Monday, August 27, 2012

Technically, it IS human: The Prey (1980)

The Prey (1980)
rating: **
starring:  Debbie Thureson, Steve Bond and Lori Lethin

The Prey is a misunderstood, if not mishandled, title for some very understandable reasons. I like to start first with it's story, if there is one; Inviting us with an opening theme that kinda sounds like one of the latter Friday the 13th movies, we a forest fire with random folks screaming in the background. Next came our opening act that had us watching two middle-aged folks eating chow on a campfire, wherein they complimented each other by nodding. Nodding. For 4 to 5 minutes. Thankfully, the wife decided to break this awkward situation and take a walk, leaving hubby to do some wood chopping. Oh, did I mentioned we have someone eyeing on these two? Well, no need, here he comes to decapitate hubby and hack to death wifey. Cheesy opening? so far so good.

Next we have a group of teens going to the woods later that morning, with us spending the next hour or so following their "adventure", which is mostly involve inter-cutting between footage of them walking and talking, to footages of random wildlife.  And we're treated to this pattern so surreal it goes on and on for the remainder of our time before the hour mark, so the least these kids can do is to suggest something unexpecte-

Oh crap they're doing campfire tales.

So, one campfire tale to another, the group decided to sleep off for the night, and when I meant sleep, I meant have sex. (Save one couple, guess the gal wasn't ready) And as always, right on cue, one of the fornicating teen couple heard a noise in the woods, and the boyfriend decided to investigate. Next thing we know, girl gets smothered with a sleeping bag, and boy gets his throat ripped off. I think I'm starting to see the good side of this title.

So one couple less, the group decided whether to go back and call the sheriff about their missing friend, or go ahead and continue their venturing into the untamed woods. As you've guessed from these dumb teens, they choose the latter, so can we blame them when the mofugly loonie finally got around to kill these kids one by one? Perhaps.

As you can see, The Prey had done some pretty oblivious direction and plotting; mainly the movie is all about fillers, from a banjo piece played by our local park ranger, to said park ranger "reacting" to a dead girl for five minutes. Heck, the obscurity might as well be the only memorable trait of this movie! I mean, how often did we already had teens camping in the woods for no specific reason? Like, ten a year? And how often had we seen them end up in a situation like this? So perhaps I should try to enjoy it as a no-brainer kill flick, right? Maybe. But for some God-forsaken reason, I can't. Just can't. I guess lack of plot can sometimes be a bad thing for me.

Perhaps it's the pointless story, or the lame ending, or the obvious human killer that the tagline tries to hide, or even the movie's painstaking pacing that restrains me to give it any higher rating, but know this, there is something I could applaud for from this movie, and that's the kills. Not exactly very gory, but they're fun as they are casual. The movie itself can thank these kills for that rating up there, even after all them drawbacks.

Casual backwoods slasher fans can actually find a good stroll in this title, at least in some bits, but for the rest, I think you can do better with your slasher.

1 male decapitated with axe
1 female hacked to death with axe
1 female smothered with sleeping bag
1 male throat ripped open
1 male head twisted to the back
1 male falls to his death after climbing rope was cut
1 female face slammed against a tree
1 male neck crushed
total: 8


  1. a guilty pleasure of mine. Far from being a perfect slasher, but for some reasons, I love it way more than I should :)

    1. well, I love it for the kills as you can see, so, yeah, guess it's also a guilty pleasure for me.

  2. Wow, blast from the past. I always heard the UK has a longer cut of this than most places, 92min against the US's 80min, but I have no idea what additional material it includes.

    1. I pray it's not wildlife footages..please don't let it be wild life footages...