The Prey, also known as The Prey: Legend of Karnoctus, began its life as simply The Prey before being given the cumbersome subtitle to distinguish it from Norman J Warren’s exploitation masterpiece Prey, the 80s slasher The Prey, and most recently the Cambodian remake of The Most Dangerous Game called The Prey. It starts in a cave somewhere in Afghanistan with something huge and furry assisting US forces by taking out a pair of Taliban soldiers.
In the region, a US team is on patrol, but the fireworks are being sponsored by a well-armed band of mercenaries including Vega (Danny Trejo, A Tale of Two Guns), Gunnar (Adrian Paul, Highlander, 9 Miles Down), Tagger (Nick Chinlund, American Violence, Close Range) and Reid (Kevin Grevioux, Underworld: Rise of the Lycans. I, Frankenstein). They aren’t working as security contractors though; they’re there to assist themselves with some Taliban gold.
The soldiers and mercenaries, after all, are in the middle of a firefight. Of course, their gunshots attract the attention of American troops as well as Afghans hiding in the bushes, and both parties are forced into a cave. Yes, it’s the same cave from the prologue, and we know what else is inside it.
Danny Trejo as a low-budget version of Predator is tempting to a B movie enthusiast such as me. The Prey: Legend of Karnoctus, unfortunately, goes downhill right away. The heist sequence is so badly done that I had to watch it twice to ensure I wasn’t crazy. Apart from the use of out-of-place music and what looks like frame-filling conventional animation of blood, we see the same guy run out of the same door many times and instead of CGI blood, there’s what appears to be a framing conventional animation of blood.
The editing is sloppy and jagged, with a lot of placeholder footage and music. That sensation is compounded by the film’s final voiceovers, which refer to it as “The Prey: Legend of Karnoctus,” implying that it was never completed. The Prey: Legend of Karnoctus was filmed in 2013 and 2014, with a lengthy on-and-off postproduction phase.
It’s time for Trejo and Paul to leave The Prey: Legend of Karnoctus. They are sent on a mission to acquire the chopper that will transport them and the gold away. While they’re doing that, we get to watch as the two groups quarrel, walk around in the dark, and discuss conspiracies about the CIA and the Taliban while also examining global politics and economics. However, there is more than just talk; we do get a glimpse at some camel spiders as well as a brief look at the creature.
At the half-hour mark, The Prey: Legend of Karnoctus attempts to gain some momentum back, and we do get to see more of the monster, which is a convincing-looking guy in a suit effect. We also receive some blood for good measure. But the creature had to show up and have an impact on the film far sooner. There’s no reason why it couldn’t have with it being a guy in a suit rather than CGI.
In the end, Cire and Matthew Hensman, as well as co-writers Matt and Gustavo Sainz de la Peña, preferred to work in superfluous subplots involving hallucinations and voiceovers to try to explain what was going on rather than battling monsters. It’s inexplicable why they chose that route when they had a plot that should have been DTV gold.
On June 3rd, 2016, in Los Angeles at the Regency Theatres Van Nuys Plant 16 for a weeklong run, Prey: Legend of Karnoctus will premiere. It will be available on VOD and Digital platforms on June 7th. For more information, check out the film’s website and Facebook page. And while you wait or instead of watching The Prey: Legend of Karnoctus has a few suggestions if you’re searching for something similar. You can also use CinemaHD v2 to watch the movie at the earliest.
Movie Name: THE PREY: Legend of Karnoctus
Cast Leads: Danny Trejo, Adrian Paul, Nick Chinlund, Kevin Grevioux, Fahim Fazli, Cleveland Berto
Director: Cire Hensman, Matthew Hensman
Producer: Lance Miccio, Gustavo Sainz de la Peña, Cire Hensman
Written by: Matthew Hensman, Gustavo Sainz de la Peña
Music: David Velez
Director Of Photography: Cire Hensman