Watch The Naked Prey
- 1 hr 36 min
In the 1965 film The Naked Prey, director and lead actor Cornel Wilde crafts a thrilling adventure set in the South African wilderness. The film centers on a group of white colonial hunters who are captured by a local tribesman and forced to participate in a deadly game of survival. This tense and action-packed film is a classic of the genre and remains a fascinating exploration of colonialism and cultural clash.
The Naked Prey opens with a group of European men setting out on safari in the rugged jungle landscape of South Africa. The leader of the group is a professional guide (Cornel Wilde) who has extensive experience hunting game in the area. The other members of the group are wealthy tourists looking for a thrilling adventure in the wilderness. The dynamic between these white, colonial hunters and the indigenous people they encounter on their journey is immediately apparent: they project an air of superiority and entitlement, viewing the local tribes as primitive and backwards.
This colonialist mindset is quickly challenged when the group encounters a tribe of warriors who are not impressed by their guns and hunting gear. The guide tries to appease them with gifts, but his efforts fail and the group is swiftly captured. The tribe's chieftain, who speaks no English, gives an ultimatum: either the hunters will be executed immediately, or they can be given a head start and hunted down one by one. The guide accepts the latter option and is stripped naked, set loose in the wilderness, and hunted by the tribesmen.
What follows is a harrowing journey through the unforgiving landscape as the guide is chased by a determined group of warriors. Wilde's performance is impressive as he conveys the physical and emotional strain of his character's situation. There is a sense of both terror and exhilaration as the guide tries to outrun his pursuers, relying on his survival skills to elude capture. The film is shot on location in the African wilderness, and the stunning cinematography showcases its natural beauty as well as its dangers.
As the chase continues, the guide begins to gain some understanding and respect for the people who are hunting him. He witnesses their close-knit community and encounters other travelers who have been taken captive, including a resourceful black man (Ken Gampu) who becomes his ally. Along the way, the guide uses his wits and experience to stay ahead of his pursuers, while also trying to outsmart them at every opportunity.
The Naked Prey is a film that skillfully balances action and suspense with themes of colonialism and cultural conflict. Despite being made over fifty years ago, the film remains relevant today in its exploration of the arrogance and entitlement of colonialist thought. The hunting scenes are thrilling, but they are also a commentary on the destructive nature of colonialism and the way in which it robs people of their dignity and autonomy.
The film's portrayal of indigenous African tribes is respectful and nuanced, avoiding stereotyping or simplistic portrayals. The warriors who are hunting the guide are shown to be intelligent, resourceful, and proud, motivated by their own code of honor and justice. The black character played by Ken Gampu is also a standout, serving as a reminder of the way black Africans were often erased or marginalized in films of the era.
Overall, The Naked Prey is a gripping and thought-provoking film that remains relevant and impactful today. It is a rare example of a movie that both entertains and educates, showcasing the beauty of the African wilderness while also challenging the colonialist mindset that was so prevalent at the time it was made. If you are a fan of adventure films or simply looking for an engaging and thought-provoking movie to watch, The Naked Prey is definitely worth checking out.
The Naked Prey is a 1966 action movie with a runtime of 1 hour and 36 minutes. It has received moderate reviews from critics and viewers, who have given it an IMDb score of 7.3 and a MetaScore of 64.