Posts Tagged ‘Bill Hugh Collins’

 

The Prowler seems like one of those films that got lost and forgotten in the myriad of slashers released in the 80s. And not without a good reason. It makes very little sense, with plot holes as big as the one in the head of it’s director Joseph Zito (known for such blockbusters like Missing in Action, Invasion U.S.A., Red Scorpion, and Friday the 13th: The Final Chapter). The only thing The Prowler benefits from is the work of gore makeup guru Tom Savini, who provided the sliced arteries, gaping wounds, and sanguine floods that mark the film’s half-dozen death pieces. Hey, enough for me!

The_Prowler

Oh God, even a tag line is lame!

The movie starts with Dear John letter written by a woman named Rosemary Chatham in which she informs her boyfriend who is fighting in WW2 that she is breaking up with him because she can’t wait for him any longer. Check this out, while her brave boyfriend is fighting overseas dirty Rosy was oiling some civilian’s mast. What an ungrateful slut! Serves her rig…oh wait, we don’t know that yet. Anyway, to celebrate her newfound freedom Rosemary (played by Joy Glaccum) is attending a graduation dance in the town of Avalon Bay with her new boyfriend Roy (played by Timothy Wahrer), on June 28, 1945. At one moment they decided to go out in order to make out. While there, electrical power goes off and they are attacked by a mysterious prowler in an army combat uniform (now who might that be), who impales them both with a pitchfork, leaving behind a rose. In a modern world no electrical power means death.

Reunited in cheat

Thirty-five years later, on June 28, 1980, Pam MacDonald (played by Vicky Dawson) is organizing the first graduation ball in 35 years with her friends Lisa (played by Cindy Weintraub), Sherry (played by Lisa Dunsheath) and Sherry’s love interest Carl (played by David Sederholm). That afternoon, while visiting her love interest Mark London (played by Christopher Goutman), who is the town’s deputy, she overhears a report of a prowler, who may be on the way to Avalon Bay. The Sheriff (played by Farley Granger), off to a cabin retreat leaves Mark in charge of keeping order in the town and at the dance while he is away. Seems to me that the Sheriff flees tow because he chickened out. Let the deputy take care of dangerous murderer. That night, while Sherry was preparing for the party, Carl “accidentally” stumbled upon her while she was under the shower. She didn’t take too long to get the hint so she invites him over to join her. Carl went to undress in haste but his sexual appetite was satiated when the prowler shoved a bayonet through his brain. Tough luck, lady boy. His place under Sherry’s shower will be taken  by the killer. And he did impale Sherry but with a pitchfork instead of good old traditional way. At least he left behind a rose. Bayonets for boys, pitchforks for girls… That’s how the world works these days.

 

Without knowing that her roommate was killed Pam goes back to the dorm in order to change her clothes. But the prowler is there too. Pam started to run away and stumbles upon Mark. Instead of trying to help her Mark decides it would be safer if they run away together. Hm so much about the long arm of the law. Anyway, Pam finds the old photos of Rosemary in Major Chatham’s (played by Lawrence Tierney) house. It turns out Rosy was his daughter whose killer had never been found. She suspects it is the same killer. Well duh! In a light of new facts,  Mark heads with Pam to the dance to warn the chaperone Miss Allison (played by Donna Davis) about the possible danger. She interrupts the party by silencing the band which was signing about murder. Oh why always in slasher movies there is a band which sings about murders? Meanwhile Lisa, fed up with her boyfriend Paul (played by Bryan Englund) for getting drunk and sick, goes out to a nearby pool to cool off. Paul is arrested by Mark for public intoxication, meanwhile Lisa encounters the killer while swimming, who mercilessly slices her throat open. That’ll teach her to stop nagging about alcohol. Allison went out looking for Lisa and that’s where she met her maker since the killer stabbed her through the throat.

Night swimming and alcohol are winning combination

The local shopkeeper, Kingsley (played by John Seitz), complains to Mark he witnessed a disturbance in the cemetery, Mark and Pam go to investigate and discover an opened grave with Lisa’s body in it. They go to investigate Major Chatham’s house once more. And that’s where the prowler is waiting for them.  Mark is attacked and left for dead as the prowler then chases Pam through the house. Some strange guy named Otto (played by Bill Hugh Collins) appears and shoots the attacker. It seems that everything is OK now. Touchy scene between Otto and Pam looking at each other and smiling while romantic musing plays in the background was interrupted by the killer who recovers and shoots Otto dead before attacking Pam. HAHAHA what a fuck off! This scene made this movie almost worth of watching! Anyway, during the scuffle, Pam discovers the Prowler is none other than Sheriff Fraser himself (What a surprise, I never seen that coming, honestly)  and turns his gun against him, blowing his head clean off. Now he should stay dead. The next day, Mark returns with Pam to her dorm and she goes up alone. Discovering Sherry and Carl’s bodies in the shower, she screams as Carl seems to come to life and grab at her, only realizing that he is dead, and that him grabbing at her was a hallucination. I guess the message is that you can’t run away from the past.

 

Conclusion: As I stated at beginning of this review, this movie makes very little sense. I can understand killer’s motive for murdering his slutty girlfriend and her newfound boyfriend. But why he was killing other people 35 years later? Too many painful memories? Why did he continue his work after so much time? Why does he use pitchfork? He surely had some weapons left from the war. How comes that no one suspected him? And how he had gotten away with his first murders when it was so obvious who the culprit is? He might had deserted after receiving the letter but then he wouldn’t be able to rise to the rank of Sheriff. Very little has been explained here and these questions will probably remain without answer. The Prowler may not be one of the best films out there by any stretch, but if you want to see truly over the top, gory, overdone death scenes made by everyone’s favorite makeup madman, Uncle Tom, then give this one a watch. But only once!

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