Pin It
Favorite

DVD Review 

The Naked Prey & r & & r & by MARTY DEMAREST & r & & r & & lt;span class= "dropcap " & T & lt;/span & he Criterion Collection is a line of DVDs where Important Films go after they've died at the box office. Having exhausted most of the world's legitimate classics, Criterion has now started scraping the bottom of the art-house barrel. Among the series' earnest-yet-flawed finds is 1966's The Naked Prey. Based on an 1808 account of a man who was captured by Blackfeet Indians and given a chance to run for his life, The Naked Prey migrates the story to Africa, where, after offending a local tribe, a safari party is captured and tortured. Only the guide is left alive to flee from the tribe's best hunters.





It's a strong setup, and the tribal scenes are adequately unnerving -- the villagers' speeches are not translated, leaving the viewer to witness the captives' fates (roasting alive, enduring snakebites) with as much helpless incomprehension as the victims. It falls apart, however, as the film's director, Cornel Wilde (who also plays the safari guide), lards the movie with what look to be public domain films of wild animals hunting, attacking and eating each other. This Wide World of Disney-grade nature footage contrasts sharply -- in the technical domains of sound, light and film stock -- with the movie's dramatic episodes.





The film draws the story out even further by having the naked prey (quite obviously wearing flesh-colored briefs) attack some of his hunters, spilling latex blood on the African landscape, and giving him clothing and equipment. Further reducing the tension, Wilde tries to add emotion to the film through the guide's friendship with a young boy whom he rescues from a neighboring village. The man and the boy form a partnership that's almost as groan-worthy as the relationship between the hunter and the hunted, who exchange sentimental hand-waves.





Even the Criterion Collection seems half-committed to this project: The film's transfer to DVD preserves errant hairs and specks of dust, and the soundtrack has not been remastered. The volume ranges from too soft to too loud, often changing abruptly during a sequence of shots. It's the sort of technical ineptitude that Criterion rarely displays, and instead of saving the film from obscurity, it's likely to keep The Naked Prey a backwash curiosity for another 40 years. (Not Rated)

  • Pin It

Latest in News

  • Recall and Response
  • Recall and Response

    The attempt to remove Spokane Mayor David Condon from office may be a long shot, but he isn't taking any chances
    • Aug 25, 2016
  • Shades of Black Lives
  • Shades of Black Lives

    A Spokane County detective's Facebook post about Black Lives Matter sparks debate among local law enforcement
    • Aug 25, 2016
  • Fires Hit Home
  • Fires Hit Home

    Tens of thousands of acres burn around Spokane on Sunday and Monday; plus, DOJ weighs in on concerns over bail system
    • Aug 25, 2016
  • More »

Comments

Subscribe to this thread:

Add a comment

Today | Tue | Wed | Thu | Fri | Sat | Sun
Spokane Artist Trading Card Swap

Spokane Artist Trading Card Swap @ Boots Bakery & Lounge

Last Wednesday of every month

All of today's events | Staff Picks

More by n/a

  • Iron Upgrade
  • Iron Upgrade

    The new one is smart and funny and action-packed, and it’s bigger and better and sleeker. And Downey does it again, this time ramping up Stark’s arrogant wisecracking, telling anyone who’ll listen (mostly women) that, via the creation of his powerful Iron Man suit, he’s brought years of uninterrupted peace to the world.
    • May 12, 2010
  • Seeing Gay
  • Seeing Gay

    A festival showing GLBT from all angles
    • Nov 9, 2009
  • Get Out the Vote
  • Get Out the Vote

    With all the uncertainty in the world these days, hot wings and cold beer are two things we can get behind
    • Nov 9, 2009
  • More »

Most Commented On

  • 'Unreasonable Threat to Life and Property'

    Spokane's rental housing has problems, but landlord and tenant groups are split on a solution
    • Aug 11, 2016
  • 'End of Story'

    Condon administration aims to close the controversial Frank Straub chapter — but last week's scathing report has irrevocably changed the narrative
    • Aug 4, 2016
  • More »

Top Tags in
News & Comment

Briefs


election 2016


green zone


marijuana


trail mix


Readers also liked…

  • Path of Least Resistance
  • Path of Least Resistance

    Spokane Public Schools looks at reworking a grading system that drives students into the easiest classes
    • Jan 14, 2015
  • Hard to Swallow
  • Hard to Swallow

    Big changes could be coming to how Washington state regulates medical pot
    • Feb 11, 2015

© 2016 Inlander
Website powered by Foundation