I’m doing pretty well with this mini-marathon stuff!
Last night, it was all about
THE PROWLER is an 80s slasher flick that, somehow, I’d never seen before. It was fun to discover this fact. Equally cool was that Tom Savini, master of horror makeup, was on staff. I didn’t realize this while I was actually watching the flick, but I kept thinking how great the effects were, even though the story pretty much stunk.
Yup, this is not a very good movie. But even bad horror movies can be good sometimes because I’ll forgive it if it has some decent atmosphere.
However, there’s something inevitably comfortable about a formulaic 80s slasher movie. You get a prologue with a set up kill. Then you move to the present time, where you get your basic innocent final girl to use as a placeholder for your own viewing experience. You get your usual man in the mask, lurking around and offing people for some screwed up reason. You get dumbasses getting ready for a party, then booze, boobs, bad acting, and blood. Lather, rinse, repeat. You know what’s coming and you anticipate every bit of it in these older slasher movies, and you eat it up, just like me. You know it.
THE PROWLER really knows this formula, which also includes introducing a horny-soon-to-be victim, dispatching him or her creatively, and planting the body in such a way that it offers maximum scares to the heroine when she stumbles upon it. The flick additionally has a vibe reminiscent of the original PROM NIGHT, which is one of my favorite slasher movies, though THE PROWLER never remotely approaches the grandly weird pathos of that awesome train wreck. The film even has FRIDAY THE 13th type string music but without the screeching PSYCHO homage and cheh-cheh-cheh-hah-hah-hah. (Okay, I know that’s not what’s on the soundtrack, but I keep forgetting what it’s really saying. I think I heard that it’s actually ki-ii-ill-her-her-her, which is what Mrs. Vorhees keeps saying when she’s chasing around the final girl in the first movie. Not sure though.)
Besides mindless, formulaic comfort, there are really merely three reasons to watch THE PROWLER:
1. The special effects that I mentioned. There’s one near the end that made me go “Ewwwwooooo” in a great horror way.
2. The poofy, blow-dried hair and high, too-tight running shorts that people wore in the 80s. There’s even a guy who evoked thoughts of a Q-Tip in me. He was supposed to be the hot hero. You’ve got to tune in just to be enthralled by his girly hair.
3. The sight of guys dancing to 80s music. Truthfully, this was really the most horrific thing about THE PROWLER, but then again, if I wanted to gape at something similar, I could’ve just watched VALLEY GIRL and had way more laughs. VALLEY GIRL is one of the five best teen romances ever, and it gets bonus points because everyone runs around with their Izod shirt collars up. There’s also a guy named Skip whose hair rivals the audacity of THE PROWLER Q-Tip man's locks. Double feature time, you all!
I get to watch [REC] soon, and I hear it’s really good. I’ll be back with that next time!