Retro Horror Review of the Week: ‘The Prowler’
The Prowler is an intensely violent masterpiece! The Prowler is one of the few horror movies that have actually made cringe. With its brutal kill scenes and its extremely convincing make-up special effects, this film truly stands out in the “slasher” genre. The Prowler is a no-nonsense film that really goes out there to freak [...]
The Prowler is an intensely violent masterpiece!
The Prowler is one of the few horror movies that have actually made cringe. With its brutal kill scenes and its extremely convincing make-up special effects, this film truly stands out in the “slasher” genre. The Prowler is a no-nonsense film that really goes out there to freak you out and in my opinion, it worked.
The Prowler was released in 1981 and filmed with an estimated budget of $1,000,000. It was directed by Joseph Zito, whose next movie was Friday the 13th: The Final Chapter. I really couldn’t find any interesting little factoids or anything, so lets skip to the synopsis and reviewing!
The main plot is refreshingly different from other slasher flicks. A WWII soldier gets a “Dear John” letter overseas and kills his ex and new lover on graduation night when he returns. Now 35 years later, he starts killing again (in combat uniform) so he can relive his ex’s murder. Some characters try and solve the mystery before anymore people are killed. I actually found the plot interesting as opposed to sitting through empty dialogue waiting for the good scenes. The acting was better than what I had expected from a film like this. Everyone’s performance was totally fine, meaning that there were no lame screams or dumb sounding lines due to poor acting. It’s still not top-notch acting though.
I always like to talk about the cinematography and directing before anything else. To me its the most important part of any film. With The Prowler, they did an exceptional job at both compared to a lot of other films of this type. The composition of each shot is much more pleasing to the eye than what is typical for an early 80′s horror film. It was able to keep my attention even during the slow parts (Let’s be honest, there’s more than a few horror flicks that have really boring and overall lame parts). I’m trying to think of some bad shots in the film, but all that I can really think of is maybe a few shots were too dark or the framing of something was weird. Nothing bad really sticks out through out the whole thing. The total clarity of the film is actually pretty impressive as well.
The sound was a step above what you usually hear in this genre. There’s no muffling of voices or stupid sounding music that seems like it was from a warped record. Dialogue is actually relevant in this film! Hooray! Irrelevant dialogue is really aggravating to me. I can’t stand it when there are people talking about things in a film that have nothing to do with anything. Drives me nuts. Luckily that doesn’t happen here.
By far, the most impressive part of this movie is the make-up special effects. Effects were done by the famous Tom Savini. His talent really comes through in The Prowler. More than one of the kills in it actually made me wince (Trust me, that doesn’t happen often. Unless its like a Youtube video of someone breaking their leg or something). Honestly, I’m not even sure how these special effects were done. The death scenes in this are really bloody and realistically so. As usual, I must mention if there’s an awesome exploding head scene (There is). While were talking about visuals, I also really enjoyed the costume of the killer. The WWII combat uniform turned out to be really creepy.
The Prowler is an essential slasher film that should definitely not be missed. It’s creepy, violent and actually a pretty good movie all around. If you’re a fan of Halloween or Friday the 13th, seriously check this out. If you have not seen this, you are missing out on a slasher masterpiece!