10/9/16 – OCTOBER HORROR MOVIE PICK #9 – The Prowler (1981).


There is so much I could say about The Prowler. I could start with my personal connection to it when I showed this movie to a large group of my friends in high school. Let’s just say most of them had no idea what they were in for, and a few were seriously scarred. Just talking about The Prowler became a thing of legend after that. And there’s a reason why. This movie is hardcore. This is 80’s slasher fare at its most brutal and violent. The story is basically a loose thread to get you from gore setpiece to gore setpiece. It starts out with some old war footage showing soldiers returning back from WWII, followed by a woman writing a “Dear John” letter to her soldier boyfriend. Well, let’s just say the next thing you know she’s dead as well as her new boyfriend. Fast forward 30 years and now it appears the madman has returned and looking for new victims. They should basically just call this movie, “Tom Savini’s Showcase of Gore.” Tom Savini’s gore work on this changed the game. Yes, it probably gets most of its recognition for the various pitchfork murders (a favorite tool of the Prowler), but all kinds of knives and bayonets are game here as well. The entire movie exists solely for the kills. In fact, rumor has it that the filming calendar was completely based around the kill setpieces, with each one taking a full day to prep. Once you see the kills, you’ll understand. They are BRUTAL and so lifelike it’s insane (especially for 1981). What Savini did that most didn’t before was show his gore right on human skin. If someone gets stabbed with a knife, he didn’t just show it push into their clothes and some blood packs burst. No way, too simple. He shows each blade actually pierce, slice, or saw the actual skin of the victim, some of it in extreme close up, which is what makes it so believable and cringe-inducing. He truly was/is a genius of his craft. And the Prowler himself is a pretty badass big baddie. Head to toe in a WWII uniform, his face covered by a camo scarf, and fully stocked in weaponry. So sweet. If you’re a fan of down and dirty 80’s slashers, this one really should be higher on the list. It doesn’t get the recognition it deserves. Enjoy.


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