The Prowler (1981) - Horror, Mystery, Thriller

Hohum Score



An unknown killer, clad in World War II U.S. Army fatigues, stalks a small New Jersey town bent on reliving a 35 year-old double murder by focusing on a group of college kids holding an annual Spring Dance.

IMDB: 6.1
Director: Joseph Zito
Stars: Vicky Dawson, Christopher Goutman
Length: 89 Minutes
PG Rating: R
Reviews: 42 out of 120 found boring (35%)

One-line Reviews (115)


Final view on the film:An enjoyable film,with terrific music and fun make-up effects by Savini,let down by a very disappointingly script,that hardly has any sense of tension building at all.

Nice, if uninteresting Early 80's Slasher Flick .

The opening ambush of the couple works nicely, the bathroom encounter is outstanding with the narrow misses of getting caught while they tease each other leading into the mistaken play in the shower, the poolside stalking of the couples leaving the dance are quite fun and the couple being stalked down in the basement is quite a suspenseful ambush.

There are some slow moments, and some scenes that make little sense.

The rest of the film has one good kill, an exploding head and lots of boring and tedious scenes of our heroes looking through a house (twice) for a killer that may or may not be there.

The usual very slow build up to the action in these films is replaced by a pacier introductory section.

This movie suffers from being to boring in-between the death scenes.

But what The Prowler lacks in pure horror, it more than makes up for simply by being an enjoyable yarn.

Here Zito makes it a lot more brutal, with some realistic and visually stunning gore effects from horror maestro Tom Savini.

Granted, the first 30 minutes are brilliant and exciting.

By far my favourite of the early eighties dorm slashers, THE PROWLER is an excellent and exciting film brought to the screen with finesse by Joseph Zito.

For slashers most people don't count on to them give a good story, or the most fascinating of characters which is understandable.

Senseless, Boring and Dated Low-Budget Slasher Movie .

Personally I thought The Prowler was great, I enjoyed it a lot particularly the brutal kill scenes.

The film is actually creepy and suspenseful .

From its predictable story-line, to its dismal suspense, to its overloud music, to its laughable, surprise/shock ending, The Prowler was a certified dud on all counts.

Everything else on display is a bit bland and rather standard.

Plodding, by-the-numbers slasher fare...

) is brilliantly choreographed in a thrilling and exciting film that holds up as well today as it did over 30-years ago.

Everyone is so damn bland.

") Zito manages to wring plenty of suspense from the formulaic script, nicely creating a bleakly haunting small town atmosphere (the movie was shot on location in my home state of New Jersey in the hoppin' resort community of Cape May) and staging the shockingly ferocious kill scenes with considerable skill and style.

Boring .

There were very many slow moving parts in this movie (and I think I fell asleep during every one of them).

The Prowler is not a great little slasher flick, there are a few redeeming features; highish production values, some suspenseful chase sequences, gruesomely effective gore effects courtesy of Tom Savini.

It's suspenseful, has truly nasty and gory murder scenes and the scares are well set up.

Unfortunately, the rest were so downright stolen, predictable, incoherent to the plot/previous or following scene or flat out stretched beyond belief – i.

Not surprisingly, most of the longer, more drawn out murder sequences are directed against the female characters, who are portrayed as promiscuous and hedonistic (in an amusingly blatant early scene, one girl talks about her plans to have sex with her boyfriend and another girl comes in and asks for rolling papers - consecutively breaking the sex and drug laws of the genre within about five seconds and marking themselves for execution), set up to be reprimanded by the representation of socially acceptable male violence.

The killer seemed to take way too long to smash up a room where she was hiding near the end, you forget about being tense she might be discovered because by that point you're just thinking, "Come on, already!

When the main characters, college girl Pam MacDonald (Vicky Dawson) and deputy sheriff Mark London (Christopher Goutman) aren't wandering aimlessly through a dark house, they're engaged in a variety of other mundane activities, and with the killer rarely breaking a sweat to catch his victims, the viewer is left counting every excruciatingly drawn-out second until the next vicious murder.

I fell asleep several times during the course of the movie (admittedly, it was after midnight when I watched it).

The writing is rather formulaic.

The audio commentary on the DVD is very entertaining and at least we know that director Joseph Zito (FRIDAY THE 13th PART IV) was very unexperienced when he did this.

