I was warned that sitting through Deadly Prey (1988)—this month’s Weird Wednesdays offering—would not be without its pain. It wasn’t. I was not warned that it would be yet another of the seemingly endless barrage of cinematic knockoffs of Richard Connell’s short story, “The Most Dangerous Game,” a tale that bores me senseless even when its retellings are done well (see the 1932 version). This particular low-rent effort is a mix of the story and First Blood (1982). The two just about fit.
Deep in the wilds of California—but within easy commuting distance of L.A.—is a not-very-secret mercenary training ground where the recruits learn their trade (somewhat inexplicably) by hunting down and killing barely armed men. It’s good clean fun until they kidnap Mike Danton (Ted Prior, the director’s brother), who goes all Rambo on them. Danton with his streaked blonde mullet, beefy thighs, cut-off jeans and total lack of acting ability is up to tackling as many soldiers as can be thrown his way. If he loses his knife, he’ll stab ‘em to death with a stick. It’s all quite ridiculous, but might be good for a laugh if you’re in the mood for ineptitude on an unbelievable scale. No one gets out alive when Danton goes on the warpath, which seems a small price to pay for getting out of the movie.