Prey (1977)

A total stranger. Let’s invite him to dinner.

An alien lands on earth to gather data on the edibility of humans. He visits a near-by homestead where he discovers a welcoming lesbian couple, gets a makeover, and stumbles on a murder mystery.

Perhaps an alternate title for this movie could have been Space Were-Cat meets Psycho Lesbians.

Our space were-cat (Barry Stokes) comes to earth in search of an undeclared MacGuffin. Since this film is titled Prey, one can assume the reveal will ultimately not be a shock to anyone. Once here, our were-cat promptly kills a quarreling couple parked in the woods. The were-cat assume the form of the male before wandering into the chateau of reclusive lesbian couple, Jessica (Glory Annen) and Josephine (Sally Faulkner).

Being fresh off the were-cat space-boat, “Anderson” doesn’t speak much English.  He seems to have a firm grasp on all the verbs, adverbs, adjectives, and prepositions, but none of the nouns. While Josephine protests a man’s presence in her home by sulking in another room, Jessica’s patio conversation with “Anders” leaves her with the impression that something isn’t quite right with her new friend.

We rather quickly learn that one of the sapphic duo isn’t quite as gay as the other. Jessica wants to elope with this new man, despite the creep factor,  or basically just any man that wanders through. But Josephine will have none of that, so she’s been killing anything with a penis that makes nice with them for a number of years. Jessica tries to find a another shirt for Anders to wear but discovers a chest filled with clothing from the men that have ceased coming by for visits. She also finds a switch blade, upon which she begins to suspect that Josephine may be doing something nefarious to them.

Inexplicably, Anders returns to his earlier crime scene where the police appear to be investigating an abandoned car in the woods. Anders kills the police after his attempt to lay low is ruined by walking directly out in front of them. The were-cat then returns to the lesbian abode and radios home that he hasn’t found what he’s looking for. Meanwhile, no one ever comes to investigate the disappearance of the police.

Hell hath no fury like a lesbian annoyed by the presence of a male space man.

Back at the chateau, the lesbian couple dress the were-cat in an evening gown and give him a Dr. Frank-N-Furter makeover before they drink wine, eat cake, and dance. After the were-cat and the Josephine nearly share an intimate moment during a slow dance, the trio decide to play a very angry game of hide and seek. When Anders realizes that Jessica is in the same room with him, we learn the were-cat can smell humans when he’s within two feet of them. Upon learning this detail from Jessica, Josephine reconsiders her plan to kill him. With tensions running high, they all decide to just go to bed and Anders can leave in the morning.

The next morning, Anders jumps in a very shallow lake, forcing the lesbian couple to spend five minutes of slow motion thrashing while trying to save him. He then eats them and radios back that he’s found what he came for: Humans are edible. He only had to eat two more on top of the other four to figure it out.

The extras on this Vinegar Syndrome release contain a telling interview with Sally Faulkner where she points out the script was still being written as the movie filmed. And it shows. Man, does it show.

Every scene has Glory Annen (in her film debut) discovering that her lesbian lover is a crazy murderess and freaking out about it, only to be promptly forgotten in the next scene. Similarly, Annen starts off believing the were-cat makes for one strange dude, but this gets discarded in favor of throwing herself at him to escape her crazy lover.

The movie was originally rated X, presumably for the really long, soft-core lesbian sex scene that runs from the 35 to 40 minute mark. This is an excessively long and poorly framed scene, revealing that Annen is really turned out by Faulkner’s skills at tickling behind her knee. The scene is inter-cut with Stokes wandering about the house, eventually stumbling into the lesbian tryst and deciding he probably shouldn’t watch.

This discovery of our female leads’ relationship sets up a conversation later in the film where the were-cat, slayer of man and butcher of bunnies, has moral objections to taking Annen with him because she’s “owned” (sic) by the psycho-lesbian he’s planning to eat anyway. That conversation ends with Annen giving herself to Stokes instead, and via a much shorter sex scene in which our were-cat transforms during intercourse and consumes the screaming starlet.

Stokes’ were-cat really does nothing of interest. What you see in the trailer is about it. If you watched the trailer, you may have noted the were-cat makeup is a mouth full of off-the-shelf costume fangs, a rather impressive pair of full-eye contacts, and a rubber cat nose with some grease paint. One would assume they went all in on the contacts at the expense of everything else.

Ultimately, this movie is really about a lesbian couple arguing over the disruptive presence of a man in their house. Annen’s character makes clear that she inherited the home, but Faulkner exerts some really intense co-dependence and control over her. It makes for a better dramatic study in Stockholm Syndrome than an action/horror/sci-fi movie.

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