The Naked Prey (1965)

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This thrilling and extremely brutal action movie film is set in South Africa sometime in the late 19th century and stars Cornel Wilde being chased by a group of T-1000’s.

Tagline – a manhunt of indescribable terror and screaming suspense!

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Wilde plays an unnamed safari guide for a party of white ivory hunters. The leader of that group is an immensely nasty character, rude and obnoxious. He refuses the wise words of the guide to give a local tribe a gift to pass through their land in peace. And in that small piece of stupidity he had sealed all the group’s fate. In horrifying, horrific and terrifying ways.

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Boss warrior who never gave up.

The first 20 minutes is a total blood bath as the helpers of the hunting group get chopped and bashed, left, right and center, leaving the leaders to a more imaginative gruesome end. These guys really dreamt up some innovated killing moves as each member gets his comeuppance in different bizarre ways. Baked alive on a spit as a human mud cake. Made to dance the fandango as a feathered chicken and chased by a hundred ladies ready to tenderise that white meat. Another, bound and tied with his face at the only opening of a circle of fire with a poisonous snake dying to escape. It’s kooky macabre viewing to say the least.

Tagline – Stripped, weaponless, alone and only ten desperate seconds ahead of the killers!

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Now for our safari guide he gets striped down to his pants and given a chance to be hunted. Given the head start of where the arrow lands is when he will start to be pursued. One at a time and then 10 warriors charging after him at speed.

What reveals itself is a wilderness survival film through the harsh but beautiful landscape. Trying to stay alive by any means, searching for food and water, dodging wildlife, like lions, crocodiles and snakes and hand to hand combat with which ever dude catches up to him.

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Fun Fact – This film is actually based on a real life tale. The story of a frontiersman and fur trapper named John Colter who was stripped naked and chased by Blackfeet Indians in Wyoming 1809. You can read about Colter’s Run on Wikipedia.

It’s exhilarating edge of your seat viewing. All the chase scenes are accompanied by firing percussion drumming and Nguni tribal songs are dotted about throughout the movie.

Along aside all the violence and carnage there are some really very tender moments between the chased and a young girl who looks after him for a while. Heartwarming and beautiful as they sing songs together. Then back to the task in hand, run for your life.

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A sweet moment in the film

Fun Fact 2 – Cornel Wilde was 52 years old making The Naked Prey and said to be sick during much of the filming, but he pressed on, saying the illness added to his performance. Now that’s a man who takes his artform seriously.

Cornel Wilde directed, produced and ran his arse off in this film. A brave choice of film to make after being a such a Hollywood star of big films like The Greatest Show on Earth, The Big ComboLeave Her to Heaven to name just a few. Oh and the one on my to watch list, Beach Red, which he also stars and directs.

Fun Fact 3 – Just to add to the madness, there was a comic book adaptation of the film too released through Dell Publishing.

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Looks like from the scenes that it closely follows the film
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Superb poster.

Further Reading Links

The Naked Prey (1965) IMDB

The Naked Prey (1965) Wiki

Cornel Wilde

John Colter – Colters Run

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