Wednesday, June 25, 2014

Alien Prey



Alien Prey (Prey, le zombie venu d'ailleurs, Zombie Came From Elsewhere). Directed By Norman J. Warren Starring Barry Stokes (1978).

As a child there were certain videos on the shelf that freaked me out! Alien Prey was definitely one of them, it has the perfect ghastly VHS box. I mean what the fuck is going on-- a massacre orgy, a ravenous creature that feasts on entrails and menstrual blood? That disturbing image has haunted the dark recesses of my mind for awhile and worst of all, it was always front and center at the video store (since it's in the A's), close to Faces Of Death, Demented and other 80's taboo tapes that made me question what kind of sick depraved creeps would watch such a film. That era was shrouded in misunderstanding and Christian moral majority propaganda and as a kid, I was attracted and repulsed by the horror section. When I grew up of course, I turned into one of the sickos that enjoyed the sleaze and rampant gore. I became obsessed with everything I'd witnessed in various horror sections and made it my goal as a film snob to track down every weird oddity that scared me and see what the fuss was all about. Or just to confirm if what I had seen was more clever marketing than substance. You must remember too, there's no way you could be inconspicuous about your choice of a rental (you'd have to take the blood drenched sex porn up to the counter and face the scrutiny), or even worse, the judgement of other parents and kids, who would look down at you for watching such utter trash! 
   
Ugh, excuse me madam I'll just put this back in the adults only shelf.

   

   Now everyone's seedy videostore is Youtube or various streaming sites (some category III films have even been uploaded to porn sites)! You should still support vital DVD companies as well! The virtual world has none of the guilt and stress associated with visiting your local videostore and sadly, the fun is also gone. I mean I'm still flabbergasted that Netflix has monopolized and wiped every physical video store off the planet when they have no idea what they are doing! This isn't a tirade against the future (me being a luddite and all), it's my opinion on the film in question: Alien Prey, that cover has gotten under my skin for quite a while and gave me a mental rash--remind me to get that looked at! 

This Jerky/ Malt Liquor flavored floss is doing wonders for my fangs

  A U.F.O. has dropped a visitor that can clone people immediately, he looks like one of the dudes from The Bay City Rollers with vampire fangs. We first encounter the alien after he kills a couple making out in the woods (where else right)?
The setting is 70's London, two birds (one butch, one nubile) hear about flying saucers on the radio, all of this by the way seems very 50's to me like most space alien sci-fi.
The two main girls Jo and Jessica are vegetarian lesbians in love, who live out in a pastural countryside cottage. I know Jessica played by the adorable Glory Annen from an Ozploitation and Skin-A-Max staple called Felicity. That film opens in an erotic shower scene at a convent, I almost busted the tape rewinding it over and over, but who wants to read about that? 

Just stop it Crank, you're embarrassing us all!


   The being (played by Barry Stokes) has taken on the form of Anders Anderson, a turtle neck sporting guy with a mod haircut, the couple take him in and make him tea. He came up with his stupid name while stammering to think of something quick and is on a mission to chow down on some human "protein".
   Jo (Sally Faulkner) seems to despise men, but Jessica wants to branch out and meet other people. When Anderson starts to show his true form, it's hilarious, his features resemble an angry teddy bear with red eyes and a black nose. As he chases down two cops and eats them, the most amateur sounding casio Intellivision type music plays.
I'd imagine on his home planet, he lives among a race of teddy bear men (or The Berbils from Thundercats).


BZZZZZ Return to your home planet for snuggles Anderson


   The pacing in this film would bore some to tears, it crawls along like a melodrama and doesn't even seem like a horror film (there's that genius marketing at work, nice job). I can handle this kind of pacing and Prey is a nice little underrated film even though sometimes it tries your patience. 
   I'm not surprised that Salvation/Redemption re-released the film on DVD, it has similar qualities to Jean Rollin (who I'm a huge fan of), but is not even in league with that phantasmagoric style. 
   When Jo has a tantrum over her rabbits being eaten by Anderson it's really funny, she bleats out a shriek while having a conniption fit. Some of the best scenes are when he tries to eat random animals or downs hot tea, not knowing it will burn his mouth (so much for superior intellect, ya dumb alien)! They celebrate after he pounces on a fox that the girls believe killed the rabbits and they dress him up in makeup and give him champagne.


Ashton Kutcher?


   The cover unfortunately is the money shot, so definitely stick around till the end. Had I not expected it, I would've been pleasantly surprised, but since I knew it was coming all along, it kind of sucks that they gave it away. The director Norman J. Warren came out of the British scene of 70's post Hammer and Amicus Films with auteurs like Peter Walker. Warren also made Inseminoid and Satan's Slave. According to an interview he did for Sensesofcinema.com, the knife that Jo carried was real and the black swamp where all three of the actors nearly drowned was genuine fear, because some of them couldn't swim! There's a nice plot twist at the end, besides the one you know is coming and even though you get the whole she-bang on the cover, I still recommend the film. Warren does alot with a shoe string budget, a minimal cast and its worth seeking out even if it's a little tedious. 
Fandor is currently streaming the uncut pristine version,don't watch the grainy squiggled one on Youtube.

video store photo taken from a very cool site called  http://www.retrontario.com/

Also Available from Fandor (get a free trial)


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