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Innocent Prey (1984)

A woman living in Dallas discovers that her husband, from New Zealand, is actually a crazed serial killer who murders prostitutes. She helps the authorities arrest him, and he is sent to a ... See full summary »

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Cast

Cast overview:
...
Cathy Wills
Kit Taylor ...
Joe
Grigor Taylor ...
Rick
...
Sheriff Virgil Baker
John Warnock ...
Phillip
Susan Stenmark ...
Gwen
Richard Morgan ...
Ted
...
Hooker (as Debi Sue Voorhees)
Karen Radcliffe ...
Casey
...
Jim Gardner
...
Billy Joe
Harlan Jordan ...
Riley
...
Fletcher
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Storyline

A woman living in Dallas discovers that her husband, from New Zealand, is actually a crazed serial killer who murders prostitutes. She helps the authorities arrest him, and he is sent to a hospital for the criminally insane. Just when she's starting to get her life back together, she learns that he's escaped from the institution and is after her. She flees to Australia and winds up staying in a house owned by a wealthy young man, who turns out to have dark secrets of his own. Written by frankfob2@yahoo.com

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Horror | Thriller

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8 August 1991 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Eida to dolofono  »

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Filmed in 1984, but not released on video until 1991. See more »

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User Reviews

 
"Yes, I'll certainly see you later."
18 August 2010 | by See all my reviews

Australia's addition to the 80s psychotic slasher market, "Innocent Prey" is a surprisingly modest foray by writer / director Colin Eggleston. Who'd be remembered for his eco-horror; "Long Weekend" (1978) and then two years later after prey he gave us the highly stylish supernatural slasher "Cassandra" (1986). It's as customary as you can get, but its selling point would be that of American actress P.J Soles (Halloween, Carrie) taking on the heroine role. For most part of the movie she looks bemused in the face (that's when your eyes are not distracted by her permed hair), but it's no wonder why, as she has two… yep not one but two psychotic nut-jobs that are seeking her attention. These two aren't working together either! One is the perfect husband with a real dark side and the other is a wealthy, loner weirdo who likes to watch.

Living in Dallas Cathy is happily married, well that's how it seems but one night she curiously discovers her husband murdering a prostitute while peeking through a motel window. She aids the police in his arrest, where he's taken to a prison for the criminally insane. Soon he escapes and goes back after her, but after another encounter she decides to move in with her best friend in Australia, Sydney. But here in her new place, might just be another threat in the shape of her new landlord.

The low-budget production is sturdily presentable, as there's nothing too flashy if some professionally expressive camera-work. Other than that it's quite plain, but even during its slow progression Eggleston delivers moments of tension grabbing jolts, more so in the first half and there's no hiding its quite unpleasant in its details. Far from graphic, but it's still sleazy, voyeuristic and suitably uneasy. This tone can be attributed a lot to the creepy performances of Kit Taylor and particularly the sly turn by John Warnock (who has an inventive way to knock some one off) as the psychos. It was an interesting if overblown set-up, especially how it dresses things up before twisting and turning upon itself with the dangers that Soles' character faces and then a smarting closing frame to end on. The soapy hysterics remain elaborately amusing; as it seems to get a lot darker, tighter and even trashier the further it goes along. Some questionable actions shoot up (in regards to Cathy), and the dialogues can be awkwardly goofy. The thing that disappointed me more than anything was Brain May's inconsistently overwrought music score, which simply seemed to be going through the motions.

Soles is simply sub-par in the lead, as her beady character is not all that sympathetic despite the ordeals she finds herself in. The support features some familiar faces; Martin Balsam is likable as the town sheriff and Debi Sue Voorhees as an unlucky prostitute. Also there's decent show-ins by the locals Grigor Taylor, Susan Stenmark and Richard Morgan.

A conventional, but endearing Aussie slasher.


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