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Directed by: David A. Prior
Starring: Cameron Mitchell, Ted Prior, Troy Donahue, Fritz Matthews, Dawn Abraham, and William Zipp
A big thank you to Sutekh from Explosive Action for providing us a copy!
Night Of The Kickfighters (1988). Clash of the Ninjas (1986). American Kickboxer 2 (1993). Deadly Prey.
The upper echelon of action movie insanity. If you’ve seen any or all
of these movies, there’s no going back. You’re a changed person.
Mike Danton (Prior) is just an average guy, we think at first. He just wants to get
five more minutes of sleep in his waterbed and take out the trash in
the morning. Without warning, he is kidnapped by a team of mercenaries
and driven 75 miles southeast of Los Angeles into the forest, where said
Mercs hunt live prey as training exercises. The nefarious Col. Hogan
(Campbell) just wants to drink his New York Seltzer and run the
operation from behind his desk, but his corporate benefactor, Michaelson
(Donahue) is breathing down his neck for results. So with the help of
his right hand man, Lt. Thornton (Matthews) and right-hand woman
Sybil (Abraham) he focuses all his energy on his former protege Danton,
who is killing off his entire squad.
Released into the wild
like an animal, with only his wits, his mullet and his undersized white
shorts, Danton makes mincemeat of his fellow meatheads. But help is on
the way in the form of his concerned wife Jaimy (Tara) and her Father
(Mitchell). Jaimy’s Dad is a retired cop with somewhere between 27 and
30 years on the force. He infiltrates Hogan’s training camp to find out
what’s going on with Danton. Additionally, his old ‘Nam buddy Jack
Cooper (Zipp), a former worker for Hogan, switches sides to the good
guys to help out Danton. Will Danton - or you - ever be the same?
from your average AIP jungle slog, this is far, far funnier. And
better. There are at least three solid laughs in the first two minutes
of the movie alone . The tone is then set for what has to be the best
AIP movie. Why can’t they all be like this
gem? Almost every line of dialogue (which is mostly in soundbite form)
or even the faces the characters make are a “laff” riot. How did they
not know it was this funny while they were filming it?
Far from just a “homage” to First Blood (1982) and The Most Dangerous Game (1932),
Deadly Prey is an entirely different beast. We’re just sort of thrown
in to the plot, seemingly as random as Danton is thrown into the forest.
It is a pretty big coincidence that a guy the mercenaries chose at
random just happens to be Hogan’s former student and “the best”. But
it’s a joy to watch Danton turn the tables on the baddies, and, looking a
lot like a caveman and basically in the nude, display his survivalist
abilities. At least they must have saved on their wardrobe budget, as,
even when he eventually gets the chance to, Danton still steadfastly
refuses to wear a shirt.
Deadly Prey would make an interesting
double feature with Masterblaster (1987). It also
features one of Steve McClintock’s best scores, and his sensitive
end-credits tune “Never Say Die” musically is antithetical to the
violence that we just saw, but that’s all part of the illogical fun. We
tried to avoid describing specific scenes because you must see them for
Silly, ridiculous, hilarious, and full of laughs and
action, for an entertaining night of wildly fun viewing, it’s basically
impossible to top the modern-day classic Deadly Prey. See it!
Comeuppance Review by: Ty and Brett