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|Index||30 reviews in total|
A cannibal alien from outer space on a reconnaissance mission to Earth
in on the estate of a monied, eccentric British lesbian and her neurotic
woman-child live-in girlfriend. Now how can anyone possibly go wrong
starting with a premise like that? It has the feel of a Merchant-Ivory
adapted by Roger Corman (or maybe a Roger Corman film adapted by
Merchant-Ivory?) As added attractions, the women are erotic and
and the music, for some reason, is awfully nice in parts. A great
I laughed a lot near the end of this movie. I thought the character of
Jo just got funnier and funnier the more jealous she became.
This movie has some really great moments. In particular, the drowning scene, the hunting scene, the fighting scene where Jessica gets knocked out, the drag costume, etc etc! All are pretty original and pretty hilarious when you think about it.
Why they needed the drowning scene to be in slow motion, I'll never know. And the idea of dressing an alien man up in drag, getting him drunk and playing hide and seek with him cracks me up.
Jo was such a drama queen, like when the chickens got killed, when she missed the shot at the fox, when she is yelling at Jessica or running out of the house, she is always freaking out so majorly, it's great! Such an unassuming body/face, and such a huge character.
I liked this movie a lot, it's worth checking out.
A zombie from beyond space is found in an English backyard and is invited to stay in with a lesbian couple. The girls dress him up as a woman, which does not seem to affect him in the least, but provides us with a truly strange yet successful film. The story, which borrows from such various sources as THE MAN WHO FELL ON EARTH (Roeg), CUL-DE-SAC (Polanski) and STRAW DOGS (Peckinpah), is clever enough to take on board such themes as racism, sexism, love, jealousy and betrayal. With just three characters, an unusual setting and a fittingly realistic treatment, it makes for a very intriguing experience. Norman J. Warren's best ?
I like this film. I like it a lot. I like it because it makes me
incredibly nostalgic for a period in British cinema that has long since
passed. The 1970's. A time when irreverent and irrelevant schlock like
this could get made. I like it because it is monumentally silly yet
eerily compulsive, possesses a truly odd atmosphere, and at one point
it actually frightened me.
It was made in 10 days with whatever change the crew had in their back pockets. It's very entertaining.
How I wish up-and-comers would make stuff like this rather than the Tarantino and 'Trainspotting' tributes that they STILL are.
Norman 'J.' Warren, I salute you.
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
PREY is the second of four horror movies made by Norman J. Warren
between 1976 and 1981.
I bought this movie as part of the Norman J. Warren Collection, a wonderful coffin shaped boxset containing this movie, along with SATAN'S SLAVE, TERROR and INSEMINOID. The said boxset is loaded with extras and is a must have for any fan of the director's movies. Any cuts made by the censors to previous releases have all been waived, so all four movies are presented in proper uncut versions as the director intended them to be.
In this movie Norman J. Warren continues to demonstrate that he, along with the equally great director, Pete Walker, were the natural successors to Hammer, Amicus and Tigon. The three companies in question had dominated the British horror movie industry for over a decade, having made some truly superb productions. All three had ceased to produce horror movies at this point, paving the way for the two mentioned excellent directors to make independent movies now rightly appreciated as minor classics of low-budget cinema.
There is an exploitation element to this movie that shows the director's passion for experimenting with the subject.
I have to admit that for a while I was put off by the prospect of seeing PREY. Having read the plot of the movie in the leaflet accompanying the boxset I bought, I had expected a movie along the lines of PREDATOR but with a lower budget. I expected to see someone running around with silly monster makeup trying to look scary but instead looking silly.
But, my initial perception was entirely wrong.
To my surprise this movie was better than SATAN'S SLAVE and TERROR, both of which I had seen previously and enjoyed.
The plot is as follows - a cannibal alien arrives in the English countryside looking for somewhere to colonise as its race is dying and needs new food supplies. He stumbles upon a lesbian couple who catch him trespassing on their property. This is the basic outline but this simple set-up brings a great movie to the screen.
The director uses the opportunity to exploit sexual tension as it turns out one of the lesbians actually takes an attraction to the alien, who appears to them in the form of a young human male.
