The Woman Hunt

Dir: Eddie Romero
Star: John Ashley, Pat Woodell, Eddie Garcia, Lisa Todd

If you ever thought, "I enjoyed The Most Dangerous Game, but it really needed to be remade on a low budget in the Phillipines," then we have just the thing for you - especially if you then add, "Ideally, from a script by Jack Hill and with Sid Haig in a supporting role." Because that's what you get here: one of the quickies churned out by Romero, in connection with Roger Corman's New World Pictures in the early 1970's. In this case, it centres on a group of woman from varying backgrounds, who are kidnapped and taken to the remote jungle estate of Spyros (Garcia), a millionaire who is hosting a party for similarly-dubious individuals. However, rather than the general "companionship" expected of them, the women are going to end up being the prey in a hunting expedition. Curiously, some of the hunters are none to keen on the concept, though Spyros's reaction - let's just say, it involves a crossbow - convinces the others to go along, at least initially. However, one of his minions (Ashley) opts to take a chance and help the women make a break for it; needless to say, his employer is less than happy at the betrayal, and prepares to put the "severance" in "severance package."

As you'd expect from the genre, there's fairly-copious nudity, moderate violence and a general feeling that anything could happen. The main problem is, for most of the time, not a grear deal actually does. The hunt doesn't quite unfold as you'd expect, and it's well into the second half of the movie before it even gets under way. Up until that point, you get a lot of sitting around, with Spyrio and his lesbian assistant (Todd) being alternately creepy and vicious, and everyone else jockeying for strategic position, forming and betraying alliances. Haig, as a particularly sleazy minion, does make a reasonable impression before an untimely end (that's really no spoiler: Haig's characters rarely live happily ever after!), but few of the other characters stand out, even at a brisk 75-minute running time, which has as little fat on its storyline as you'd expect. If rarely dull, it's never as exciting as the poster would have you believe, and it definitely is guilty of promising rather more than it can deliver.

[September 2013]

What a stupid hunt
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