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Innocent Prey (1984)

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Ratings: 5.0/10 from 47 users  
Reviews: 7 user | 4 critic

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

Credited cast:
...
Cathy Wills
Kit Taylor ...
Joe
Grigor Taylor ...
Rick
...
Sheriff Virgil Baker
John Warnock ...
Phillip
Susan Stenmark ...
Gwen
Richard Morgan ...
Ted
Rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Deborah Voorhees ...
Prostitute (as Debi Sue Voorhees)
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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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Release Date:

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

Innocent? Sporting that hairdo should be a crime!
12 August 2010 | by (Cleburne, TX) – See all my reviews

P.J. Soles (sporting a truly atrocious perm) stars as Cathy, a Dallas native recently married to Joe (Kit Taylor), an upstart businessman originally from New Zealand. She couldn't be happier, but her husband is more focused on closing a business deal. When the deal goes south and he's exposed as a conman, Joe's inner psycho comes out. He picks up a hooker (the luscious Debbie Sue Voorhees of Friday the 13th: A New Beginning) and heads to a cheap motel where he slashes her throat right as she's in the throes of ecstasy. What Joe doesn't know is that Cathy drove her friend, Gwen, to the airport and spotted his car on the way back home. She glanced through his motel window just in time to see the murder. The cops are waiting for him when he returns to the house. Once he's put away, Cathy contemplates joining Gwen in Australia. Before she can leave, Joe escapes prison and comes after her. Cathy manages to get away thanks to the sheriff (Psycho's Martin Balsam), but Joe is still at large. She takes the hint and finally heads to Australia where she immediately catches the attention of another lunatic, her voyeuristic landlord, Phillip (John Warnock). Joe is also determined to track her down and finish what he started.

What we have here is an Australian slasher taking place partly in Dallas and directed by Colin Eggleston. How could it go wrong? Indeed, seeing on film the places that you regularly see in real life never gets old. Dallas has changed a lot since the early 80's, but downtown is basically the same. When the story moves to Australia, most of the action is confined to Phillip's estate. We do get a few glimpses of that beautiful Australian scenery, however brief they may be. Innocent Prey is not on the same level as Eggleston's masterful Long Weekend, but it's certainly a fun picture with an underlying playfulness aimed at certain genre conventions, namely that of the final girl. The tone of the film is serious, but you get a sense of the true intent with the habitual victim scenario and that terrific final shot.

P.J. Soles is decent in the film, but she doesn't exactly come across as lead actress material. Of course, it doesn't help that Cathy isn't the brightest heroine to ever grace the genre. Not only is she painted as being quite naive, she can also be truly dense at times. Following his escape, Joe shows up at Cathy's and is chased off by the cops. Two officers stay outside to see if they can find him while Cathy stays inside with a female officer watching over her. When the policewoman disappears, Cathy calls for her repeatedly before stating "If this is you're idea of a joke, it isn't funny!". As if a cop who she just met would be pranking her in such a serious situation! Sure, this could be just a furthering of the joke on the final girl, almost as if she's talking directly to the filmmakers for putting her through such hell. That said, in context of the film itself, it just makes her stupid. Aside from that, she's really a bitch towards Phillip before she has any reason to be. Yes, Cathy is not that likable, but hey, all the more fun to see her deal with the bad luck that heads her way!

The villains fare better. Kit Taylor plays Joe as a leech who switches from his New Zealand accent to a stereotypical Texan drawl when dealing with the good ol' boy oil men. When he flips out, he has an icy glare. Warnock is also solid as Phillip, the awkward voyeur with a mean streak. He watches his tenants via closed-circuit television cameras hidden all around the house, getting upset when the girls engage in intercourse since he wants them for himself. His "shocking" method of murder may be rather over the top, but it's certainly a unique touch.

Those who watch slashers just to see some bloodshed should look elsewhere, as this isn't a gory film. There's blood, but it's all relatively subdued. Anyone wanting to view an entertaining slasher with an out there plot and a sense of fun beneath the seriousness should go for it. It's also a brisk watch at 86 minutes, though the video case mistakenly says 77.


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