Rosemary did not wait for her lover to return from World War II. That was a big mistake, because now he's ready for revenge. And years after his murder of her (roughly forty years) he seems to have returned, terrorizing the members of a college dormitory who have thrown a graduation dance. With the sheriff out of town, can the deputy and his girlfriend solve the mystery?
"The Prowler" was directed by Joseph Zito, an incredibly nice guy and talented artist, probably better known for his installment in the "Friday the 13th" series. Also notable is that this film features special effects and makeup by Tom Savini, the undisputed horror master of the era. According to Wikipedia, the "film has been praised by gore fans for its brutal and realistic murder scenes." I'm not sure about the realism, but the brutal aspect is certainly true, and if there's an uncut version floating around, it must be a bloodbath. Eli Roth also considers it one of his inspirations in the documentary "Fantastic Flesh" (which is a good film in its own right).
"The Prowler" is in many ways like the 1981 slasher film "My Bloody Valentine", with the biggest difference being that "Prowler" is American and "Valentine" is Canadian. Both are excellent and both directors (the other being George Mihalka) are fine gentlemen, so I won't pick and choose between them here. Both films take place in a small town with the legend of a murder, where the killer has placed a so-called "curse" on the town where the residents cannot partake in a certain social gathering. Sure enough, the residents disobey the curse and are picked off in many brutal fashions.
I recommend "The Prowler" to any horror fan, and especially to those who love slashers of the 1980s. I think it has seen a bit of a resurgence in recent years, with shirts and posters becoming available. I freely admit that a few years ago I had not heard of the film, despite my love of slashers. My friend and colleague Timm Horn talked high praise of this one, and was delighted to meet Zito with me. I wish I could have shared Timm's full enthusiasm at the time.
Please pick this one up. I do not know what versions are available on DVD, so I cannot make a specific recommendation, but run, walk or crawl your way to a video store and find this film. It captures what was right about horror back in the day and what simply can never be again.