The Naked Prey A group of men are on safari. One of the party refuses to give a gift to a tribe they encounter. The tribe is offended, seizes the party, and one-by-one, kills all but one of the safari members in various creative and horrifying ways. The last surviving member is given “The Lion’s Chance” by the tribal leader to be hunted down by a party of tribal warriors. Naked and weaponless he is set loose, the hunters hot on his heels, beginning a life-or-death hunt through wild Africa.
The Naked Prey is on my short list of the best films of all time. After a very few minutes, the viewer will sit on the edge of his seat for a full hour where there is virtually no dialogue. When this movie was first released 35 years ago, I drove 30 miles across town to find and see it. It was worth the trip. Years later, watching it on TV, they omitted (so as not offend the viewers’ sensibilities) what was one of the most effective moments in relieving the tension in an action film I have ever seen – the burp! The next time it was shown, I had to watch and was pleased to see it was back in. Watch for it, and you will know what I mean. All of the comments by naysayers about racism should be ignored. If anything, it is one of the most anti-racist films ever made, much credit to Cornel Wilde who made, directed and starred in the film with outstanding achievement in all three areas. Previously known for his role as Fredric Chopin in “An Affair to Remember”, this was also one of my favourite films. As “the prey” Wilde shows the battle not only of man against man, but man against nature in the fight for survival and in a triumphal moment at the end he salutes his pursuers who, in mutual respect, return his salute. What more egalitarian gesture can one ask for in a pursuit and a fight to the death? Recommended for all adults but for those with a weak stomach.