Another excellent tactic used to create tension is the portrayal of the alien as a wild animal during certain points whilst remaining calm and curious to what he sees around him the next. This technique makes the alien unpredictable as we really don't know what may trigger him to attack those around him. But more importantly, the technique eliminates the sense of calmness and tranquility associated with the beautiful English countryside (much of which is no longer here sadly!), and turns it into a potentially lethal battlefield where anyone could be attacked and killed at any time. These scenes are mostly shot during the day in the summertime, perhaps making the impact stronger.
The director knew he was working with a very low budget so he disguised it beautifully by leaving the most horrific images to our imagination. Whilst this may not satisfy those who love to see gore, it will please those who value atmosphere, tension and suspense. Those who love gore do have one treat to enjoy, but I won't spoil it by revealing where and what happens.
A very unusual but highly interesting moment in the second half is during a scene when the alien falls into a dirty lake. He appears unable to swim and the two women help him out. As they go into the water to help him, the camera slows right down as the alien panics violently. You actually get the feeling that he is going to kill them.
But I feel one of the director's finest moments and certainly the best from a directorial viewpoint in this movie is during a scene between the alien and the butch lesbian (who unlike her lover is shown to thoroughly dislike him up to this point). Prior to this scene, the alien has been dressed up like a woman. The two lesbians even decide to put makeup on him so that he appears effeminate. Anyway, he is left alone with the butch lesbian for a moment and there is an incredible scene of sexual tension when it appears that she is about to seduce him. An excellent sad love song plays in the background whilst this scene takes place, providing an electrifying audio effect to support the truly mesmerising visual imagery during this otherwise silent scene.
Looking back at the movie as a whole, it does appear that it is moving slowly. Yet I was captivated by it all the way through. Not one scene bored me in the least. This is a testament to some excellent scriptwriting, backed up by solid direction. Believe it or not, the script was written whilst filming was going on! Incredible!
The acting in this movie is absolutely fantastic. Barry Stokes gives his finest performance here as a genuinely creepy character. Some of his facial expressions reminded me very much of the Norman Bates character from PSYCHO.
The two female leads are equally good, with Sally Faulkner easily being the best of the two as the butch domineering lesbian.
Overall, this is a superb movie that is a lot better than its title and basic plot outline suggest. It is a rare gem from a bygone era, an era when British cinema is now widely considered by movie historians to have been in decline.
I can highly recommend this movie for anyone who is a fan of Norman J. Warren's other movies. I can also recommend it to fans of Pete Walker movies and exploitation movie fans in general.
Instantly watchable and delightfully cheap British sci-fi finds a male
alien missionary on Earth being taken in as a house-guest by an
unsuspecting separatist lesbian couple. The true fanged creature is
concealed beneath a stolen body, but occasionally emerges during
conflicts and feeding frenzies(and looks a bit like the titular terrors
of THE BAT PEOPLE). The decidedly non-vegetarian visitor becomes caught
in the middle of the womyns' peculiar psychodramas and recurring
hostilities, and at one point is cross-dressed by them and finds new
pleasures in the consumption of champagne....allthewhile drooling over
a pet bird they have kept in a hanging cage.
This film, for all its misgivings, remains one of the more "out there" entries in the sci-fi/horror genre...a bad film, to be sure, but one recommendable for its sheer uncommonness. At least they were clearly trying for something altogether different...and they sure did succeed in that task.
5.5 out of 10 -- for decent performances and overall...erm...queerness.
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
Aspect ratio: 1.37:1
Sound format: Mono
A lesbian couple (Sally Faulkner and Glory Annan) living in a remote country house are driven apart by the arrival of a young man (Barry Stokes) who turns out to be a flesh-eating alien, the vanguard of a massive invasion...
Despite its shoestring budget and leaden pacing, Norman J. Warren's follow-up to SATAN'S SLAVE (1976) amounts to a great deal more than the sum of its meager parts, thanks to a surprisingly complex script by Max Cuff (apparently, his only writing credit): Faulkner and Annan indulge an obsessive relationship whilst living in isolated splendor within the English countryside (rendered alternately beautiful and ominous by Derek V. Browne's eye-catching cinematography), though Annan's discovery of bloodstained clothing in an upstairs room marks one (or both) of these doe-eyed lovelies as psychologically disturbed, which may explain the absence of their respective families, some of whom appear to have lived in the house at one time or another and 'left' under mysterious circumstances. Stokes' unexpected arrival throws the relationship into disarray, partly because Faulkner has a pathological hatred of men and partly because Annan is attracted to him, creating tensions which result in a climactic whirlwind of violence. There's an extraordinary, multi-layered sequence in which Faulkner attempts to 'emasculate' their clueless visitor by dressing him in women's clothing, though Stokes' alien mentality allows him to rise above the intended mockery.
