor, an even bigger smear of blood on the wall behind him. As the Prowler is trying to pick himself up, Pam rushes over and slams the end of the pitchfork down on his back. She doesn’t have the strength to run him completely through, but the tines are stuck deep in his flesh. He snarls and drops the shotgun. She makes a grab for it and the two struggle for control of the weapon. As they wrestle around, the Prowler coughs and hacks like he cannot breathe very well. I have no doubt about it. The bastard has been shot and stabbed in the space of a couple minutes. I’d have trouble breathing, too. He reaches up and rips off the gear covering his face and we see who it is! Why, it’s Sheriff Fraser! Who didn’t see that one coming? Pam is shocked to see who it is. They fight over the shotgun some more before Pam is able to point it up under his chin and pull the trigger. KERSPLATT. His head explodes like the proverbial ripe melon. Fade out.

“Look at that dirty grout!”Fade In. Mark, still alive and recovered somewhat from his head injury, is driving Pam back to her dorm. It is now morning. They arrive at the same time as the state police. I wonder why Fraser didn’t kill Mark? Was he fond of the young man? Was he only out to kill females, as it was the perceived betrayal by a woman that led to his murderous psychosis? We may never know.

While Mark speaks with the state police, Pam heads up to her room…where the shower is still running. Miraculously, steam still fills the air. That place must have one hell of a boiler for the water to have run all night and still be hot! I wish my house was like that. My wife uses up all the hot water in about fifteen minutes, forcing me to speed through my own shower before icicles start forming on my body. Pam approaches the bathroom slowly and opens the shower door. Inside are the bodies of Sherry and Carl, the latter hanging by the shower head by a strap around his neck. His eyes are still completely white. Suddenly his hand reaches out and grabs Pam by the arm. She screams and fights to get free. She backs away, but then realizes that it was just a hallucination. She stands there, looking horrified at the sight. Fade out.

The End. Roll Credits.

 

 

Review

I don’t think there there’s much about the slasher craze that hasn’t already been said several times over by other people. I’m certainly not going to offer up anything new at this point. I was an impressionable youth when the craze was at its peak and remember a great many of the films that were made during that time. What is almost frightening is learning just how many such movies were released between 1978 and 1990. Even as someone who lived through that era, I was amazed later in life to learn the number of films that could be categorized as a “slasher.” There were so many that had limited releases that I had never heard of, and The Prowler is just one of many that I never saw until an adult.

Often compared to another film from the same year – My Bloody ValentineThe Prowler follows a similar setup to its narrative. A tragedy in the past linked to a social event, and in the present, the resumption of that event for the first time in decades. This sparks a new series of murders with which our protagonists have to survive and contend. The film is dark with an almost dream-like quality to it in places. The caliber of the filmmaking is both high and low. In many instances the film successfully creates an atmosphere of dread with the audience in fearful anticipation of what may happen next. In other places, the dread is replaced with terror and suspense, especially when the film’s killer is pursuing someone. Thank goodness, no one ever stumbled and fell like in so many other movies. Despite those good moments, the film does meander a bit, showing us characters and their behaviors that ultimately having nothing to do with the story. It’s as if these moments were only there to fill out the running time and once they were no longer needed, those characters were ignored for the remainder of the film.

Speaking of the characters, they range from tolerable to annoying. Sheriff Fraser seems like a really cool guy at first, but of course the smiles are hiding a deeply rooted psychosis that explodes in blood and death. Deputy Mark London is the serious type, desiring to perform his duty well, but easily distracted by all that female flesh. That’s what happens when you work in a college town. I’m thinking he doesn’t have a lot of experience with girls, otherwise he would not do so many things that are guaranteed to bother Pam. Speaking of Pam, I have to admit that she is probably my least favorite “final girl” in slasher history, at least off the top of my head. Sometimes she’s smiling and happy, but then Mark says or does something and she’s pouting and staring daggers at him. Someone so bipolar is difficult for me to cheer on, but that’s what we’re stuck with in the end. Everyone else is just set dressing. Lisa is cute and shows some skin, Sherry is cute and gets naked, the guys are more interested in drinking and making out more than anything and any one of them could easily be swapped out for similar characters in other films.

The true stand out performance in the film is from someone behind the cameras: Tom Savini. Well, he did appear in the film as the killer in shots that featured his make-up FX. The death scenes are very well done and realistic with special mentions going to the pitchfork in the torso death of Sherry and the throat slitting death of Lisa. The exploding head at the film’s climax might not look as great in retrospect as it did then, but it is a very short clip and easily better than a few similar scenes in other movies (though not quite as good as Savini's previous work in Maniac). If there was one major complaint I had with the movie is that for a slasher, I really expected there to be more murders and thus more opportunities to showcase Savini’s work. I guess they had to limit it to what they had for budget and time reasons.

