Prey (1977)

Prey (1977) screen title

director  Norman J. Warren
viewed: 02/25/2017

Unfamiliar with Prey going in, I find it odd that it was sold or marketed or considered an exploitation film of any kind. It would be easy to see how disappointing it would be on that front, from a sex or gore or outrageousness angle.

A humanoid alien (Barry Stokes) with super-cheap feline facets lands in the English countryside and quickly assumes the form of one of his victims. He meets up with a couple of young women who are vegetarians, living alone in an estate, going through a messy time of a relationship between themselves. The older and more dominant of the two, Josephine (Sally Faulkner) sees this alien interloper as a threat to her relationship with Jessica-Ann (Glory Annen) and the alien finds eating anything except meat to be a problem.

What most struck me about the film is how akin it is to Jonathan Glazer’s Under the Skin (2013), with an obvious gender reversal in the alien. It’s an alien come to earth to predate on humans but also to live amongst them, try to understand them, and even explore their sexuality.

The sexual exploration in the film seems to have garnered a fair amount of analysis and critique. I don’t know that I have anything fresh to add, but it’s intriguing.

While it may be a wash as a more shocking or exploitative thing, it winds up a curious character piece. Albeit with some awful alien prosthetics.

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