In the early scenes, at least, the relationship between Faulkner and Annan is depicted with uncommon grace and dignity, but this heartfelt sapphic liaison quickly devolves into crowd-pleasing episodes of sex and pulchritude, culminating in an explosion of horror when Annan allows herself to be ravished by Stokes following a violent argument with Faulkner. The closing sequences are (quite literally) gut-wrenching, especially Annan's final scene, which appears to have been clipped for censorship reasons in 1977 and never fully restored (what remains is still pretty vivid, so brace yourselves!). Excellent performances by the three leads, bolstered by Warren's unobtrusive direction, which takes full advantage of the stunning woodland locations, thereby compensating for the film's budgetary shortcomings. Originally released in the US as ALIEN PREY.
A quick peek at the IMDb trivia section teaches us that "Prey" was shot in only ten days and that most of the script actually had to be improvised during shooting. These usually aren't very good signs, especially not when the director already holds the reputation of delivering movies with a low level of quality. Norman J. Warren's other films (like "Inseminoid" and "Satan's Slave") are fun but extremely unoriginal, mainly revolving on graphic bloodshed and copious amounts gratuitous sleaze. "Prey" is exactly like that, but now he totally didn't even bother to come up with a script. The result is a bizarre and often laughable film that makes no sense whatsoever, but the whole ineptness is irresistibly charming nevertheless. The story goes like this: An alien, who goes by the name of Keator, arrives in rural England with a mission to research possible new food sources to save his whole species, but the poor sucker never makes it further than the isolated mansion of two crazed lesbians. He ends up living with them; they dress him up in women's clothing like he's their third lesbian toy-girl and together they hunt down a fox. When the poor animal is eventually dead, they celebrate it with a giant party, which is just a little over-the-top if you ask me. In the meantime, Keator whose human name is Anders Anderson (!) develops a more or less intimate relationship with the youngest lesbian and she slowly falls for him. For you see, she's not a real lesbian but just an insecure girl and the other is a scary dominatrix that literally forces the young girl to be her lover. It's a mad world, indeed. The whole middle-section of "Prey" is rather tedious and uneventful, and only hilariously cheesy & inept dialogs keep it tolerable to sit through. Then the climax is extremely gross and bloody with a sudden massacre. Surely the sick puppies and avid admirers of 70's exploitation will appreciate the graphic bloodshed of the finale, but it comes ridiculously abrupt, like Warren suddenly got tired of his film and wanted to end it, and it totally misfits the rest of the film's tone. "Prey" is a pretty bad but curiously intriguing 70's trash-film, inclusively intended for fans of this type of cinema.
Alien lands on earth and takes on human form only to end-up being a
pawn in the lives of a bickering lesbian couple.
The premise of Alien Prey alone will give one a glimpse into the off-beat weirdness that is this strange low budget sci-fi/horror show. Among the crazy offerings you've got animal-men attacking people, an alien in drag, some howlingly bad dialog, a party for a dead fox - its difficult not to find this a tongue-in-cheek effort. Also this bizarre flick has enough sleaze for any exploitation fan thanks to some drawn-out sex scenes. This is all capped off with a surprisingly violent (and bloody) finale and one pleasingly nihilistic ending.
The direction isn't bad and the filming locales are nice. The cast's performances are just erratic enough to add even more weirdness to the film. Sally Faulkner throws out a perfectly 'bitchy' vibe only matched by Barry Stokes' deliciously odd 'stowic' performance as the alien - who you just might be rooting for in the end.
Alien Prey is simply a hoot for cult fans. There's definitely no other film like it and whether you laugh or groan you're bound to be entertained regardless!
*** out of ****
Found on a flee market, not knowing what surprise was awaiting me I put
movie into the video and loved it ever since. How could this masterpiece
Warren ever be found on such a rubbish fair??? the dialogues are perfect.
The movie is funny and exciting at the same time! I have never seen a
so good, especially the drowning-scene is great! I recommend it to
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