Vicky Dawson ... Pam MacDonald
Christopher Goutman ... Mark London
Lawrence Tierney ... Maj. Chatham
Farley Granger ... Sheriff George Fraser
Country: USA Runtime: 89 min AKA:Rosemary's Killer
I’d been planning on seeing this movie for years. It’s been on the backburner until tonight. When people talk about the slasher genre they often mention The Prowler as an underrated entry. Everybody knows what the killer looks like. He’s dressed in dark army fatigues including a mesh garment covering his face, a helmet and army boots. His murdering tools include a farmer’s pitchfork, 12 inch knife, and a handy shotgun. If I saw this guy following me home I’d shit my pants. Unfortunately the rest of the movie is not as original or shocking as its villain.
The film oddly opens with black and white news reel footage of WW2 veterans returning home. Then there’s someone’s POV shot reading a letter. In the letter a young woman by the name of Rosemary explains to her boyfriend that during his time away she’s fallen out of love. We soon figure out that the killer is the man Rosemary was writing to. He’s not happy about her bullshit excuses so he stalks her at a school dance where she‘s with a new guy. He follows them to a gazebo where they plan on making out. But they didn’t plan on the Prowler jamming his pitchfork through them. Long distance relationships don’t always work out, sometimes you get stalked by a jealous psychopath and killed.
Now it’s 40 years later. The traumatic school dance murders are a fleeting memory and so the kids want to party. The small town thinks its ok to restart the Spring Break dance but they are dead wrong. You can guess the rest of the movie if you’ve seen a handful of slasher films. Pam is one of the college girls who has a ‘thing’ going on with the local deputy, Mark. Her friends get killed by the Prowler little by little. Pam gets chased by the Prowler. Mark investigates. Pam wants to tag along with him but he tells her its too dangerous. She insists and so they move forward together. They spend way too long at Major Chatham’s house looking for clues. The Prowler is nearby, yet they keep missing each other. The tension dwindles and I become impatient. There’s more walking around in dark places. The Prowler kills again. Now he’s after Pam. Pam realizes what’s going on to a degree. The Prowler startles her and they have a final showdown.
The non-killing parts are awful and borng. The Prowler stalking scenes are yawn-inducing. The supporting characters fade from your short term memory as soon as the next scene begins. You have not invested anything into them so you don’t give a fuck what happens to them. Pam is endearing and Mark is likeable but they don’t accomplish much during the movie. You want more for them to do. Pam’s struggle with the Prowler towards the end is good but it’s too little too late. The killing scenes are handled very nicely by make-up and effects wizard Tom Savini. In the end I only enjoyed the murder scenes. I wouldn’t recommend this to anyone really.