Prey kicks off unpromisingly . . .
“I hope the whole movie isn’t going to be like this,” I thought watching
three guys in Boba Fett masks chase around another masked figure after their
spaceship has supposedly crash-landed on a desert planet that looks
suspiciously like the one in Star
Wars. There is loads of muffled dialogue and one’s general response is
“just what the heck is going is going on”” and “why should I care about a
bunch of figures whose faces I can’t even see?”
And: “It must be really stuffy in those masks in that heat. I feel kinda
sorry for the actors.”
Ten minutes in and things take a surprising - but not wholly unexpected –
turn. Giving it away would be a disservice to readers so we’ll stick to a
general plot description: a spaceship crash-lands on a remote desert planet.
The surviving crew members must track down their escaped prisoner and thus a
deadly cat and mouse game begins. The question is (in deep Hollywood trailer
guy voice): who exactly is the hunted and who is the prey here?
Hunter Prey is the first full-length feature by director Sandy
Collora who made a splash with his Kevin Smith-endorsed show reel which had
Batman facing off against Aliens in the dark streets of Gotham City. Made
for a mere $425,000 Hunter Prey has learnt the golden rule of
low-budget genre film-making: know your limitations. If you only have the
budget for three guys in clone trooper outfits then don’t push your luck by
including entire galactic armadas in your storyline.
Fuelled by a percussion heavy score reminiscent of some ‘Eighties
blockbuster actioner, Hunter Prey also boasts crisp digital
cinematography plus decent special effects and realistic-looking costumes.
The dialogue is okay, except for the occasional clunker. “Never let your
enemy get a hold of your weapon,” a character portentously proclaims. It is
however also filled with geeky in-joke references to stuff such as the
“Tannnhauser Gates” and Erin Gray (Colonel Wilma Deering in the 1980s
Buck Rogers TV series) supplies the voice
of a computer.
The story-line itself is decent although towards the end it feels as if it
is pulling one too many rabbit out of its magician’s trick hat towards the
end. Still, Hunter Prey can be written off as “Enemy
Mine on Tatooine.” After all it isn’t particularly original: those
Clone Wars helmets scream either
“homage” or “lawsuit” depending on your sensibilities. However, it is brainier and more fun than your average made-for-the-SyFy
Channel movie, which isn’t saying much, we know . . .
RECOMMENDATION: Ultimately Hunter
Prey is acceptable straight-to-DVD fare for genre fans looking for some
undemanding escapist action.