Plot: After a hooker tries to steal some extra cash, Dr. Dorn (Cliff Drew) confronts her and in a struggle over the payment, the prostitute is killed. In the heat of the moment, Dorn accidentally stabbed the woman and while he panics at first, a wave of realization soon washes over him. He realizes that the world is filled with dishonest whores and dangerous criminals, the kind of people he thinks should be wiped out in order to make a better, safer social environment. Soon he begins to see these people as not humans, but the ultimate prey and he plans to go on a hunt. His delusions only escalate, to the point that he assures himself he is doing the world a favor, even as a kidnapped woman is held hostage by his hand. How far will Dorn’s reign of terror reach and can anyone put an end to his madness?
Entertainment Value: This shot on video curio is a blend of thriller, action movie, and serial killer yarn, crafted with minimal resources, but a solid level of ambition that shines through the limitations. You can tell the production was held back by the lack of resources involved, but an effort is made to entertain and even if Human Prey isn’t a barn burner, it has some fun moments. This is especially true if you have any kind of appreciation for low budget, but colorful shot on video movies, as this one has a lot of charm on that level. The narrative is passable, one we’ve seen before, but without much logic, so it has a more ludicrous feel, since Dorn’s motivations or delusions are given little time to be fleshed out. But this actually works out, since it makes Dorn seem like a total lunatic, which benefits the movie. The pace slows after the first rash of kills, then ramps up back up again toward the finale, but the stretch in the middle does drag and have some dull sequences. So despite some action elements, Human Prey isn’t wall to wall action or suspense, but given the production limitations involved, it would be hard to expect that. I have to think the shot on video, do-it-yourself nature of the movie will lure in some adventurous movie fans and there are some fun b movie vibes here, just don’t expect a cult classic.
The movie has some sexual components, as Dorn is an avid client of prostitutes, but there’s no real sleaze here. The sexual content is minimal and no naked flesh is on showcase here. Some skimpy outfits can be seen, but that’s about as far as the sleaze goes in Human Prey. There is some bloodshed on hand, but the violence is mild and the blood is never graphic. So don’t expect gore, but we do have some red stuff and the body count is higher than I anticipated. I do think the violence is handled well, as it looks decent, given the circumstances. The dialogue has some wild moments, from the shakedown of a woman by a mountain of a man to some humorous rants from Dorn, but the reason the lines work is the performances. The cast really tries to take the material seriously and that leads to stilted, awkward turns that make even basic dialogue seem like b movie gold at times. Not a lot of quotable or out of this world stuff, but the cheesy acting mixed with the lackluster script provides some entertainment. The craziness is fairly low, just because the tone is serious and the movie never really goes for broke, but the b movie vibes kick in a couple points.
Overall Insanity: 2/10