There are a lot of better slasher flicks out there; movies that don't make you fall asleep due to boredom.

The picture has WAY too many false-alarm scares (you know the kind I mean) and some interminably slow stretches (such as TWO dull explorations of the Tierney character's darkened house).

It was good but slow in parts.

It keeps you on the edge of your seat and there is always something happening.

It just needed something more exciting and urgent in it's middle section to keep the audience interesting.

Also, there is no plot.

Derivative and dull other than a few good gore scenes from FX maestro Tom Savini - THE PROWLER is another typical entry that doesn't bring anything new to the table.

Another Dull Slasher...

Aside from the gore, one of the things that was actually enjoyable about "The Prowler" was that it did offer a little bit of suspense and tension, and the direction by Joseph Zito is perfect while he creates a scary atmosphere and uses the camera to make his killer all the more terrifying.

Although, there are a few scenes including the killer that are a little suspenseful.

The girl being unaware of the killer in the same room is another potential cliché enlivened by excellent execution here.

View on the film:When watching the film,I have to admit that I was very surprised by the really enjoyable score and songs that feature in the film.

There are quite a few shots and kills that have gone on to become cliché.

We have the rebel rousing teen fodder, the young deputy left in charge, the red herrings, the awful mullet clad rock band, the spooky old house and our maniacal soldier returning to kill.

I think I was so bored in between that I didn't even bother guessing.

I thought the killer was very predictable.

This is fast-paced for the first half, but then it slows down a lot until the exciting finale.

I know you're supposed to be primo slasher goodness, but why are you so frustratingly boring?

The acting's pretty feeble {although look out for a 'slumming it' Farley Granger and Lawrence Tierney} and there is rather too much footage of the hero and heroine wandering around the killer's house,the tension TOO drawn out here.

A boring slasher .

The hole-filled plot moves along at a snail's pace, as almost nothing interesting happens between the killings.

This is a soild, entertaining decent terrifying goriest horror slasher film from the 80's, I ever saw.

He sleepwalks through his part and looks bored most of the time.

As many slasher fans would expect, there are a couple of good chase scenes in the film (the scene when Pam goes back to her dorm to change her clothes was really spooky), and the special effects, as mentioned before, are really stunning, especially when taking the time the movie was made into consideration.

Which isn't to say that a satisfying, suspenseful, well made film can't be made within those outlines.

By the time its first act has wrapped up, it seems as if already a half-dozen people have been offed and our Final Girl to be has already had a fairly exciting chase sequence.

It's only something that sounds good on paper though, since the execution of it all is far from awesome, exciting or original.

It is far too uninteresting to succeed.

The movie drags in too many places and becomes repetitive in the last half hour with the heroine getting chased by the killer, escaping, then getting chased again when she insists on putting herself back in danger.

"The Prowler" itself is a boring, plodding, repetitive mess of a slasher: There are entire scenes of characters doing menial things that feel endless, the characters barely register, the climax is plodding and the narrative is predictable.

The characters are bland, the slight story could be written on a bookmark, the action is sporadically interesting, the killer is not that menacing.

This rather predictable and slow slasher is saved by the gore set-pieces by effects maestro Tom Savini.

A bit boring..

) The film is sadly let down by Glen Leopold and Neal f Barberas screenplay,which fills up 90% of the films running time,with the story of the student trying to stop the killer,not having any major feeling of danger or dread at all in the film,but instead making the film feel surprisingly slow in its brisk running time.

Excellent pacing is critical to making a good slasher, and this entry unfortunately isn't up to par, resulting in a disjointed, often meandering film.

I find it rather boring, aside from the murderous parts, which are quality.

Anyway, this film has its problems, but it's extremely enjoyable and well made, and the great use of gore effects only acts to accentuate its quality.

As a matter of fact, it's downright mundane.

If you expect a suspenseful 'scary' movie, I suggest you look elsewhere.

People criticize the films are formulaic, gore-for-gore's sake, mindless, or even misogynistic.

Stalwart actors Farley Granger looks embarrassed and there's rather an unusually pointless role for Lawrence Tierney (who also briefly appeared in Zito's 1979 film "Bloodrage") .

The time they spend looking for this guy is very, very tedious.

