in Shocktober

The Prowler (1981)

1981 has often been considered a pivotal year in horror cinema. It gave us such classics as; An American Werewolf in London, Scanners, and The Howling, but more importantly marked the rise of the slasher film as a true force to be reckoned with. Many have been forgotten, but there’s still a few that remain to occupy a place in the modern horror consciousness. The Prowler is one of those and I think I know why.

Tom Savini. For those who don’t know, Tom Savini is one of the greatest gore makeup/effects artists of his time. Known predominantly for his work in the horror genre in the 70s and 80s, Tom has lent his talents to such films as; Dawn of the Dead, Maniac, Friday the 13th, The Burning, Creepshow, Day of the Dead and Texas Chainsaw Massacre 2. A former combat photographer in Vietnam, Tom’s firsthand experience with violence gave him an invaluable lesson in anatomy, death and real horror to influence his future work. He’s an icon… Oh, and here’s a really bad picture of him and me from a few years ago.

The Prowler is a visceral slasher flick with many strange similarities to my last review My Bloody Valentine. Both films are about past tragedies centered around an annual dance. In this case, it’s the story of a deranged man in combat gear who on one night in 1945, attacked a couple at a graduation dance attended by a group of G.I.s. Thirty-Five years later, the town decides to have another dance and guess what happens? When are people gonna take the message? Holding dances will kill you! So a bunch of young people gather, one thing leads to another, and people die. They die so hard.

Regarding premise, The Prowler is as generic as it gets. The reason I’m talking about it is because of Tom “Sex-Machine” Savini. You got knives in the head, pitchforks in the back, and an awesome head explosion that I looked for on the web, but couldn’t find. Really that’s all I remember about the film. The makeup effects were just as good as any mainstream movie resulting in plenty of entertainment value. The story is iffy, the characters are bad, but it’s still a fun way to kill a night. Check back here soon when in a few days I’ll be reviewing another classic (and I use the term likely) Tom Savini slasher.

This guy sort of looks like a young Christopher Walken. He can also “sort of” act.