starring Farley Granger, Vicky Dawson, Christopher Goutman, Cindy Weintraub
screenplay by Glenn Leopold and Neal E. Barbera
directed by Joseph Zito
by Jefferson Robbins Was it that the flicks got less suspenseful, or that I got savvier? Joseph Zito's The Prowler boasts an intimidating slasher (although "stabber" or "puncturer" is more apt, since he tends to pitchfork and bayonet his victims to death), a complement of gore F/X from the estimable Tom Savini, a compelling backstory that touches on the legacy of war, and a Final Girl (Vicky Dawson) who's fleet, smart, next-door pretty, and resourceful. Its closest equivalent is probably Friday the 13th Part 2, released just six months prior, which likewise coped with horror passed down through the generations. What it lacks, though, is tension and surprise--at least in retrospect. There are no real shocks to be had, beyond the graphic nature of the killings and the choice to open a scare flick with stock '40s newsreel footage.