Friday, May 13, 2016

The Prowler, A Tom Savini Bloodbath

Most of you are not familiar with Lisa Dunsheath.  After a stint on the soap opera "Santa Barbara," this lovely actress left acting, got married, and departed New Jersey for California. However, thanks to some Tom Savini magic, Ms. Dunsheath's death scene in 1981's "The Prowler" is one of the most memorable slasher film murders ever (Janet Leigh step aside).  Yep, she was the nude woman in the shower who got pitchforked by the maniac in today's film.
In 1945 a pretty coed is pitchforked, with her beau at a graduation dance.  Does her murder have anything to do with a dear John letter she previously wrote to a G.I.? Fast forward to 1980. For the first time since those murders, the college is having a graduation dance.  Uh oh, a masked, and heavily armed psycho has entered the picture.  Pretty Pam (Vicky Dawson) is helping run the dance with her overly amorous room-mates.  As the gals get all dolled up, Sherry and her beau meet a most gory demise (as referenced above).  Pam sees the killer and is chased by him, only to be saved by her BF, Deputy Mark (Christopher Goutman).
Well, you get the plot. Honorable mentions to Cindy Weintraub. She only made two films in her brief career.  Both times she met with fates worse than anything imaginable.  She was abducted by the creatures in "Humanoids from the Deep" and in this one, is subject to the longest throat cutting scene in movie history, as she swims in her underwear.  As our killer continues to go through horny coeds like crap through a goose, he shines in his ability to use his sword and machete. Who is our maniac? What is his connection to the murders in 1945?  Is he merely a morality crusader driven to insanity by college kids desiring pre-marital sex?
Directed by Joseph Zito ("Friday the 13th: The Final Chapter"), "The Prowler" (filmed in Cape May, NJ) is one of the best slasher films of the 1980s.  Tom Savini may be considered the biggest name attached to this film, providing the gore-f/x a couple years after he did them for "Dawn of the Dead."  Available on YouTube, catch "The Prowler." Even the most seasoned horror fans may have to turn their heads at some of the killings.


  1. One of the best slashers ever! The Burning and Friday the 13th has amazing Savini fx! Although all his work is great!

    1. Agree Kenny totally. The Burning is a stupendous slasher. My personal favorite. This is right up there too for me with My Bloody Valentine. I also massively recommend Madman if you haven't seen it.

  2. "As our killer continues to go through horny coeds like crap through a goose..."

    You had me doubled up with that line.

    Great review and I totally agree, one of the eighties' finest slashers. You got it spot on with Cindy Weintraub too, what a trooper. Watched behind the scenes of that kill and she wasn't a happy bunny. Really ditressing for her. Awesome stuff my friend.

  3. That pitchfork scene has to be Savini's best work. And those eyeballs are seriously creepy. Top notch review. Can sense the passion.