Hunter Prey (2010)

hunterpreyDirector Sandy Collora is known around the country for being one of the most, if not the most talented fan filmmaker of the modern era. Collora is a skilled artist and a man capable of creating his own visions of a mythos that are nothing short of brilliant and dazzling. Not surprising, Collora eventually took time out to create his own world with his own characters and it happens to be a pure work of science fiction excellence that channels the likes of “Hell in the Pacific” to convey a wide scope of a grander story that is scaled down to the personal battle of two soldiers in the middle of a inter-galactic war. Collora paints the picture of two soldiers stranded on an island during a great war that eventually becomes their own personal battle.

With boiling tensions rising to the surface and regrets storming back in the middle of isolation, alienation, and scorching heat, the two soldiers ultimately find that before they track their fugitive that is now on the run from their forces, they may have to engage in their own personal war first. The great aspect of Collora’s cinematic offerings is that they are feasts for the ears and the eyes, and Collora fills every minute of his film with dazzling special effects. You wouldn’t believe his film was working on a lower budget than your normal studio outing and you wouldn’t care, as this scorching tundra is a mysterious land with harrowing predators among these two warriors. Meanwhile the make up effects are magnificent with both soldiers presenting the same features, but never the same personalities.

It’s very easy to tell them apart in spite of their similar appearance and that’s thanks to the very strong performances from both Isaac C. Singleton Jr. and Damion Poitier. Both men present very committed portrayals of their dichotomous characters, one of whom is a crooked dictatorial commander with shifty motivations, while Poitier as Sentauri is much more humble and intent on getting the mission accomplished in order to head home and take his commanding officer to task. The costumes are an obvious influence of the Stormtroopers with an edge of Boba Fett, and every soldier have their own particular markings that help them stand alone as their own iconic characters. The ultimate reveal of the fugitive is quite surprising and adds an entire new element to the conflict at hand, especially among the empathy between both warring officers in hot pursuit.

And much like “Enemy Mine,” the battle on the land becomes much more important than the battle in the sky, as the three nemeses present their own views of the battle at hand and what it means for their personal victory as well as their own well begin.Where would a Collora film be without Mark Bartram (usually playing Batman)? And he pulls in another strong supporting performance as the enigmatic Jericho, a fugitive with vague intentions and loose morals that keep his empathy with audiences on the skids from the minute he unveils himself.  Director Collora even successfully turns the desert land in to its own character and omnipotent presence, littered with the bones of creatures and dangerous monsters that constantly pose a threat to our protagonists.

What Collora conveys through “Hunter Prey” is that through this fighting and battle on the dangerous planet, these two species can’t stop long enough to realize that survival is the greatest task at hand. And more importantly, they’ll fail to realize that both of these species may soon be the last of their kind before they wake up to comprehend such a stark fact. Sandy Collora proves to be much more than a fan filmmaker, creating his own world and lore within “Hunter Prey,” a gem that deserves a cult audience. A dazzling spectacle from top to bottom, director Sandy Collora proves once and for all that he is a director very well capable of creating his own lore and contained universe that doesn’t depend on ideas from other artists. Collora is well on his way to being a unique creative mind and with marvelous special effects and a rich complex and entertaining story, I’m excited to see what he lenses next.