Monday, October 8, 2012

The Howler: "The Prowler" (1981)

Let us take a minute and review the standard plot of this standard 1980's horror film.

First, in flashback, a horrific murder happens. Then, fast forward to the then present-day, and the reopening of a closed dance/school/prom night, etc, where the first murder took place.

Throw in a few red herring suspects, like the school janitor in the basement, or the crazy old man who bags groceries at the supermarket. Introduce one virginal girl with boyfriend trouble, and a bunch of her oversexed horny friends. As horny friends get killed, have virgin and new boyfriend run from masked killer. Killer does not kill boyfriend, and town weirdo kills killer...or so we think. Have killer come back to life, then get killed by virgin. Put virgin in final scene as dead come back to life and grab her, then realize it was only a dream/hallucination. There, now you have "The Prowler."

While Tom Savini's makeup effects are on display here, this is still such a clicheed film even his big bag of gore cannot save a lousy script. I had the killer figured out as soon as he was introduced (here's a hint, the killer is the only cast member old enough to have committed the first murder), so I had to sit back and watch the blood flow.

Big deal, the killer uses a pitchfork. I guess a concealed weapons charge is out of the question, those are so hard to hide in your pocket.

"The Prowler" is just lousy film making that only has a reputation because of Savini's makeup effects. Gore does not equal scares, and neither does "The Prowler." (*) out of five stars.