rosemarys killer
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" If you think you're're DEAD wrong!"

directed by: Joseph Zito
starring: Farley Granger, Vicky Dawson, Christopher Goutman, Cindy Weintraub

(back of video blurb):

"It's the first Graduation Night at the Pritcher School for Girls in 35 years. Last time Rosemary and her boyfriend were brutally murdered by an unknown G.I. in masked combat garb...

    He was never caught!

    Tonight Pam, an attractive writer on the school newspaper, turns from intrepid investigator of the killings to the intended victim as the G.I. returns...But how many have already been killed and what is the significance of the single red rose left on a victim?

    If the killer is killed who is the killer at large, and with her only defeneder lying unconcious Pam lives through each minute in pityfully petrified terror!!!"

choice dialogue:

"Could I have your attention please ladies and gentlemen!...Deputy London has just informed me that a prowler has been seen around campus and...he could be dangerous!"

slash with panache?

       An occasionally enjoyable, if hugely flawed, slasher with great Tom Savini gore effects.

       ROSEMARY'S KILLER opens with a prologue- set in 1945. Newsreel footage shows GIs returning from WW2 and sailing into New York harbour, buoyant with victory. Cut to a letter, written by the eponymous Rosemary, telling her GI boyfriend that it is all over and hoping they can still be friends. She signs the letter, the end of her name forming a rose. Cut then to Avalon Bay, June 28th 1945 and the night of the Graduation Dance. Rosemary and her new beau go for a starlit stroll to the end of a picturesque pier, escaping the Glen Miller fuelled jiving of the party. They start kissing passionately. Suddenly the lights go out, they are plunged into darkness ....(can you see where this is going?!)....a figure ,in combat garb, quietly approaches the horny couple. He raises a pitchfork...and... WHOOSH!... double impalement- Savini style. Now, I wonder what could happen next?.... rosemary's killer on the prowl!

       Well, the action moves forward to the present day (well 1980 to be exact). Wouldn't you know it, it's June 28th and they are planning the first graduation dance in 35 years. Not only the anniversary of the murders but the police have also had reports of a violent sociopath that, "...maybe headed our way!". As night follows day, a strange figure dressed as a GI starts to stalk the dorm for fornicating party people. Shots of the killer getting booted and suited are juxtaposed with those of teenage girls getting ready for Prom Night. Whilst the party swings, no Glen Miller this time- just some nasty soft 'rawk' group doing the appropriately named 'Disco Blood', the body-count mounts. Meanwhile during the mayhem intrepid final girl and ace reporter for the school rag, along with her deputy boyfriend (who is left in charge whilst the sheriff goes fishing), try and place together the clues to the identity of the killer.

       ROSEMARY'S KILLER has a central theme remarkably similar to the same years' MY BLOODY VALENTINE- a killer who's psychosis is re-triggered by the reawakening of a long dead tradition, in both cases a dance. However, MY BLOODY VALENTINE is much the better film. ROSEMARY'S KILLER is not a bad little slasher flick, there are a few redeeming features; highish production values, some suspenseful chase sequences, gruesomely effective gore effects courtesy of Tom Savini. But ultimately it's a bit of a mess. The film tries to set itself up as a bit of a mystery and much is made of the snooping couple looking for clues, rosemary's killer- victims!but this time is largely wasted as, although the killer's identity is a surprise, the time spent on all the sleuth work doesn't pay off for the audience. The killer's identity is purely perfunctory- it could have been anyone really. Characters appear in the action without any rhyme or reason- I mean, I know the guy in the wheel chair was Rosemary's invalid father but why did he keep popping up all over the place without really adding anything to the story? Also the makers break the rules of 'scary-movies' and not in a good way. In one scene we see a couple leave the Prom to go into the basement for a spot of nookie. They fondle a bit. She hears a noise. He feels a draft. Then...nothing. Nothing happens to them and there is no mention of them throughout the rest of the movie. Hmmm...

       ROSEMARY'S KILLER got a cinema release in the UK and received an 'X' certificate from the BBFC. It is this 'X' certificate version which was released on the, pre-certificate, EV label. Although the Savini effects remain pretty strong, they wouldn't be passed without further cuts for a BBFC18, they were trimmed somewhat. It was released in the States as the PROWLER, with intact gore I believe.

       Joe Zito who directed this little slasher opus went onto 'fame and fortune' directing the slightly more coherent FRIDAY THE 13TH: THE FINAL CHAPTER in 1984.

BODYCOUNT 8  bodycount!   female:4 / male:4

       1) Female and male teen- double impalement on pitchfork
       2) See above
       3) Male teen gets bowie knife through the top of his head and then out of his jaw!
       4) Female teen gets pitchforked in the shower
       5) Female teen has throat cut
       6) Woman has violent tracheotomy!
       7) Middle aged male killed with shot gun
       8) Male has head blown off with shot gun- G...O...R...Y !