Thursday, December 8, 2016

In short: Devil’s Prey (2001)

A bunch of young arseholes whose character and actor names are totally irrelevant (though masochists may want to know about the presence of Charlie O’Connell, so there you go, masochists) drive to a rave out in the boons.

Because one of them is dealing drugs, and the others are abhorrent, it’s not much of a surprise they’re thrown out of the rave after a handful of misadventures – or is it all part of a sinister plan? Yes, it is. Anyway, before you know what they did last summer, they run over a girl we’ll later come to know under the most excellent name of Fawn (and that’s the sort of name worth mentioning, isn’t it?), though she survives the collision. Apparently, Fawn is being hunted by The Shadows (no relation to the band, one assumes), the local group of Satanist cultists – whose leader we will later learn does like all good satanists abhor greed – who want to sacrifice her. Soon follows some running through woods while our heroes are hunted by people in robes with stupid masks, the-black-guy-dies-first-ing, and a few pretty boring action sequences – all accompanied by the permanent bitching and screeching of our horrible characters.

The cultists will turn out to be rather on the incompetent side, so our protagonists sans black guy end up in a peaceful little town with a minister played by Patrick Bergin and a sheriff role providing the great Tim Thomerson with a well deserved pay check for very little work. Would you be surprised when I tell you a lot of the friendly townsfolk are cultists too?

Despite a set-up that sounds like the perfect basis for a silly chase-based thriller or a silly cultist-based horror film, Bradford May’s Devil’s Prey is for most of its running time only a silly piece of boredom, full of annoying characters acted badly the film takes way too much time to kill off, based on a script that uses its constituting clichés in the least interesting ways possible, and has no clue how to create suspense, or horror, or for most of the time even just inadvertent humour. Well, alright, the sex scene later on is pretty damn funny, but that’s thanks to the film’s tepidness when it comes to digging into its possibilities as an exploitation movie, which leads to decadent satanist sex that utilizes a feather, Patrick Bergin, doggy style, a tiny bit of gagging, and some of the worst moaning you’ll ever hear on a soundtrack. That’s the film’s single scene to make any kind of impression on me. The rest of Devil’s Prey is just sitting there, boring, without ideas, directed by a guy who has both feet in that era of TV direction when having any sort of style was anathema – and this thing isn’t even a TV movie.

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