Sunday, August 29, 2010

Hunter Prey: film review

Hunter Prey, directed by Sandy Collora
Reviewed by Peter Coleborn

There may be a few plot spoilers in this review, so be warned. After their space ship crash-lands on a barren desert planet, four bounty hunters chase after their escaped prisoner. For the first twenty minutes the hunters wear protective gear against the planet's climate, a costume that's part knight in armour, but mostly Boba Fett. During this period it's difficult to distinguish which of the hunters is talking. That is, until their bodies adjust to the external conditions and they can remove their headgear. And this is when we get the first 'shock' -- assuming you haven't already deduced it. The bounty hunters are the aliens, the fugitive the human.

One by one, the fugitive picks off his pursuers until there's only one alien left. For some reason, the man does not kill this lone bounty hunter when he has ample opportunity. Is he the noble savage in a strange land? And (you've guessed) they develop a kind of a bond, albeit one based on distrust and laced with lies. It turns out that the man is the last human being after his world was destroyed by these militaristic aliens. He must be captured alive so he can be persuaded (tortured) to divulge the co-ordinates of a space ship headed to their home planet, a ship that is, essentially, a world-destroying bomb.

Enough of the plot. What about the characters? The aliens possess little facial characteristics and so come across a bit emotionless. The man is more convincing. Some of the dialogue is corny: it seems that alien military uses the same sort of terminology, and is staffed by the same belligerent folk, as is ours. So is there any real difference between us and them? Probably not.

This movie takes its influences from a host of SF films, Star Wars in particular. It also is, of course, a huge nod and a wink to the John Boorman film Hell in the Pacific, starring Lee Marvin and ToshirĂ´ Mifune. You could say that Hunter Prey is a collage of homages. Did I enjoy the film? Once into the story, after confusing beginning was past, I found it strangely engrossing for the rest of its 88 minutes. Hunter Prey is released on DVD on 6 September by Kaleidoscope Home Entertainment.

No comments: