Thursday, October 6, 2016

Prey - 1977

Also known as Alien Prey, this movie was directed by one of my favorites from that other boxset I reviewed, Gorehouse Greats.  Terror was the name of that movie, and I loved it.  It had a fast pace, plenty of original kills, and a great soundtrack.  Directed by Norman J. Warren, I thought for sure that I'd uncovered a new cult director.  I was set back a bit when Satan's Slave disappointed me, but it changed in scope a lot and was a lot more of a stuffy classic British film than the sci-fi action of Terror.

This is one of about 5 sci fi and horror movies that Warren directed in his relatively small filmography.  He was a obscure director in his tenure, never quite made it big or anything.  Satan's Slave was probably his highest budget flick.  This one, Prey, was very low budget, and very minimal.

Prey is a simple story.  One night an alien ship lands, waking up Jessica from her sleep.  She tells her lover and roommate Jo, who doesn't really believe her.  Shortly after this, a stranger named Anderson shows up on their property while they were out for a walk.  Jessica quickly takes a liking to Anderson, and Jo immediately dislikes him.  Something seems very off about Anderson.  He exhibits a misunderstanding about common things, and doesn't communicate very well.

Jessica finds a reason to keep Anderson around for a while, to the dislike of Jo.  That is when things start dying.  First it's Jo's chickens, then a fox, then more.  In the meantime, Anderson won't eat any of their food, continues to act weird, and the relationship between Jo and Jessica becomes strained.

This movie was ahead of it's time in many ways.  First off all there are multiple extremely bizarre factors to it.  The minimalist and bizarre soundtrack was really cool.  The fact that it was two lesbian girls as the main characters was super ahead of it's time.  Then there's the really long, strange slow-mo scene of Anderson when he falls in a creek.  Strange music plays as he and the two girls flounder about in the water....  I liked that segment a lot.

There's a fair bit of nudity, one scene of lesbian sex, and sexuality in general is one of the focuses of this film.  The film takes a interesting perspective look on relationships, and it shows us a semi-abusive lesbian relationship, the interaction of a male alien with a female human, and in general three people who represent an unusual love triangle.

When it's time for Anderson to become an alien, the movie doesn't do so well.  He usually just has weird looking eyes, but sometimes it goes full makeup and he looks like a cat.  It doesn't do super awesome, but it does represent him as more of an animal.  And essentially that's what this movie is, it's a grown up story of Red Riding Hood, an animal that disguises itself as a human and infiltrates our security, is invited right into our homes where we're weakest.

It was weird, it was good, and the characters were likable.  It had a lot of different things it brought to the table, and for that alone I'd give it high marks.  I end with a good review of 3.5, and a decision to watch the rest of Norman J. Warren's films.

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