Director Sandy Collora is best known as the talent behind Batman: Dead End – a short film which became a internet sensation back in 2003 and was highly-praised for its film noir take on the cult comic book hero.
Seven years on and the self-confessed sci-fi fan helms his debut feature, Hunter Prey. The alien adventure follows three intergalactic commandos who must recapture an alien prisoner that has escaped after the military transport ship carrying it crashes on a desolate and hostile planet.
Without giving too much away, the helmeted commandos get pick off by the elusive ‘sharp fanged creature’ until just one (who goes by the name Centaurian 7) remains. A game of cat and mouse between the hunter and the prey then ensues, with unexpected results, including the arrival of a bounty hunter (played by Collora in fantastic prosthetics).
Shot on a shoestring over 18 days in the baking hot Mexican desert, Hunter Prey has been something of a labour of love for Collora. For sci-fi fans like myself, there’s also a real sense of nostalgia watching the film as it brings back memories of playing aliens and astronauts in the backyard, and of episodes of Star Trek and Lost in Space, as though all set on Tatooine, with a big nod to the underrated 1985 sci-fi, Enemy Mine.
The music score is terrific, inspired no doubt by Jerry Goldsmith scores for the Planet of the Apes films – there’s also a reference to the Apes films in the symbols on the prisoner’s costume – and the make-up is spot on, just what you’d expect from someone who has worked with the best in the business, Stan Winston and Rick Baker.
Meanwhile, fans of the 1980s Buck Rogers series will be chuffed as Erin Gray (aka Wilma Deering) provides the voice for CLEA, the central computer who controls the functions of the armoured suits the commandos wear.
Hunter Prey is sci-fi with a heart. Now, can someone at SyFy please give this man a job?