Prey of the Chameleon

(Fleming Fuller, USA, 1991)


Prey of the Chameleon boasts some familiar faces (like Daphne Zuniga from television's Melrose Place), but it also has that odd quality common to many cheap erotic thrillers released straight to video.

Director Fleming B. (aka Tex) Fuller made the curious sci-fi drama Stranded (1987) before this, but sadly appears to have done nothing since.

The central plot line of Prey involves an enigmatic woman (Zuniga) who kills her way across America, each time adopting the identity of her female victims. When she falls in love with a wanderer named J.D. (James Wilder), the ensuing complications evoke a strange mixture of Badlands (1973) and The Crying Game (1992).

The most interesting character, however, is undoubtedly Carrie (Alexandra Paul). A small town cop in the wake of Jamie Lee Curtis in Blue Steel (1990), Carrie is a walking contradiction: neither wholly masculine nor feminine in her behaviour, caught between the macho gunplay in one half of her life and the domestic soap opera in the other half.

She's an unreal figure in the middle of an artificial movie landscape – so give three cheers for unreality and artifice.

© Adrian Martin August 1993

Film Critic: Adrian Martin
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