Hunter Prey (2010)

Actors: Issac C. Singleton Jr., Clark Bartram, Damion Poitier, Simon Potter, Erin Gray
Director: Sandy Collora
Format: Color, Dolby, DVD, NTSC, Widescreen
Language: English
Region: 1 (U.S. and Canada only)
Number of discs: 1
Rated: Unrated
Studio: Maya Entertainment
DVD Release Date: December 7, 2010
Run Time: 88 minutes


Hunter 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.



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