This post needs some introduction. Around 8mins worth to be precise…
That was Batman: Dead End. A fan film released (I would like to think at least in part) in response to Joel Schumacher’s two Batman ‘interpretations’ of the late 90s; Batman Forever and Batman & Robin. If you can take a moment and throw your mind back to before Heath Ledger, before Christian Bale… all the way back to Burton.
What Schumacher did to Bob Kane’s source material was nothing short of horrific and, at a time when the series was at its darkest (and not in a good way), Sandy Collora turned ’round and delivered Dead End to prove that if George Clooney wasn’t about to step up, he was.
Fast forward seven years and Sandy gets a go at his own full-length feature; Hunter Prey.
— image via Film School Rejects
While not given the largest of releases, I was lucky enough to catch Hunter Prey at the Science Fiction Film Festival and, a few things aside, I wasn’t disappointed.
First off, I went in fully expecting it to be crap. I mean really crap. Proper B moviesville. But in the BEST of ways. I’m a sucker for certain genres you see and bad sci-fi is up there with werewolf flicks and Fincher. Alright, Fincher isn’t a genre, but you get the idea.
Bottom line, Hunter Prey is pretty damn good. Yes there are a few timing issues (the film could do with some tighter edits) and some of the scripting is hilarious but – and this is a massive BUT – to call this film bad sci-fi would be both hugely unfair and actually, just plain wrong; what Sandy has achieved in this film is nothing short of awesome.
The opening gambit – ship carrying alien prisoner crashes on strange planet, said prisoner escapes in the carnage, survivors head out to hunt it down, cat-and-mouse ensues – is not too dissimilar to another great sci-fi B movie, Pitch Black. However, what our alien prisoner is capable of is much, much different to anything Riddick could ever and would ever do.
I could say more, but to do so would reveal a key plotting device/twist which I would go nuts about if anyone told me. So there we’ll leave it.
Personally? I love bad low-budget sci-fi and I loved Hunter Prey. Like I said, there are some low points (it’s too long), some high points (great plot) and some bloody fantastic points (the character designs are nothing short of spectacular).
If you’ve got eight quid to spare, then pick it up. It’s not perfect, not by any stretch, but if anything I’ve said above chimes with you, then you shouldn’t let this pass you by.
It’s been a few months sine I’ve seen it now and it definitely needs revisiting…
Finally, if you liked the Batman fan flick that kicked this off – then you should check out City of Scars. Not a Collara pic, but still pretty damn good.