In the end, The Prowler is an above average entry into the 80’s slasher genre. Coming as it did nearer to the beginning of the craze, it feels a wee bit more genuine and original without feeling overloaded with clichés. There are great moments of suspense and plenty of atmosphere to help set the proverbial stage. The characters are mostly forgettable, but the make-up FX show Savini at the top of his game. The last minute jump scare seems needless and tacked on, but the rest of the film is worth a watch if you are a fan of the genre.

 

Expect To See:
Crazed Killers – One crazed killer who after returning stateside from serving during WWII, whacked his ex-girlfriend and her new boy toy after she dumped him via a Dear John letter. Now 35 years later, he’s killing again, but who could it be?
Dancing – In 1945 we see couples swaying and swinging to the sounds of big band music in the style of Benny Goodman or Glen Miller. In 1980 the kids are still at it, only now they’re flopping about to the sounds of a Knack wannabe band.
Extreme Violence – Several people are murdered with very sharp objects in this film, and we see the results in close detail. Plus a couple more take gun blasts at close range, making for quite a mess for the CSI crew to clean up.
Gore – While there is blood by the gallons in this flick, there is not a lot of this until one character takes a shotgun blast right to the head. The resulting explosion of tissue showcased more brains than trivia night at Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez's house.
Haunted Houses – Though only inhabited by the ghosts of the past, Major Chatham’s house is a large multi-level abode that is full of abandoned rooms and creepy furnishings. If he charged admission during Halloween, he could have made some bank.
Nudity – There’s several shots of a naked woman as Sherry gets murdered in the shower. Plus, while not stripping nude, Lisa shows off quite a bit of skin when she decides to go for a nighttime swim in the local pool.
Rock n Roll – I only use this icon in the most general sense of the word. I’m sure in 1980 what that band at the dance was playing could have been considered rock n roll. However, going by more modern trends and tastes it would classified as crap.
Swords – There are no actual swords, but when the killer is not utilizing his pitchfork to kill, he does use a bayonet knife with a very long blade to dispatch a few of his victims. I suppose he didn’t want to be stereotyped into one type of weapon.

 

Movie Stats:
Shadow's Commentary:

Deaths: 8
Exploding heads: 1
Desiccated corpses: 1
Boobs: 2
Roses placed by killer: 6
Alcoholic drinks consumed: 3 for sure, undetermined after punch spiked
Smokes: 1 unlit cigarette
Gunshots: 2
POV shots: 23
Classic cars spotted: 4
Songs played by band in 1945: 2
Songs played by band in 1980: 4
Times Lisa flirts with Mark: 3
Times Pam gets annoyed with Mark: 4
Number of Pam’s dresses that get ruined: 2
Patches in Sheriff’s collection: 124

04 Min – Oh, shit. Glenn Miller.
08 Min – That’s a great big FORK YOU!
11 Min – Why are there so many keys on the wall?
17 min – I was really hoping for a pillow fight.
22 Min – Excedrin ain’t gonna help that.
23 Min – Gratuitous boob shot.
25 Min – That might be a wee bit too much vodka in the punch.
31 Min – Random act of violence against a dress.
48 Min – Hopefully she does the breast stroke.
49 Min – Camera's shadow seen on side of pool.
59 Min – Another car drives by the cemetery at night.
62 Min – Coffin contains a dead person…just not the one it’s supposed to.
77 min – Random acts of violence against covered furniture.
78 Min – Special guest appearance by Chuck E. Cheese.
81 Min – Mind blowing.
84 Min – That’s how it ends?


Shadow's Drinking Game: Every time someone says the word DANCE, take a drink.

 

Images Click for larger image

People in the 1940’s were known
for their big balls.


“These are all the applications I
received for my date tonight. I can’t
go with just anyone, you know.”




“Patches? We don’t need
no stinking patches!”

 
“Come on, we’re in college.
Everyone experiments.”

“AAAHHHH, who flushed the toilet?!”

Unfortunately Paul had grabbed the
bottle of floor wax rather than the vodka.


 
“I have survived pepper spray and mustard
gas, so you can call me well seasoned.”



 
Sheesh, even the furniture is racist.

Ladies and gentlemen, give it
up for The Quack!

“Fart in my direction one more time
and I’m going to knee you
in the happy sacks.”

“What?...What?!...WHAT?!!

“Fat Jack’s House of Flapjacks…yes,
we use homogenized milk. No,
it’s not from gay cows!”



“Wait, you’re not Santa!!”

Brave Otto, he told all his friends to
be positive over and over again on
the way to the hospital. Too bad
he died before they could look
up his blood type.

“I have a splitting headache.”

Proof that you can go blind from
doing that in the shower.

 

Immortal Dialog
Keep In Mind

Roy and Rosemary alone in the gazebo back in 1945.

