Zito, who directed the classic "Friday the 13th: The Final Chapter" and a number of really bad Chuck Norris movies, got his start as a filmmaker with this memorable slasher pic.
The main selling point of this film was the make-up effects by Tom Savini, who would later work with Zito on "Friday." Unfortunately, many of those effects were snipped from the final print of the film so it could still garner an R rating.
It eventually made its way to DVD in its uncut form courtesy of Blue Underground.
The story is typical slasher schlock: A rejected soldier receives a Dear John letter, only to return home to kill his girlfriend and her lover.Twenty years later, the same killer, wearing army fatigues and armed to the hilt, goes on another killing spree. While the movie itself is nothing to write home about, the effects Savini produced for the film were magnificent. They were unseen for decades, but in 2002 Blue Underground released the film on DVD, with all the cut scenes intact.
If simply to witness Savini's work at the prime of his career, "The Prowler" is a must see movie. The gore scenes are certainly over the top, and it's amazing the producers of this film thought they could get away with them while keeping an R rating. A woman is gutted in a shower with a pitchfork; a man gets a knife through the top of his head; another woman gets her throat slashes in a pool; and the killer himself has his head blown off. The DVD features behind-the-scenes footage of the making of all these scenes, making the DVD release an absolute essential for any early 1980s slasher fan's gotta-see list.
Definitely avoid the VHS release, which showed up in video stores around the world at the height of the slasher craze in the early '80s. It's cut, looks like crap, and without the Savini scenes there's really nothing to see in this movie. Savini and Zito would go on to work together again in "Friday the 13th: The Final Chapter," which also saw Savini doing the effects duties.