The Prowler (1981)
Directed by Joseph Zito
Starring Farley Granger, Vicky Dawson, Christopher Goutman, Cindy Weintraub, Lawrence Tierney
While overseas during World War II, a soldier receives a “Dear John” letter from his girlfriend. Once he returns home, he gets revenge during the local graduation dance by stabbing a pitchfork through her and her new boyfriend. We now move ahead to present day (or 1980, for that matter), where the town is planning on its first graduation dance since those unsolved murders back at the end of the war. The sheriff is on his way out for his yearly fishing trip, and leaves the town in the hands of his young deputy. When the news of a fugitive on the loose in a nearby town, the deputy and his girlfriend start to get nervous. More importantly, who is this guy sneaking around in the army gear, armed with a bayonet and pitchfork? Continue reading
Back in 2012, J.A. Kerswell published The Slasher Movie Book, which was a beautifully laid out volume covering the slasher film genre. With tons of color photos and poster art, it did a great job covering the popular sub-genre.
But now Kerswell has updated and revised this book, now releasing it under the title The Teenage Slasher Movie Book. I’m a little confused on the title, but it is 16 pages longer than the original volume. But unless you have a copy of the first edition already, this new one is the way to go, since the first release goes for $100 to $200!?!?! Yeah, not sure what that is about. But at least you won’t have to worry about that and you can order a copy of the updated version when it comes out this October.
Just as a reminder, tomorrow at the DePaul University Loop Campus, they will be holding their annual Pop Culture Conference, with their Celebration of Slashers. Starting at 9am and going to 6pm, the day will be filled with movie screenings of titles like Sleepaway Camp, Behind the Mask: The Rise of Leslie Vernon, Freddy’s Dead: The Final Nightmare, Candyman, Black Christmas, Halloween, Friday the 13th Part 3 in 3D. There will also be a variety of panels from scholars discussing such topics as Questioning the Slasher, Gods and Monsters: Religion and Politics in the Slasher, Feminism and the Final Girl, Under the Mask: Characters in Slashers, and many more.
Slasher Films: An International Filmography, 1960 Through 2001
By Kent Byron Armstrong
Published by McFarland, 2009. 376 pages.
Spoilers, spoilers, spoilers.
I have to say one of the key elements in many slasher films is the mystery of who the killer is. While in the later day Friday the 13th films, we all know who it is, but in the first entry, it really is a mystery until the ending. Sure, there are a few where the killer’s identity is given away early in the film, but for the most part, it is hidden from the viewer until the filmmaker decides to let you in on the secret. That really is a key part of the fun with some of these, even ones that are low budget and/or cheesy.
But the first thing that I noticed here is that Armstrong gives detailed plot synopsis for each of the titles covered, including who the killer(s) is. So if you haven’t see a particular film, you’re not going to want read his review of it since it will spoil the surprise. If you have seen a particular title, then there isn’t a real point to reading his review of it because about 90% of it is the synopsis with the last paragraph being his thoughts on it, which sometimes are just a sentence or two. Not a lot of meat on the bone for the reader to chew on here.