The Road to Horrorhound Weekend '11: The Prowler (1981)
The first flick that I thought was a glaring omission in my film viewing catalog was 1981’s The Prowler directed by Joseph Zito. While Joe would follow up The Prowler with Friday the 13th: The Final Chapter, I’ve always been a bigger fan of his work with Norris such as Invasion: USA and Missing in Action. Sadly, Joe is not the guest at the convention but rather Peter Giuliano, the first assistant director who played the titular Prowler in every scene except the killer’s Scooby Doo-esque unmasking. The Prowler was Giuliano’s second screen credit following a stint as production manager on the forgotten mockumentary Mr. Mike Mondo Video, National Lampoon writer Michael O’Donoghue’s skewering of Mondo Cane. Peter would go on from stalking both sides of the screen in The Prowler to a prolific career as am Assistant Director for little films like Ghostbusters, Bugsy, and Bram Stoker’s Dracula before transitioning into producing.
The Prowler that Giuliano embodies in the 1981 film first struck in 1945 during the big Graduation Dance. The story goes that his sweetheart jilted him while he was off fighting the war, but when he returned on that fateful evening and found her with her new beau, he dispatched them both with a pitchfork. Now thirty five years later, it’s another Graduation Dance, the first since the murders, and with the Sheriff out of town, it’s up to Deputy Mark London (Christopher Groutman) to keep the peace. Unfortunately, he doesn’t keep it long, and soon a killer in WWII era duds is stalking the streets offing a number of graduates. The reinvigorated murderer sets his sights on Pam MacDonald (Vicky Dawson), Deputy London’s plucky main squeeze, and with a pile of misdirection and a bucket full of effects from Tom Savini, The Prowler stands as a sturdy entry into the slasher genre.
In the coming days of March, look out for more posts about films from Horrorhound Weekend Attendees, a lineup of incredible guest posts for Hitch on the Hump, the 3rd Annual celebration of all things Shatner, You Don’t Know Shat!, and much, much more. You never know what might me lurking…or should I say prowling… around The Lair this month!