AKA The Prowler, The Graduation

Tag Line : If you think you're safe, you're DEAD wrong.

Rosemary's KillerPrior to teaming up on Friday the 13th Part 4, director Joseph Zito and SFX wizard Tom Savini  had previously collaborated on this interesting 80's slasher film about a maniac in an army uniform terrorising a small American township.

Set in the fictional town of Avalon Bay, the townsfolk are preparing for the schools graduation dance, the first of its kind to be held in over 30 years. The last one was in 1945, and ended when young Rosemary Chattam and her date were brutally killed by a prowler brandishing a pitchfork and bayonet. Though the killer was never apprehended, he was believed to have been a local soldier who wasn't too happy about getting a 'Dear John...' letter just prior to his return from WW2.

With the events of that night now a distant memory, the townsfolk are looking at putting those grim events behind them. But, the high school prom dance isn't the only thing that's returned. It seems that our prowler friend is back, still dressed in WW2 style uniform and armed with a selection of various  bladed instruments.

The rest of the film is your typical 80's slasher fair, with teens being bumped off in various nasty ways. Although what sets this one apart from the other films of this ilk is Tom Savini's expert use of special effects, showing young couples being graphically impaled together on pitchforks, stabbed through the head with bayonets, throat slashings and even Savini's trademark exploding head making an appearance.

Definitely one for fans of 80's slasher films, would make an excellent companion piece with the film "Maniac".

Overall marks 6/10.

Terrifying Trivia.

  • The films budget was $1,000,000

  • Alternate tag lines "It will freeze your blood", "The Human Exterminator", "The film that shocked America".

  • Filmed on location in the town of Cape May in New Jersey.

  • With the exception of the unmasking scene, the killer was played by the assistant director Peter Giuliano.

  • The 1981 UK cinema release was very heavily censored, which severely toned down every single killing. This same cut version was then released onto video shortly afterwards. The 2007 UK DVD release was however passed uncut.

  • The cemetery scenes were filmed in an actual cemetery and the open grave was a real open grave that had been dug out ready for a funeral that week and not set dressing. If all that wasn't creepy enough, the scenes in it were filmed on Halloween night 1980.

  • The original US version was slightly trimmed for an R rating, which simply shortened the kill scenes.

  • The Australian release shortened the opening murder, the "bayonet" scene, the "pool" scene and thehedge-side killing.

  • It took 18 takes to get the scene of Cindy Weintraub's character getting kicked in the face just right. Fortunately, it was a fake rubber foot being used, so the actress was relatively uninjured from the experience.

  • Director Joseph Zito got the directors job on "Friday the 13th Part 4 : The Final Chapter" as a result of working on this film. His other credits include the action pics "Missing in Action", "Invasion USA" and "Red Scorpion".

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