Imagine John Matrix from Commando and Chance Boudreaux from Hard Target had a kid together… and then imagine that kid made a movie. You are probably thinking about a movie where this big huge muscle bound ex-military guy gets taken hostage and hunted by punk-asses in some backwoods setting right? Well you’re in luck because director David A. Prior has made your vision a reality with the 1988 film Deadly Prey (in all fairness Hard Target was made after this movie, but you get the idea). The film stars no one you’ve probably ever seen or heard of before, and just 10 minutes into this movie you find out why.
The movie starts out with a few military A-holes chasing a guy who looks like he was picked up after his 9-5 job as a local bank teller. The bank teller manages to get the drop on one of the guys, but in typical B-movie fashion decides not to take his gun and instead limps away so the rest of the military guys can catch him and kill him. Back at the base we find out that an ex-military Colonel named Hogan is recruiting mercenaries for missions overseas. His brilliant idea involves using live targets (a.k.a. runners) to help train these new recruits for their future incursions. With their last runner rotting nicely in the woods, Hogan dispatches his over sized, sunglass wearing meathead Lieutenant Thornton to find him a new runner.
Thornton takes a drive in his dark green “To Catch a Predator” van to find someone new to torture. While driving around town they happen upon the Danton residence and a guy who is taking out the trash in his white daisy dukes. All we know about him is that he has a hot wife, hates getting up in the morning, and is extremely ripped!! Meathead thinks it would be a good idea to pickup this massive guy who looks like he was stung in the chest by an entire nest of bees. This guy is so big it looks like his abs have abs! The van guys get the drop on Mike and take him back to camp… but little do they know that they are in for a huge surprise!
Mike is given no weapons, no shirt, no shoes and no cell phone service and he is forced to run for his life in the woods. But something just doesn’t seem right about this guy and he quickly turns the tables on the mercenaries. He uses everything he can find in the woods to take out about a dozen of these guys in no time. Hogan soon realizes by the brutal killing style that he is dealing his former pupil, Mike Danton… how coincidental! Hogan and his boys chase Mike around the woods and use any means possible to catch him, including taking his wife hostage and raping her. But Danton is not going down without a fight, and he wants to send these bastards to HELL!
The best part about Deadly Prey is that they spared every expense. Danton spends just about the whole movie without a shirt or shoes, and I bet it is because they just didn’t have enough money in the budget for his wardrobe. But that is what makes this movie good! It is low budget, low thinking, and high entertainment. It very easily could have been made over a weekend, in the woods behind someone’s house. DP takes a lot of imagery from movies like Commando and Predator, and there is a huge focus on the Danton’s facial expressions which are priceless. The action is plentiful and the cheesiness is beautiful. Danton spends a ton of time perfecting his primal screams, and this helps him kill people with knives, spears and even a man’s own arm… I’m serious!
I want to thank Lurple for recommending this movie as it was 90 minutes well spent. I can’t wait to check it out again with a few buddies and some cold brewskies!
Deadly Prey is available on VHS from Amazon.com
A bit of warning on the video, there are some major SPOILERS!