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Prowler, The (BluRay) 
Written by: on July 10th, 2010

Theatrical Release Date: USA, 1981
Director: Joseph Zito
Writers: Neal Barbera, Glenn Leopold
Cast: Vicky Dawson, Christopher Goutman, Lawrence Tierney, Farley Granger

BluRay released: July 27th, 2010
Approximate running time: 89 minutes
Aspect Ratio: 1.85:1 Widescreen / 1080 Progressive / MPEG-4 AVC
Rating: R
Sound: 7.1 DTS-HD English, Dolby Digital 5.1 English, Dolby Digital Mono English
Subtitles: English SDH, French, Spanish
BluRay Release: Blue Underground
Region Coding: Region 0
Retail Price: $29.98

Synopsis: A killer, who was never caught and has remained dormant for thirty five years. Returns to the scene of the crime.

The Prowler was directed by Joseph Zito (Missing in Action, Invasion U.S.A., Friday the 13th: The Final Chapter). The cinematographer on The Prowler was  João Fernandes, a frequent collaborator of Joseph Zito. Some of his notable credits as a cinematographer include Deep Throat, Devil in Miss Jones, The Story of Joanna, Through the Looking Glass, Let me Die a Woman, The Nesting and ‘F’. The score for The Prowler was composed by Richard Einhorn (Shock Waves). The Prowler was also released under the alternate title Rosemary’s Killer.

Two thing’s, that often get cited. When talking about slasher film’s like, The Prowler. Is how formulaic they are and their lack of character development. And while The Prowler is far from a perfect example of what this genre has to offer. It does hold up reasonably well when compared to other slasher films from the 1980’s. Sure the plot is as basic as they come and it is not that difficult to figure out who ‘the prowler’ is.

Performance wise none of the cast leave a lasting impression. However the cast does have a few recognizable faces like Lawrence Tierney (Born to Kill) and Farley Granger (Strangers on a Train), whose careers both peaked in the 1950’s. Unfortunately both actors are underused in this film. Shortcomings aside, it is this film’s briskly paced story and Tom Savini’s gruesome special effects what drive this film. Another area where this film excels. Is how it doesn’t try to throw humor into the mix. Very early on this film establishes a sinister tone that remains intact throughout.

The BluRay:

The Prowler comes on a 25 GB single layer BluRay. The film is presented in a 1080 progressive widescreen. The Prowler was previously released by Blue Underground on DVD in 2003. This is another strong transfer from Blue Underground that improves upon the transfer for their DVD release in every way. The majority of the transfer looks crisp with only a handful of the scenes in which lighting is minimal not looking as detailed. Grain structure looks natural with the aforementioned darker scenes being the ones with the most pronounced amount of grain. There are no problems with compression and DNR is kept in check.

This release comes with three audio options, a 7.1 DTS-HD English, a Dolby Digital 5.1 English and Dolby Digital Mono English. All three audio mixes are in very good shape as dialog is always clear and everything sounds balanced. The two remix audio tracks do a reasonable good job spreading out the sound with the bulk of it coming up front and center. The film’s original mono mix has been included with this release and it is the most satisfying mix included with this release. This release comes with three subtitles options, English SDH, French and Spanish.

Extras for this release include a trailer for the film (3 minutes 48 seconds), a segment titled ‘Tom Savini’s Behind-the-Scenes Gore Footage’ (9  minutes 34 seconds) and a audio commentary with producer / director Joseph Zito and special effects make-up effects artist Tom Savini. All the extras from Blue Underground’s DVD release except a poster & stills gallery have been carried over for this release. Even though there are not a lot of extras. The highly entertaining audio commentary provides plenty of interesting info about this production. Overall The Prowler is another strong BluRay release from Blue Underground.

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