One of my favorite horror movies is the original My Bloody Valentine. This is not to knock the 2009 remake, I love that version just as much. I appreciate the originality of this film, the unique setting and killer. I didn’t realize that there was a similar movie, released nine months later, shot close to home that I had to investigate.
My Bloody Valentine was released on February 11, 1981. The Prowler was released on November 6, 1981. While one film has a creepy miner, the other has a creepy soldier. No part of either killer can be seen, they are completely covered in mining gear or World War II garb. Both villains have something against dances, and with good reason. While the miner taunts authorities by sending them hearts ripped from his victims in candy boxes, the soldier sometimes leaves a single rose with his victims. While the miner dispatches people with a pickax, the soldier prefers a pitchfork to do his dirty work. Both prey on young people and appear unstoppable.
It’s interesting to note that The Prowler’s blood and guts were provided by none other than special effects master, Tom Savini. Savini’s work can also be found in such horror classics as Friday the 13th, Creepshow, and Dawn of the Dead, to name but a few. Savini can be seen in the bonus material included on The Prowler DVD.
My Bloody Valentine is a Canadian film, but The Prowler was shot in nearby Cape May, New Jersey, a small shore town known for its beautiful Victorian buildings. Of course, I had to check out the filming locations I was able to find thanks to this blog I found during a Google search.
In The Prowler, Cape May transforms into the town of Avalon Bay. The real town of Avalon, New Jersey, is about a half hour away from Cape May. The Inn of Cape May serves as the location of the dance, and the grand exterior porch can be seen being decorated for the occasion in the film.
The Emlen Physick Estate serves as Major Chatham’s house in the movie. It is a museum, and rumored to be haunted.
The infamous shower scene was filmed inside the Southern Mansion. That location is a bed and breakfast. As with any old building rich in history, it is believed to be occupied by otherworldly guests as well.
It was worth spending an afternoon checking out these movie locations, clad in a Prowler shirt I found at a horror convention, clutching the DVD in a few photos. Some of the locations can be seen in the trailer.
If you haven’t seen The Prowler, give it a watch. It’s a solid entry in the 80’s horror genre.