The Best Horror Movie Kills of All-Time: #23 – THE PROWLER (1981)

Hey there, ghouls. I’m back with my next installment of The Best Horror Movie Kills of All-Time! In case you’ve missed it, I’m counting down the greatest death scenes in horror history – one scene at a time.

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So here we go with a great kill in Joseph Zito’s The Prowler, which also happens to be the first Tom Savini special effect on the list. The film is about a military uniformed killer stalking his way around a college campus on the night of the Graduation Dance, and our next victim hasn’t even made it to the party yet. The kill occurs in a dorm room and the method is a simple knife-in-the-head, but what makes it great is the editing. Zito shows a close-up of the tip of the blade coming out under the character’s chin, and then cuts away to his girlfriend taking a shower in the room next door. Then Zito cuts back and we see the character slowly dying over the course of several cuts, ranging from close-ups to medium shots, prolonging the agony of having a knife stuck in your head.

And then the scene gets even better – Zito cuts in close and we see the character’s eyes open to reveal they’ve rolled back in his head and there’s just the creepy whites of his eyes left. I actually have a t-shirt with that exact shot on it and I LOVE IT.

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On a humorous note, I have to point out that I’m noticing a trend with my selections for this list so far: killing men is more graphic and brutal that the female deaths. This is only the third scene on the list and it’s another dude dying! Dare I say, it’s more fun killing guys? It seems like filmmakers relish savagely murdering men in grisly ways, and I’m here for it. Because, honestly, most of these guys had it coming.

Don’t get me wrong, there are plenty of great female death scenes in horror and I’ll be posting some down the line, but, so far it’s been all about the boys.

So, enjoy and check back every Monday and Thursday as I count down the best kills in horror movies!

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