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Prey (Norman J. Warren, 1978)
Jessica and Jo initially assume that the stuttering Anders is a simpleton, and in a passive aggressive game of one-upmanship, they allow him to stick around. Before long, however, suspicion and jealousy cloud their friendships, and Preyís alien intruder is transformed into a blunt metaphor for the threat that male figures pose to lesbian relationships. As the movie continues to develop, it becomes obvious that Jo, the possessive, volatile half of the couple, has some skeletons of her own in her closet. As Jessica grows more aware of her loverís irrational hatred of men, she grows increasingly blind to Andersí own oddities, putting herself in harmís way.
From a plot perspective,
Prey is extraordinarily implausible,
but the hothouse tensions that it generates are unique and compelling. A fox
hunt staged midway through the movie becomes an opportunity for savage release.
The consistent sexual frankness that
Thanks to its low budget, Prey had to be more character driven than most entries in its genre. Necessity obviously worked to the filmís advantage, since the dynamics at play here are so distinctive. Although the movie is less than expertly made (an extended drowning sequence employs slow-motion to the point of unintentional hilarity, for example), the majority of the technique is unobtrusive, allowing viewers to focus on the characterizations. Slyly humorous and more disturbing than any rampaging alien alone could be, Prey is a solid B-movie effort. The filmís final freeze frame, of two innocent children strolling down a wooded path toward certain death, is the fitting punchline to this singularly perverse movie.