Published on Wednesday, 28 April 2010 20:00
Written by Will
|Directed By||Thom Eberhardt|
|Written By||Christine D. Vasquez|
|Starring||Danielle De Luca, J.D. Garfield, Arron Shriver and Joe Mantegna|
|DVD Distributer||PeaceArch Entertainment|
|By It Now On|
Eberhardt and DeLuca make this a thriller to remember!
Director Thom Eberhardt is not the most prolific of film directors. His resume does however contain a small handful of diamond in the rough titles many of you will no doubt recognize including 1983's Sole Survivor
and 1984's Night Of The Comet
. In his latest outing he offers a variation on Cornel Wilde's 1966 film The Naked Prey
. Script writer and Executive Producer Christine D. Vasquez changed the setting from Africa to that of a small town in New Mexico, and in the place of tribesmen hunting an arrogant sportsmen, we now see a serial killer hunting naked women. After drugging his victims and having his way with them, he flies his private plane to a remote region and gives them a fifteen minute head start before beginning to stalk them. The story is loosely based on the exploits of actual killer Robert Hansen who was convicted of having done this to as many as 21 prostitutes in Anchorage, Alaska in the early eighties.
This film works for several reasons not the least of which is Eberhardt's skilful handling of the material. Considering lead Danielle DeLuca is totally nude for a good portion of the films runtime this could have easily wound up amounting to nothing more than a cheap exploitation film, but that is not the case. Eberhardt has placed his emphasis on story and allowed the excellent performances from the entire cast to elevate this film to the status of a well executed and tautly intelligent thriller. DeLuca's nudity is handled with style and is used to accentuate the story as opposed to simply showing skin.
Opening with an establishing shot of a scared naked woman (Sonja Runar) desperately looking for assistance in the middle of nowhere, Eberhardt puts the audience in the killers shoes with some coldly effective POV shots as the killer quietly finishes the terrified woman with a cross bow.
Over the next twenty minutes or so the story is established and viewers are introduced to the various characters residing in the small New Mexico town where most of the action occurs. One of them is the killer and the second act focuses sharply on development. There is naÃ¯ve dancer 'Diana' (Danielle DeLuca) who discovers quickly she has been lured to town on false pretenses. 'Deputy Dwight Terry' (Arron Shiver) who is also new to town and less than thrilled with how things are handled by his law enforcement superiors, and last but not least, Terry's boss 'Tom Benike' (Joe Mantegna), who embodies a donuts scarfing yokel cop without ever looking ridiculous doing so.
As 'Officer Terry' begins to become suspicious of the large number of working girls who have gone missing, Diana becomes the killers latest victim.
When Diana's roommate contacts the officer and asks for help in finding her,Terry must decide whether to put his job on the line, or listen to his superior who has chalked the disappearances up to the transient nature of call girls.
This film works due to Eberhardt's knack for balancing the story dramatically without letting it wallow in melodrama. The individual performances, especially DeLuca, are well drawn and nuanced, allowing the actors to stretch without ever becoming caricatures. DeLuca's survival skills appear more of the desperate to live variety as opposed to the ridiculous inner 'Rambo' crap that sometimes occurs in similar films. If you are looking for a good Most Dangerous Game type of cat and thriller you could do a lot worse than Thom Eberhardt's Naked Fear!
This film is in English, but I could not find an English trailer. If you know of one please let us know.