31 Days of Halloween *Day 8* – THE PROWLER

31 Days of Halloween – Day 8

The Prowler (directed by Joseph Zito, 1981) There is nothing sheepish about The Prowler. First, the death scenes are bloody and gruesome. When the main instrument of murder is a pitchfork, you are not going to find a neat and tidy crime scene. Secondly, there is no shortage of of gratuitous nudity. That era of horror film and the bare female form went hand in hand. Third, the production team did not skimp on amazing make-up and wound effects. From slit throats, to punctured skulls, every death looks convincing. Veteran F/X maestro Tom Savini brought his ‘A’ game for The Prowler. This standalone, underrated murder-fest knows what it is, and delivers. A small New Jersey town is terrorized by a maniac dressed in WWII army fatigues (simple and effective, not mention creepy). It is also to the thirty-fifth anniversary of an infamous double-murder, and the pitchfork wielding butcher is celebrating by targeting teens, who are attending their high school graduation dance. Director Joseph Zito (Invasion USA, Friday the 13th: The Final Chapter) delivers a no-nonsense slaughter festival. As much as it pains me, I enjoy The Prowler more than the first Friday the 13th Films (I still love them). If you are looking for wonderful gore, buxom ladies in distress, and a violent psycho dressed like a soldier, add The Prowler to your Halloween viewing index. It’s bloody good fun.

Recap

  • Day 1 -The Conjuring
  • Day 2 -You’re Next
  • Day 3 -Rob Zombie’s Halloween
  • Day 4 -Dog Soldiers
  • Day 5 -Texas Chainsaw Massacre (2003)
  • Day 6 -Psycho (1960)
  • Day 7 -John Carpenter’s The Thing
  • Day 8 -The Prowler

T.

Kill of the Day 09/09/15 The Prowler

Late Night Swim – The Prowler (directed by Joseph Zito, 1981)  After years of hearing about this film, I actually got to see it the other night. I must say, it is a great little old school slasher film, that features amazing special make-up effects, courtesy of the one and only Tom Savini. The effects are very gritty and realistic. I chose the swimming pool death, simply because it is cool. A young woman goes for a dip in the pool after dark. The Prowler strikes. Slit throats are a dime a dozen in this type of fair, but this one is different. The killer actually slices into the victim’s throat, and we see the blade of the knife buried half way in to her neck. Pretty gruesome and real looking stuff. If you listen, the score playing during this scene is reminiscent of the Jaws theme. I am not sure if this is an homage because of the water element it shares with Jaws or not, but it is pretty cool. There is also a graphic shower scene featuring a buxom lady and a pitchfork that is gore filled (I could not find footage). Joseph Zito also directed Friday the 13th: The Final Chapter, which Tom Savini also did the make-up effects for. The Prowler is good slasher fun, which I recommend to anyone that is a fan of the genre.

Cool Fact – Tom Savini served as a combat cameraman in Vietnam, and draws from the real life death and gore he witnessed to create his special effects.