Roy: "Come on, kid, don't play hard to get. What about New Year's Eve?"
Rosemary: "Well, that was different. I couldn't help myself."

Shadow’s Comment: Just like she couldn’t help herself on New Year's Day, Lincoln’s Birthday, Valentine’s Day, Washington’s Birthday, VE Day, Memorial Day, Taco Tuesday and last Friday night…but she’s still a good girl, mind you.

 

  • Guns at your local Sheriff's office do not need to be secured.
  • Every town has at least one well known simpleton.
  • When fleeing a killer, always opt for a side corridor rather than stairs leading to the ground floor.
  • Creepy old men have grips like an iron vice.
  • Old men in wheelchairs can vanish faster than a skilled ninja.
  • There's always an open window when trying to gain enrance to someone's house.
  • When entering a person's home univited, feel free to snoop through their belongings.
  • Never go swimming alone, even if it's in a gated pool facility.
  • There is always someone creepy hanging out in a cemetery.
  • College dorm boilers can produce about five billion BTUs.
  • All old men are peeping toms.

The Sheriff goes shopping for his fishing trip.

Pat Kingsley: "Anything else for you today?"
Sheriff Fraser: "Uh... yeah. Just some deodorant."
Pat Kingsley: "No sweat... Get it?"

Shadow’s Comment: Yes, we get it. Don't quit your day job.

 

WTF?

1. What the hell happened to Sally and Ben? The last we saw they were smooching in the basement with Mr. Turner watching them. Why make us believe they were in danger and then drop them? Was it just a red herring to throw suspicion on Turner, since he had been around since 1945? I suppose without any further interruption, Ben and Sally were able to successfully complete a round of the mattress mambo…probably the only ones in the film that did so, since Lisa was killed and Paul had to sleep one off in a jail cell. Imagine their surprise when they emerged from the dance to learn of all the bloodshed. I bet the dance was cancelled for another 35 years.

2. Did anyone ever find Miss Allison’s body? Where did the killer stash it? Did he lug it all the way to the cemetery, too…or did he just stuff it in a closet someplace? We see her get killed and then nothing related to her is ever brought up or seen again. That seems like a wasted opportunity for someone to stumble across her body.

3. What happened to Major Chatham? We see him sitting alone in his house, staring out the window and we learn that is pretty much what he is known for. Then all of a sudden he’s conveniently outside to scare Pam when she’s fleeing from the killer. Where did he go after that? It certainly wasn’t back into his house, as he wasn’t seen there later when Pam and Mark break in (twice). He could not have gotten too far in a wheelchair. Did he just start rolling himself down the street and kept going? He might even be halfway to Los Angeles by the time the film ends, who knows?

4. Why was Otto in the graveyard? Did his boss Kingsley send him to check things out after spotting suspicious activity there? Please tell me that this is not where Kingsley procures his meats. That’s a whole different horror movie. How did Otto get into the Chatham House at end when the Prowler had locked the door? I’m supposing he knew to go there after finding Rosemary Chatham’s grave all disturbed.

5. Where did the Prowler get all the roses? He left one with Sherry’s body and with Lisa’s body and was ready to give one to Pam. Did he leave one with Miss Allison, wherever he dumped her? How many did he start out with? Did he have a dozen stashed in his pocket? What would have happened if he ran out of roses? Would he be like, “Oh well, no more roses, no more killin’ for the night. Time for a drink!” Perhaps he would have broken into the closest nursery to obtain more.

 

Movie Trailer
This Film & Me
I had never heard of this film before 2005. One day I was perusing the local Best Buy’s DVD section, back in the glory days when said area took up multiple aisles, with the horror and anime sections having an entire aisle each to themselves. Ah, I miss those days. There was so much to choose from and see. Anyway, one day I saw the DVD for The Prowler and read the back. It sounded interesting, but I didn’t have the money for it that day. I think I was back in that store another two or three times before I got around to buying it. Even after I got it home, it took me a while before I actually watched it. I was really surprised at how it kept my interest. Ove the years I have watched it a time or two more and have come to consider it one of my favorite slashers from the 80’s. There is just the right amount of atmosphere on display that endears me to the film and makes me recall those years from the early 80’s with fondness. I decided I would put it on the list of films I planned to review here at the Graveyard, but it has taken quite a while to move down the list and get to it. Finally, here we are. I went with the DVD for this review, as I have not upgraded to the Blu-ray. I hear rumors that Blue Underground may release a 4K restoration edition or maybe even a 4K UHD. I’m willing to wait for one of those before upgrading.


 

Rating
Shadow Says


Shadow's rating: Seven Tombstones



The Good

  • Excellent Tom Savini FX
  • Great tension in spots
  • Hot chicks!
  • Boobs!

The Bad

  • Pointless jump scare at end
  • Needed one or two more death set pieces

The Ugly

  • Many characters not followed up on

 

Review Round-Up
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