Gort vs the prison service: We review scifi B-movie Hunter Prey

Commander's Log, Stardate 16042013.2:

It had been a quiet week since I'd switched the polarity on Gort's stubbornness circuit. No more 6am combat drills; no more interrogation sessions in the chair; no more late-night bombing runs dropping crates of Epic Movie DVDs on Mel Gibson's house; and no more disintegration tantrums. Of course, my peace was interrupted when a group of intergalactic burglars showed up and simply asked Gort to let them onto the Mothership.

Thankfully, I managed to lure them into the cargo bay and used Gort's new pliant nature to persuade him to let me drop him on them from a great height. After I submitted the report, Admiral Moon insisted  I restore Gort to his old self for the sake of the mission. Still, I made sure to keep the polarity switching device to hand should I need another impromptu vacation...

Hunter Prey is the brainchild of Sandy Collora, who was also behind the infamous Hollywood-are-you-listening Batman fan film, Dead End. He may have excelled in showing Christopher Nolan what humans would actually like a Batman film to be like, but there are comics geeks around the world storyboarding the greatest Batman movies ever conceived every evening over cans of cheap lager. What we want to know is: does his original work pan out?

Well, "original" would probably be a stretch. Essentially Enemy Mine in Star Wars cosplay, Hunter Prey is pretty short on unique ideas. What it does have, however, are a couple of fantastic twists that manage to turn the films it's ripping off on their heads. Can't remember the last time I saw a scifi action movie without a relatable human character in sight. It's just a shame that the aliens spend most of the film in helmets that render the dialogue inaudible.

An alien prison ship crashlands on a deserted world, leaving three bargain-basement Boba Fetts to recapture an escaped prisoner in a Darth Maul outfit who is the last survivor of a race wiped out by its captors. Yet, who is the titular Hunter and who is the eponymous Prey - dun dun duuuuuuun.

You'll probably work out the film's big twist about 30 seconds before it's revealed - we know we did - but you can't let that put you off Hunter Prey; mainly because it's the best thing in the film. It is, however, worth tracking the DVD down for that one idea alone. It's just a shame that Collora pulls the big Shyamalan within the first half hour, rather than drawing it out, because the final twist, while serviceable, just isn't quite as good as the one ending the first act.

Moving swiftly along before we collapse under the weight of our own elusiveness, Hunter Prey is genuinely pretty watchable if you can bear out the cringey dialogue. When will filmmakers stop using the "Arcturan poontang" method of scriptwriting (write stock character dialogue and then add made-up place names to make it scifi)? Still, Cameron dialogue models aside, the costumes and performances actually aren't bad and you can pick the film up for next to nothing. For a passable space opera with enough to hold your attention, you could do much worse *cough* Riddick *cough*.