The Prowler (1981)

Article 3764 by Dave Sindelar
Viewing Date: 11-22-2011
Posting Date: 12-4-2011
Directed by Joseph Zito
Featuring Vicky Dawson, Christopher Goutman, Lawrence Tierney
Country: USA
What it is: Slasher movie

In 1945, a girl and her boyfriend are killed during a graduation dance. 35 years later, the graduation dance is revived for the first time since the murder… and the murders start up again.

Back when I covered GRADUATION DAY, I commented on how several of the reviews I’d read proved to be highly inaccurate, with the one in the John Stanley book going on about a backstory that did not exist in that movie. I hypothesized then that he was probably confusing that movie with another one. Well, the mystery is solved; he was confusing it with this one, probably due to the fact that one of the alternate titles of this one is THE GRADUATION. For the record, this is indeed one of the better slasher movies out there; in the way it actually works hard to build up suspense and in the way it eschews the use of a lot of typical slasher cliches, it actually shows up how lazily written so many movies of that genre were. Not that the movie doesn’t have its flaws; there’s a few plot holes to be reckoned with, some awkward moments, and a bit of muddiness near the end of the movie. Still, it’s probably the best one I’ve seen since MY BLOODY VALENTINE, and the fact that the acting is generally very good throughout is another plus. There’s even some fun character moments, such as a scene with a lazy desk clerk that sticks in the memory.


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