Yes, all the dumb clichés of horror films are present here, sexed up teens dispatched, a heroine in distress, some red Herring's as to the identity of the slasher, several "false alarms" to set up the real scares, and some of the most idiotic actions by the characters when faced with the stress of evading the killer (running wrong way, tripping over everything, going into one exit rooms, calling out "who's there" when they hear a creepy noise, etc.) but despite all this, I consider it a nifty little film, and one worth watching.

I wanted to like I really did but I ended up falling asleep more than being excited.


Examples include doors being locked and unable to open, the stalkee choosing to run upstairs instead of out the door (before she knew it was locked) and excruciating long and boring cop and victim searching for the bad guy plot fillers.

But it was obvious through the entire movie so maybe thats why I was so bored.

I give this movie 10/10 for gore but the rest made me bored.

It is very boring, stupid and was a complete waste of time in my opinion.

The usual slasher mix of indistinguishable, anonymous characters, bloody and brutal murder sequences and slow walks in dark rooms and corridors (in which the killer may be hiding).

The murder mystery ain't gonna win any prices, pretty much every average viewer will have the culprit figured out but the flick is made with passion and it's certainly from a vintage year when slashers attempted to be suspenseful and didn't go overboard in humor.

Recently released uncut in Britain on DVD under the (better in my opinion) title Rosemary's Killer after we have had to suffer with a horribly edited VHS version which basically cut every gore scene in the film & since the only reason The Prowler is worth watching are those gore scenes it's nice to have it uncut over here at last for the first time over 25 years since it was made.

Original and very entertaining throughout .

I'm surprised that this movie has many "haters" calling it boring or "just like many other slasher flicks".

It was fast paced and it went fast around, I wasn't bored with the film, I enjoy it.

Compared with the overload of polite and ethically correct (read = boring) slashers, the Prowler looks fresh and very entertaining.

Overall, I enjoyed it very much.

Just like its characters, everything else in it also remains extremely underdeveloped and the little stuff that it tries to do is being extremely formulaic all.

This thing is pretty confusing as far as slashers go, mainly due to bad writing.

Once the killer gets going, we are basically subjected to LONG, drawn out scenes of the cop and his gal wandering through a house (TWICE!

So The Prowler is indeed a slasher and an extremely formulaic one at that.

However they are few and far between and what you get stuck with in the middle is some awfully boring and painful filler.

The excellent Blue Underground DVD offers a bang-up widescreen presentation along with the theatrical trailer, an extensive poster and still gallery, behind-the-scenes videotape footage of Savini at work, and a lively, enjoyable and informative commentary by Zito and Savini.

The film has some very unnecessary slow moments and scenes that are there without any purpose.

The killer is pretty creative and provides some entertaining death scenes.

There are many jump scenes and many suspenseful scenes.

You need an entertaining hero or heroine to lead the movie.

For the effects actually carry the film through some lulls and might attract those who love slasher films.

Another problem I had with the film is that the characters are either boring or annoying.

Of course this isn't being anything too uncommon for a slasher but at least most slashers feature a good and likable enough main character in it, while this movie only features a bunch of boring looking and acting people in it, you just couldn't have cared less for.

It picks up really quick and takes you into an exciting ride through out the night.

Joseph Zito's slasher entry is too dull and too dark to be effective.

But this film was boring the only redeeming thing about this were the kills and the idea of a killer from WW2.

Instead of shot in some dark forest or other, uninteresting isolated location, "The Prowler" was lensed in New Jersey's historical district.

Gory & suspenseful 80s slasher gem (See This Slasher #1) .

There's the lackluster love interest, there are the mindless teenagers, the horny exhibitionist girls, and the contrived killings which exist only to showcase the use of a particular weapon.

Tierney is pretty much in cameo-form only as he grabs Pam by the shirt-sleeve when she is trying to escape the prowler who is closing in(why he is trying to slow her down is never explained).

I'm proud to say that this movie has excellent death scenes that are worth the watch.

An ineffective deputy sheriff (the bland Christopher Goutman) and his spunky leading lady (the lovely and appealing Vicky Dawson) work the clues as the killer begins to hack his way through the student bodies, and anybody else unlucky enough to get in his way.

The dark and creepy atmosphere really help the movie stay suspenseful.

Unfortunately I found a senseless, boring and dated low-budget slasher movie with awful screenplay and lines.

It's predictable, filled with false scares, and contains several seemingly pointless scenes that go on for far too long.