Norman J. Warren's unique and surprisingly well written alien horror film. ABUK R2 boxset release.
alien lands on earth as part of an exploratory mission. He lands in the
English countryside and after killing a man, assumes his form.
Exploring further, he finds a house occupied by two lovers, Josephine
and Jessica. They look after him for a while, but begin to become wary
of his mysterous intentions and it pushes the girl's tempestuous
relationship to a peak...
Shot in just 10 days using spare film crew and written as the film was being shot, Prey
is surprisingly well scripted despite its pure exploitation storyline.
The lesbian couple are presented in an unusual manner, not your usual
pair of bimbos but a more realistic 'butch' and 'fem' combination - the
domestic scenes between them are particularly well written, giving a
real sense that the couple are in a long term relationship and as the
film progresses, some rather unexpected details of their pasts come to
light. This attention to detail means that you feel that the alien has intruded
on a real relationship which gives and this story actually has enough material to
stand as a film on its own.
The plot concerning the alien is similarly
well written, he has a motive but it remains vague until the film's
strong climax and his development of language is interesting, although
not as clever as the writer seems to have hoped. As with most of
Warren's films, the entire story has an uncomfortable atmosphere to it,
as we know how dangerous the alien is while the girls remain unaware.
The film's exploitation nature is clear in the gory animal killings
(fake of course) and variety of nude scenes, although there are many less
of the latter than Warren's earlier Satan's Slave, and they are better inserted into the script (although they still come off as gratuitous most of the time).
in a limited time frame, and with almost no budget, the film looks
rather good with Warren's typically solid direction and camerawork, as
well as some decent gory effects. The soundtrack, from early Hammer
composer Ivor Slaney, is very minimal, mostly electronic, and
gives the film a suitable science fiction feel.
Aside from a few extras, the cast is composed of just three, relatively little known actors, and they do a good job of holding together the film's admittedly short run-time.
Despite its daft synopsis, Prey
is very convincingly written and rises above its exploitation roots to
be an interesting and entertaining film, with an effective atmosphere
running throughout. Partly recommended to exploitation fans.
famous in it?
Glory Annen - star of the cult erotic film Felicity (1969).
Directed by anyone
Norman J. Warren - One of Britain's few exploitation horror directors, best known for Inseminoid (1981).
Is it scary?
are a few atmospheric scenes that might prove scary.
A few bloody
deaths and some (simulated) dead animal shots.
Several topless scenes.
Who is it for?
Partly recommended to exploitation fans.
A very written, minimal score from Ivor Slaney.
1.33:1 anamorphic widescreen. Cropped from widescreen, but believed to be the only remaining print. Colour. The
print is decent, with good colours and detail, but some noticable grain and print damage.
English original mono sounds okay, plus rather unnecessary 5.1 and DTS remixes.
Audio Commentary from Norman Warren and British horror author Alan Rigby. Full of information.
Original cinema trailer.
A documentary and more interviews about this film are present on the boxset bonus disc.