Wednesday, November 18, 2015

DEADLIEST PREY (2013) (Blu-ray Review)


Label: Olive Films I Slasher // Video
Region Code: A
Duration: 80 Minutes 
Rated: Unrated
Audio: English DTS-HD MA Stereo 2.0
Video: 1080p HD Widescreen (1.78:10
Director; David A. Prior
Cast: Ted Prior, David Campbell, Fritz Mathews

Synopsis: Sadist, psychopath, and a damn fine solider, Colonel Hogan (David Campbell, Deadly Prey, Relentless Justice) and his merry band of mercenaries are back for more in the sequel to writer/director David A. Prior’s Deadly Prey. Will Mike Danton (Ted Prior, Deadly Prey, Relentless Justice) ever learn to let someone else take out the garbage? Kidnapped from in front of his home while emptying the trash, Danton finds himself back in familiar territory as prey in Hogan’s twisted game of cat and mouse. It’s obvious that Hogan is also a slow learner. When will he understand not to mess with Danton, a U.S. Marine who learned to be “all that he could be” in ‘Nam? The action and kills are amped up in The Deadliest Prey co-starring Fritz Matthews (Deadly Prey, Born Killer) and Cat Tomeny (Flesh Wounds, Enemies Among Us). 

A decade ago I would have said that the likely hood of a sequel to Deadly Prey (1987) was about as likely as Deadly Prey ever receiving an HD Blu-ray release... and not only did both of these things come to pass, but they came to pass on the same day. The amped-up sequel Deadliest Prey takes an approach I would liken to Sam Raimi's classic Evil Dead 2: Dead By Dawn, not a remake exactly but more or less a re imagining of the first film with a lot of winks  and nods, this definitely has a fun, self-aware vibe about it and I think it strikes the perfect balance of action, wit and retro '80s awesomeness.

Picking up more than a quarter century after the first movie Colonel Hogan (David Campbell) has been imprisoned for his crimes, he's just released from prison is is till pretty sore about everything. He returns to his mercenary training camp outside of Los Angeles which has somehow remained in operation for the nearly three decades. He immediately sends out his goons to round-up former 'Nam vet Mike Danton (Ted Prior), who once again is taking out the trash, and no sooner has he had time to wink at the camera when he is punched in the face and taken back to Hogan's playground for more murderously war-games.

The events unfold with many of the same story beats as the first move, with Danton on the run from the mercenaries, armed with a sharpened stick and able to improvise deadly booby traps with relative ease. Much as with the first movie Hogan sends his henchmen to snatch Danton's wife as a bargaining chip, something new to the movie is a tech-savvy modern angle with an online gaming community who watch the proceedings unfold live. The gamers track the signal to the remote location, only to find themselves sucked into the sadistic war games themselves. 

It was great to see both David Campbell and Ted Prior reprise their respective roles, even Fritz Mathews returns from the dead, sort of, as the brother of the mercenary Danton killed in the first film, and of course director David A. Prior returns to helm the long in the making sequel. Everyone has aged a few decades since the first movie but they're are looking damn good. Ted Prior as you might expect is not as hard bodied as he was in his twenties and is minus the iconic cut-off shorts, but he's still an engaging presence onscreen. Campbell has some great character to his rough and aged face,it suits his character just fine and he does a great job of channeling the rogueness of the character, I loved it. Prior has some fantastically corny one-liners throughout, this is just a ton of fun, everyone who enjoys movies like Rambo and The Expendables for those corny actioner one-liners are in for a treat. 

Audio/Video: Coming twenty-seven years after the original movie we now get a comparatively sweet transfer that is both widescreen and in actual full 1080p HD! The cast have aged and those age-defining wrinkles show up quite nicely in HD. The DTS-HD MA 2.0 lossless audio is crisp and clean, nicely balanced and with a little bit of depth to it, the same cheesy music cues pop up from the first movie, but sound like they may have been re recorded for this sequel. Onto the extras we have the Deadly Prey: 27 Years Later interviews with director David A. Prior and actors Ted Prior, David Campbell and Fritz Mathews whom all returned to reprise their respective roles. 

Special Features: 
- Interview with Ted Prior (7 Mins) HD
- Interview with David A. Prior (3 Mins) HD
- Interview with David Campbell (3 Mins) HD
- Interview with Fritz Matthews (4 Mins) HD 

If you loved Deadly Prey I think you are gonna love this one a bunch, it has the same spirit as the original with some fun nods and scenes lifted straight out of the first movie. I think all the returning actors come across even better than the first movie, they're more seasoned and are more in control of their craft, such as it is. Technically this is a far superior movie and it looks great in HD, just as much fun as any of the late-era Bruno Mattei movies we've seen lately from Intervision Picture Corp, highly recommended for fans of Deadly Prey. 3/5