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31 days of Horror: The Prey (1984) Review

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Trailer Posted to Youtube by User: efortunic

So, I am a day late for this, really I was having debates on this year, since last year took a fair bit out of me, especially since I had such horrid luck with some blind choices. However, I am in need of some fall spirit and some escape from reality, what better way, right now.

This first entry this year, was a mid 80’s video store staple, one which has always intrigued me. The Prey was shot in 1978 and remained on the shelf until New World picked it up in 1984. Marketed as a Friday the 13th clone, while actually pre-dating it by two years, gave me some hope on at least, some gory fun.

The Prey, follows the standard teenagers in the woods, with an unseen killer trope, which was rampant through out this timeframe.
It features a lot of oddly placed stock footage, of mostly forest wildlife. There is your typical cliched characters doing cliched things, nothing too original, it has a very heavy The Burning feel. Also features Jackie Coogan, in a slightly more than cameo role, and appearing in pretty rough shape. Most violence is offscreen, and there is very little to no gore, most of it appears in poorly lit scenes, so it’s almost nulled out.

Alright now I know the above is negative, albeit very negative, but there were a few good points. The nature shots are great, and some of the rock climbing scenes, look amazing for the time period. There are some attractive actresses, and the killer is fun enough, once revealed. Unfortunately though, this is not enough to same this film.

RATING: D (54%)

PROS: Some great nature scenes, the rock climbing parts are decent, the killer’s appearance is nicely over the top, aka a good laugh.

CONS: Most violence is offscreen, is some bad pacing issues, even though this was the cut, 80 minutes version, an FYI, the only difference between the two is a series of gypsy camp orgy scenes, that were apparently borderline XXX, no violence was cut from this.



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