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  Rosemary's Killer
Year: 1981
Director: Joseph Zito
Stars: Farley Granger, Vicky Dawson, Christopher Goutman, Lawrence Tierney, Cindy Weintraub, Lisa Dunsheath
Genre: Horror, Thriller, TrashBuy from Amazon
Rating:  6 (from 5 votes)
Review: Hey! Psycho killers! If you're looking for fresh meat but don't live close to a backwoods summer camp then why don't you try the local small-town school disco? It seems to have worked quite well for Rosemary's Killer...

Yeah, there's a WW2 veteran on the rampage (now there's a whole new twist), still angry because his bird dumped him back in 1945 and he's determined to ruin the graduation day dance for everybody, even if it means having to stab, shoot and pitchfork every goddamn student in the place. And that's it, the entire plot from start to finish. Cool, eh?

Be warned folks, this is ultra-generic stuff. If you don't like brain-dead slasher flicks then you certainly won't like this. It's just tons of airheaded teenagers having sex before getting killed in particularly gruesome manners. Mind you, this is actually pretty brutal stuff and with a little more characterisation you might actually care when the victims are slaughtered instead of sitting on the edge of your seat lusting after the next murder. And Christ, if you can't work out who the killer really is then you must have been lobotomized with a lawnmower.

Actually, for all its shortcomings (like having a plot so thin it could pass for one of Robin Askwith's legs), Rosemary's Killer is pretty darned stylish stuff if nothing else. Don't get me wrong, this is hardly Tenebrae but it's at least as good as The Burning (which is recommendation enough for me), and a million times better than that slumbering snooze-fest My Bloody Valentine (that was so boring that my television had Alzheimer's by the time it was over). I must have come close to having a heart-attack about fifty times during the course of watching this; there are so many shocks it's unbelievable. And, like any good stalk'n'slash picture, there's the mental surprise ending tagged on for good measure. Tom Savini provides the special effects... the poor bastard probably cries himself to sleep every night, what with the shame of this, and those other cult sickies, Maniac and Nightmares in a Damaged Brain all within a couple of years of each other. Tons of great gore though, including the obligatory Savini exploding head at the end (Jesus, how many times has he used that old chestnut?). Plus the killer is totally ace; I don't think I'd like to meet him down a dark alley, or anywhere else for that manner. If only studios would start churning out crap like this again then I could die a happy man, even if I did have a knife in my back.

By the way, the band performing at the dance are called Nowhere Fast. Isn't that just the cruellest irony or what?

Aka: The Prowler, The Graduation
Reviewer: Wayne Southworth

 

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