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The Prey (1984) - Blu-ray Review

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The Prey

If all the padded nature shots won't kill you, then maybe the monster in the woods will!

If I told you that this slasher was made in just two weeks, you would probably believe me.  Every single detail (and edit for that matter) suggests that The Prey was made on the cheap and, yep, on the fly.  That doesn’t mean that this flick is entirely forgettable, though.  The brand new 2K restoration of this flick by Arrow Video suggests otherwise.  So what is it about The Prey that makes it keep resurfacing upon the face of the slasher swamp?  It’s the psycho with the axe that is at the center of this slice-and-dice title, Silly and (hint, hint) you might just recognize him.

"While the film suffers a bit due to its pacing, there is a lot going on in the final arc of the movie that more than makes up for some its slow rollout tempo"


The three young couples that wander into the Colorado mountains for a bit of camping and moonlight lovemaking are The Prey.  Their predator?  Well, he’s badly scarred, badly burned, and is in need of a shave.  He probably needs some deodorant, too.  Yet, all he wants is a mate.  Nature is calling, you know, and he’s been out in the woods a long, long, lonely time.  Poor gypsy man.  He just needs a hug.

And he’s willing to kill for it, too. 

The man/monster (effectively portrayed by the one and only Carel Struycken) hunts those who wander into his terrain in the Rocky Mountains.  He’s a gypsy.  The lone survivor of a brutal bloodbath when a section of the Keen Wild National Forest went up in smoke.  A fire wiped out an entire community of gypsies, leaving one boy . . . our killer.  And now he wants a mate.

Directed by Edwin Brown, who earned a name for himself working for softcore flicks, The Prey was co-written by himself and his wife.  She pulls double duty here as she was also the producer of the film.  Shot in Idyllwild, California and starring Debbie Thureson, Steve Bond, Lori Lethin, and Jackie Coogan (in his final screen performance before his death), this low rent slasher wears its inspiration on its sleeve, beckoning toward The Hills Have Eyes more than any other flick.The Prey

While the film suffers a bit due to its pacing, there is a lot going on in the final arc of the movie that more than makes up for some its slow rollout tempo.  There are also some fairly hilarious choice cuts that seem dropped in for shits and giggles.  Doesn’t much matter, though.  It’s the killer and his claws that we cheer on here.  Between the decomposing bodies, the vultures, the booby traps, and the rappelling down Suicide Peak, there’s a lot to love about The Prey that totally makes up for some of its amateurish mistakes.

And now, thanks to Arrow Video’s brand-new 2K director-approved transfer, we videophiles can relive all of our favorite moments of The Prey in HD!  The 40th Anniversary of this woodsy slasher wannabe couldn’t be any sweeter.

3/5 beers

The Prey

Blu-ray

Blu-ray Details:

Home Video Distributor: Arrow
Available on Blu-ray
- October 1, 2019
Screen Formats: 1.85:1
Subtitles
: English SDH
Audio:
English: LPCM Mono
Discs: Blu-ray Disc; Two-disc set
Region Encoding: Region-free playback

Limited to 3,000 units, this exclusive release features a slipcover that honors the original UK home video artwork.  There are three versions of the feature: Original US Theatrical Cut, International Cut and Composite cut, and they are all presented in a High Definition Blu-ray (1080p) presentation with the original uncompressed mono audio.  Arrow Video also provides optional English subtitles for the deaf and hard of hearing, a reversible sleeve featuring newly commissioned artwork by Justin Osbourn, and a limited edition booklet featuring new writing on the film by Ewan Cant!

Video:

The director-approved 2K restoration is mined from the original camera negative and the results are glorious.  The greens in the woods are crisp and the rocks are sharp.  The details are scrumptious both in and surrounding the camping areas.  Black levels are strong throughout, too.  Colors are bolder and brighter than ever before and the gore is deeper in hues, too. 

Audio:

The original uncompressed mono audio puts the dialogue front and center and the soundtrack, composed by Don Peake, fills in the rest.

Supplements:

Commentary:

  • See Special Features.

Special Features:

The 40th Anniversary celebration of this title is nonstop.  Spread over two discs, there supplementals and the two cuts are an ongoing celebration of all things backwoods and gypsy-like.

DISC ONE - US THEATRICAL CUT

  • Brand new 2K restoration of the filmmaker-approved US Theatrical Cut from the original camera negative
  • Brand new audio commentary with producer Summer Brown
  • Brand new audio commentary with Amanda Reyes and Ewan Cant
  • Audio Interview with director Edwin Scott Brown
  • Brand new on-camera interview with actress Debbie Thureson
  • Brand new on-camera interview with actress Lori Lethin
  • Brand new on-camera interview with actor Carel Struycken
  • Brand new on-camera interview with actor Jackson Bostwick
  • In Search of The Prey - Ewan Cant and actress Debbie Thureson revisit the original shooting locations in Idyllwild, California
  • Q&A from Texas Frightmare Weekend 2019 with Lori Lethin, Carel Struycken and Jackson Bostwick
  • Texas Frightmare Weekend 2019 Audience Reaction Track
  • VHS Trailer and TV Spot
  • Original Script (BD-ROM Content)

DISC TWO - INTERNATIONAL & COMPOSITE CUTS

  • Brand new 2K restoration of the International Cut featuring the infamous “gyspy flashback” footage, added at a later date by the producers without the approval of the original filmmakers
  • Composite Cut combining footage from both the US Theatrical and International Cuts, for the ultimate Prey fan experience!
  • Extended Outtakes reel - 45 mins of never-before-seen outtakes

Blu-ray Rating:

  Movie 4/5 stars
  Video  4/5 stars
  Audio 4/5 stars
  Extras 4/5 stars

Overall Blu-ray Experience

3.5/5 stars

The prey

MPAA Rating: Unrated.
Runtime:
80 mins
Director
: Edwin Brown
Writer:
Summer Brown, Edwin Brown
Cast:
Debbie Thureson, Steve Bond, Lori Lethin
Genre
: Horror
Tagline:
It's not human, and it's got an axe!
Memorable Movie Quote: "It's out there. I swear I saw it."
Theatrical Distributor:
New World Pictures
Official Site:
Release Date:
November 4, 1983
DVD/Blu-ray Release Date:
October 1, 2019
Synopsis: Three young couples set off into the mountains for a weekend of climbing, drinking and lovemaking. But little do they know that they are stumbling into the terrain of a fearsome predator - a wild man, horrifically burned as a child many years ago in a fire which engulfed his gypsy camp and left only him alive. Now he roams the woods in search of his next human prey.

The prey

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