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The Deadliest Prey (Blu-ray Review)

Deadliest-PreyThe Deadliest Prey, a sequel 27 years in the making, reunites Deadly Prey co-stars Ted Prior, David Campbell, Fritz Matthews and director David A. Prior.  Sadist, psychopath, and a damn fine solider, Colonel Hogan and his merry band of mercenaries are back for more in the sequel to writer/director David A. Prior’s Deadly Prey. 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).  I had not known there was a sequel to the original, so I was pretty excited to find out that one had been made.  And its now 27 years later.  One can only hope that the film remembers where it came from and is just as ridiculous as the original

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Film 

Entertainment 

Will Mike Danton 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 & mouse.  But there’s a twist, this time Hogan is streaming the “game” on the internet for all to see Danton’s feat of survival or impending doom.

27 years and a sold out revival screening later, Deadly Prey was warranted a sequel.  Director David A. Prior returned as well as stars Ted Prior, David Campbell, Fritz Matthews in their respective roles from earlier.  While, yes, this is a sequel, its moreso a remake of the original film.  It has the same story, scenes, lines and beats from the first one.  But, its not just laziness, it comes across that its done moreso in a loving way and a tribute to that film than just ripping it.

The film does attempt to go a little beyond what went on in the first film and add a touch of the internet age.  With the game streaming, outsiders are watching too.  And some of those outsiders are a group of hackers that get the bright idea to assist Danton, who has become a legend from the events of the first movie.  What I found to be a nice touch, is that the hackers are played by some of the folks that heavily touted the first film in the aforementioned Rewind This! documentary I talked about in my previous review.

Its really hard to discuss The Deadliest Prey, because it is pretty much the exact same film as the first one but everyone is older and they add a modern tech angle to it.  The film is just as cheap and the acting is just as flat and enjoyably bad.  Fans of the first film should enjoy it for nostalgic purposes.  This one is truly niche, a nice thank you sort of film for those who have kept the memory and fandom alive for the original.  Newcomers may not understand what the hub bub is about.  But those returning to Danton’s world after 27 years should get a nice kick (or punch) out of it.

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Video 

Encoding: MPEG-4 AVC

Resolution: 1080p

Aspect Ratio: 1.78:1

Clarity/Detail:  Haha, its no surprise that this film looks a lot better than its predecessor.  While the image is really nice and clean, its kinda of a hair shy of having a boldness to it.  It has more of a cable television show from the early aughts look to it.  And this Blu-ray does a fine job of making it looking good.  Detail on clothing, like wrinkles, textures patterns and such comes across very nicely.  In still shots, the forest looks good enough detailed as well.

Depth:  Impressively, this one has a rather loose look to it.  Characters and objects in the woods look plenty free and spaced of one another.  Movements are good with minimal blur.

Black Levels:  Blacks are fine, if not a little too deep causing a some loss of detail in the shadows.  No crushing witnessed though.

Color Reproduction:  Once again, this series does not lend itself to color.  However, greens feature a wide variety of shades, tones and tints that come across very well.  The forest greens like leaves and such do come across as striking when allowed.

Flesh Tones:  Skin tones are natural and hold consistent throughout.  Facial details like moles, freckles, wrinkles, stubble and the like come through terrific.

Noise/Artifacts:  Pretty clean.  Some fast moving camera tracking through the forest does bring some minor blocking issues.

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Audio 

Audio Format(s): English 2.0 DTS-HD MA

Subtitles: N/A

Dynamics:  This is a nice clean audio mix.  There is a nice balance between vocals, effects and score here.  No worries, the theme music sounds better than ever.  Its actually quite a louder, more in your face track.  Its not going to give a Michael Bay movie on Blu-ray a run for its money, but this is a pretty exciting little stereo mix.

Low Frequency Extension:  N/A

Surround Sound Presentation:  N/A

Dialogue Reproduction:  Dialogue is crisp with good clarity.  Breathing and mouth sounds can be made out through speech.

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Extras 

Deadly Prey: 27 Years Later 

  • Interview with Ted Prior (HD, 7:01) – He talks about how he was worried about looking to old when he took on the role again.
  • Interview with David A. Prior (HD, 2:53) – He seems rather uninterested in this interview and covers the same ground as Ted Prior does.
  • Interview with David Campbell (HD, 2:58) – The villain of the film shows enthusiasm on returning to the film.  He also discusses how the character has changed over time.
  • Interview with Fritz Matthews (HD, 3:45) – The actor answers questions the rest do.  He mentions how he dropped 35 lbs in preparation for the film.  And also how he found out about the project from a fan of his.

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Summary 

If you’re a fan of the first, this one desperately wants to be more of the same.  Its funny enough with its call backs and doing the same thing, but doesn’t have that 80s straight to video nostalgia spirit that worked for its predecessor.  Technically, this is probably the better film.  It does have its own sense of silly, too.  This Blu-ray has a terrific presentation and some good interviews regarding both films to round out a very nice release.  Its also set at a terrific price.  In my eyes, if you’re gonna own the first, grab the second.  This one has the interviews you’d probably want for the first one anyway.

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Brandon is the host, producer, writer and editor of The Brandon Peters Show (thebrandonpetersshow.com) on the Creative Zombie Studios Network. At Why So Blu he is a Writer/Reviewer. Brandon is a lifelong obsessive film nerd. As eager to educate in the world of film as I am to learn. An avid lover of horror, schlock and trash. You can also find older essays on his blog Naptown Nerd (naptownnerd.blogspot.com).

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