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Wednesday, September 03, 2008

VHS Vednesday: Desperate Prey

DESPERATE PREY (1992). Directed by Danny Vendramini. Starring Claudia Karvan and Catherine McClements.

In this Australian thriller, Claudia Karvan stars as Lucy, a young delinquent engaged in an affair with a prominent attorney named Brewster (Mark Hembrow). When Brewster is killed by a motorcycle-helmeted intruder during one of Lucy's visits, Lucy understandably flees, first grabbing the videotape she had been recording for their liaison. Deciding that her best bet to stay alive is to get police protection, Lucy deliberately gets herself arrested and sent to juvenile hall. However, she soon realizes that she's not safe even in custody, and makes a daring escape, dragging her lawyer Diana Ferraro (Catherine McClements) into her fugitive flight. Initially reluctant, Ferraro soon realizes how much danger Lucy is in, and aids her in trying to both escape and identify the killer.
More or less your standard mismatched-buddy action movie (with the twist of the two buddies being women), Desperate Prey (originally titled Redheads) acknowledges its debt to the formula, even including some dialogue where our heroines try to figure out what TV cops would do in their situation. Apart from such occasional knowing winks, though, it's mostly indistinguishable from any number of action flicks...well-crafted, but unremarkable.
Who's Leaving This Off Their Resume?
While many cast members would be familiar to Australian audiences, lead actress Claudia Karvan is probably the only one that American viewers might recognize, having appeared in Star Wars Episode III: Revenge of the Sith (a brief appearance as Padme's older sister) and Aquamarine (playing JoJo's mother), among other credits. Karvan delivers an amusing performance as the flippant, rebellious anti-heroine, while Catherine McClements balances her out with a solid characterization of the serious-minded half of the duo. Again, the characters are the standard buddy-movie formula, but the appealing cast makes it easier to overlook the cliches.



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