The Naked Prey Dual Blu-ray/DVD

Tuesday, 20 October 2015 23:00 Written by 

The Naked Prey - Dual Format Blu-ray and DVD released“The Naked Prey” portrays one man’s struggle for survival as he is hunted by an African tribe after the rest of his safari party is tortured and killed. Cornel Wilde (“The Greatest Show on Earth”, “Leave Her to Heaven”) stars as ‘Man’ in a film he wrote, produced and also directed. The story is loosely based on the real-life experiences of American frontiersman John Colter, and set in the 19th Century.

The arrogant sponsor of Man’s expedition refuses to offer up a gift to pay respect to a tribe that crosses their path, triggering the rather savage response. Engaging in what they anticipate will be a bit of simple sport, the tribe decide to give the white explorer a small head start before they send one of their warriors to kill him. The plan backfires and they soon realise that their prey may present more of a challenge than they anticipated.

“The Naked Prey” is an exciting and highly entertaining entry in the ‘hunter hunted’ genre that includes “Apocalypto”, “The Running Man” and “Hard Target”. Wilde certainly looks the part, possessing a lean and wiry physique to match the African tribesmen who bear down on him.

Whilst the film features plenty of tense chase sequences and gory deaths, both of humans and wildlife (the latter mostly via stock footage), there is also a fair amount of humour to prevent the movie becoming unremittingly grim. Examples include when Man tries to chase a fleet-footed bird that runs rings around him, and his reactions to the various flora and fauna he tries to eat to keep his strength up and quell his rumbling tummy. It is a veritable bush tucker trial!

The high-def presentation looks amazingly sharp and is often beautiful, with plenty of variety in the landscape to keep it from becoming an increasingly dull sequence of scrubby plains. Footage of animals hunting each other is interspersed with the scenes of man versus man, conveying in simple terms how – stripped of their civilised trappings – humans are essentially no different. Basic needs such as food, water and rest take over.

The use of stock material of differing quality does cause some disruption to the flow of the movie; according to film historian Sheldon Hall in one of the extras, Cornel did intend to use much more freshly-shot footage but he was struck down several times with illness during the shoot, forcing him to compromise.

The film goes some way to humanising the tribesmen despite their ritual savagery early on. When one of their party is killed, the others react with deep sadness and give their friend or family member a proper sending-off. Man is an experienced explorer and he understands their customs and ways of life, whilst his rich compatriot (played by Gert van den Bergh – “Zulu”) sees the natives as slaves in the making, dollar signs blinding him. It is the slavers who are depicted as the real savages here.

Special features include:

  • Gorgeous 1080p presentation of the film on Blu-ray
  • New video interview with film historian Sheldon Hall (31 mins)
  • Original theatrical trailer
  • Optional English subtitles for the deaf and hard-of-hearing
  • Booklet containing a 1970 interview with Cornel Wilde, and the original 1903 basis for the film "John Colter's Escape"

Hall’s half-hour discourse on Wilde’s career and the film’s production is enlightening and easy-going, providing plenty of juicy nuggets, not least on how ill-prepared Wilde was for the film shoot, and how the studio sent in a co-producer to keep him on track!

“The Naked Prey” (1965) is out now on dual-format DVD and Blu-ray (two discs), courtesy of Eureka Entertainment Ltd. The main feature has a running time of 96 minutes approx, carries a '15' certificate and retails for £15.95, or less from www.culttvstore.com

 

Last modified on Sunday, 25 October 2015 06:04

denizli escort denizli escort