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Innocent Prey (1989)

A woman living in Dallas discovers that her husband, from New Zealand, is actually a crazed serial killer who murders prostitutes. She helps the authorities arrest him, and he is sent to a ... See full summary »

Director:

Colin Eggleston
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Cast

Cast overview:
P.J. Soles ... Cathy Wills
Kit Taylor ... Joe
Grigor Taylor Grigor Taylor ... Rick
Martin Balsam ... Sheriff Virgil Baker
John Warnock John Warnock ... Phillip
Susan Stenmark Susan Stenmark ... Gwen
Richard Morgan Richard Morgan ... Ted
Deborah Voorhees ... Hooker (as Debi Sue Voorhees)
Karen Radcliffe Karen Radcliffe ... Casey
Bill Thurman ... Jim Gardner
Joe Berryman ... Billy Joe
Harlan Jordan Harlan Jordan ... Riley
Tyrees Allen ... Fletcher
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Storyline

A woman living in Dallas discovers that her husband, from New Zealand, is actually a crazed serial killer who murders prostitutes. She helps the authorities arrest him, and he is sent to a hospital for the criminally insane. Just when she's starting to get her life back together, she learns that he's escaped from the institution and is after her. She flees to Australia and winds up staying in a house owned by a wealthy young man, who turns out to have dark secrets of his own. Written by frankfob2@yahoo.com

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

Being terrified is just the beginning.

Genres:

Horror | Thriller

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for violence and sensuality | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

Australia

Language:

English

Release Date:

8 August 1991 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Eida to dolofono See more »

Filming Locations:

Dallas, Texas, USA See more »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono

Color:

Color
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Filmed in 1984, but not released on video until 1991. See more »

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User Reviews

Innocent? Sporting that hairdo should be a crime!
12 August 2010 | by Cujo108See all my reviews

P.J. Soles (sporting a truly atrocious perm) stars as Cathy, a Dallas native recently married to Joe (Kit Taylor), an upstart businessman from New Zealand. She couldn't be happier, but her husband is more focused on closing a business deal. When the deal goes south and he's exposed as a conman, Joe's inner psycho comes out. Cathy witnesses his murder of a hooker (the luscious Debi Sue Voorhees of Friday the 13th: A New Beginning) and turns him in to the police. Once he's put away, Cathy contemplates joining friend, Gwen, in Australia. Joe's subsequent escape from prison finally gets her to take the hint, and she heads down under, where she immediately catches the attention of another lunatic, her voyeuristic landlord, Phillip (John Warnock). Joe is also determined to track her down and finish what he started.

So, we have an Australian slasher partially shot in Dallas and directed by Colin Eggleston... Talk about right up my alley! Indeed, seeing on film the places that you regularly see in real life never gets old. Dallas has changed a lot since the early 80's, but downtown is basically the same. When the story moves to Australia, most of the action is confined to Phillip's estate. We do get a few glimpses of that glorious Australian scenery, brief as they may be. "Innocent Prey" is not on the same level as Eggleston's masterful "Long Weekend", and it's not trying to be, anyway. It is, however, an incredibly fun picture with an underlying playfulness aimed at certain genre conventions, namely that of the final girl. The tone of the film is serious, but you get a sense of the true intent with the habitual victim scenario and that terrific last frame before the credits roll.

P.J. Soles is decent in the film, but she doesn't exactly come across as lead actress material. Of course, it doesn't help that Cathy isn't the brightest heroine to ever grace the genre. Not only is she painted as being quite naive, she can also be truly dense at times. Following his escape, Joe shows up at Cathy's and is chased off by the cops. Two officers stay outside to see if they can find him while Cathy remains inside with a third watching over her. When the policewoman disappears, Cathy calls for her repeatedly before stating "If this is you're idea of a joke, it isn't funny!". As if a cop, who she just met, would prank her, let alone in such a serious situation! Sure, this could be just a furthering of the joke on the final girl, almost as if she's talking directly to the filmmakers for putting her through such hell. That said, in context of the film itself, it just makes her stupid. Aside from that, she's really a bitch towards Phillip before she has any reason to be. No, Cathy is not that likable, but hey, all the more fun to see her deal with the misfortune that plagues her!

The villains fare better. Kit Taylor plays Joe as a leech who switches from his New Zealand accent to a stereotypical Texan drawl when dealing with the good ol' boy oil men. Once he flips out, he has an icy glare. Warnock is also solid as Phillip, the awkward voyeur with a mean streak. He watches his tenants via closed-circuit television cameras hidden all around the house, getting upset when the girls engage in intercourse since he wants them for himself. His "shocking" method of murder may be rather over the top, but that's the point, and it's certainly a unique touch.

Those who watch slashers just to see some bloodshed should look elsewhere. Anyone wanting to view an entry possessing more intelligence than you'd expect, an out there plot and a sense of fun beneath the seriousness should go for it. Think of it as Eggleston's joyous deconstruction of the final girl archetype. It's also a brisk watch at 86 minutes, though the video case mistakenly says 77.


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