John's Horror Banana-nanza Episode Fifty-Nine : The Prowler
The slasher genre was an explosion in the early 80's, with such hits as "Friday the 13th" and "Nightmare on Elm Street". A lot of films were overlooked or thought of as copycats, including the vastly unknown "The Dorm That Dripped Blood." However, of all the brutal teen slashers during that time, one sticks out to me, purely from an entertainment standpoint.
Joe Zito, who worked on "Friday the 13th IV : The Final Friday" brings his direction along with outstanding special effects work by the master, Tom Savini. The story is pretty simple. After World War II, there's a dance, and someone is killed. This someone just told her lover she couldn't wait anymore. So...guess we know who the killer is already, huh?
Like all great slasher villains, this guy's got a unique look to him, dressed in soldier clothes, including a gas mask. Man alive, the guy's creepy to watch. The plot doesn't really deviate from the usual stuff. The killer killed the girl during a dance, so for a few decades, they don't have one. Then as soon as they do, he's killing again, this time with a pitchfork, a bayonet, and other awesome utensils. The best kill in the movie, (yes, that's how these movies are judged) is the woman in the shower being ran through with a pitchfork. Fantastic effects.
So we eventually are down to our two heroes, a guy and a girl who's names I frankly don't remember, and they face off against the killer. One line that the heroine utters will stick with me forever. As the two approach the house the killer is in, the man says "I'm going to go in there. You stay here." And like every single person in the audience, her response is dead on.
"I don't think that's a good idea."
Talk about an understatement.
I love this movie. I don't really know how to explain why I do. It doesn't really have that zany element "The Burning" has, or the over the top nudity that any of the "Friday the 13th" films have, but there's just something about this movie that keeps me coming back. And that's what a movie should do.
I recommend it, especially if you're a fan of the genre. If not, well, you probably don't want to see it anyway.
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