From The Art and Popular Culture Encyclopedia
Human hunting is a quasi-urban legend, where certain people hunt and kill humans for the purpose of pleasure, entertainment, or sustenance. Some science fiction writers depicted fictional future or alternate history tyrannical regimes where the hunting of humans for sport is institutionalised (see The Sound of His Horn).
Certain serial killers, such as Robert Hansen or Donald Neilson would often abduct and hunt their victims before they killed them, while such hate groups like the Posse Comitatus have tried or allegedly actually committed such acts in the wilderness.
The best known example in fiction is The Most Dangerous Game.
Literature and written fiction
- The Pursuit of Love
- Battle Royale
- Button Man
- Eagle Strike
- The Fifth Elephant
- Friday the 13th: The Jason Strain
- The Hunger Games
- The Invisibles
- The Manhattan Hunt Club
- The Most Dangerous Game
- The Sound of His Horn
- Trail of the Dead
- Dune: House Atreides
Numerous films have used the theme of human hunting as the basis or as a feature of their plot. The first film to ever feature it was the 1932 film The Most Dangerous Game, which is based on the Richard Edward Connell short story of the same name. Other films that deal with human hunting are:
- Battle Royale
- Battle Royale II: Requiem
- Bet your life
- The Condemned
- Deadly Prey
- Dominion (1995)
- The Eliminator
- Enemy Territory
- A Game of Death
- Hard Target
- Hostel: Part II
- Hostel: Part III
- The Hunger Games
- The Hunted
- Judgment Night
- The Most Dangerous Game
- The Man with the Golden Gun
- The Naked Prey
- The Pest
- Predator franchise
- Run for the Sun
- The Running Man
- Series 7: The Contenders
- Surviving the Game
- The 10th Victim
- The Texas Chainsaw Massacre
- Turkey Shoot
- Urban Wolf
- Wolf Creek
- The Woman Hunt
- Wrong Turn
- Bonanza - The final episode of the long-running western, titled "The Hunter" featured "Little" Joe Cartwright, played by Michael Landon, being hunted by a war-deranged ex-Army officer. The villain—who fancies himself as a hunter—steals Joe's supplies, water and wagon, then allows him to flee as his "prey," before later going after him to kill him. Joe is forced to rely on his wits and luck to defeat the villain.
- Gilligan's Island- There was an episode where a deranged hunter comes to the island and tries to hunt down Gilligan.
- Cold Case - The character of George Marks, played by John Billingsley, is shown hunting his victims in forests, much like the real-life serial killer Robert Hansen.
- Criminal Minds - The episode Open Season revolves around two brothers who kidnap people and release them in the Idaho wilderness and hunt them down with compound bows.
- Doctor Who - In the serial The Deadly Assassin the Doctor enters a virtual reality and is hunted by an assassin in a jungle environment.
- Human Giant - One sketch featured astronaut Cliff Tarpey (Rob Huebel) who created his own reality TV show called "Lunatics" in which he and two other astronauts capture people, hunt them down and kill them on the moon, for entertainment purposes.
- Challenge of the Superfriends episode Revenge on Gorilla City has several Superfriends members being hunted by members of the Legion of Doom with mind-controlled Gorillas.
- The Incredible Hulk - David Banner is befriended by a rich man under false pretenses. Later, he is hunted until he hulks out and attacks his antagonist.
- Johnny Bravo - In an episode parodying Richard Connell's "The Most Dangerous Game".
- Lone Star Hate - a documentary that examines a hate crime homicide where the victim had been hunted in the wilderness for some considerable time by his homophobic killers before being shot dead.
- Renegade - one episode featured convicts being hunted for fun/as target practice by novice/wannabe assassins.
- The Simpsons - The episode "Treehouse of Horror XVI" featured a section which also parodies Richard Connell's "The Most Dangerous Game".
- Supernatural - An episode in season one portrays a family of inbreeders whose generational pastime is the hunting and killing of the random people they kidnap. It is notably one of only two episodes where brother detectives, Sam and Dean Winchester, actually confront human "monsters", rather than the "supernatural" boogeymen, the derived namesake of the show.
- Torchwood - The episode entitled "Countrycide" of the BBC science fiction series deals with a group of cannibals who hunt/trap travellers through their village on a traditional ten year cycle.
- Dollhouse - The second episode of the first season sees main character Echo taken on a date by the client in the countryside, and then is hunted by him.
- The Critic - In one of the running gags during the main credits, Jay's boss Duke calls him, inviting Jay to his ranch upon the news that Duke has received legal permission to hunt man. Jay is advised to bring "jogging shoes".
- Xena: Warrior Princess - In the sixth season episode "Dangerous Prey", Xena and Varia are hunted by a madman who has been kidnapping and hunting Amazons for sport, in search of a challenge worthy of his skills as a hunter.
- Community - Season 2 Episode 2 - Pierce tells the group that there is an island in Indonesia where you can hunt humans.
- CSI: Miami - Season 9 Episode 16- The CSI team discovers a club that hunts human prey.
- American Dad - Season 3 Episode 1 - The Smith family become castaways after getting separated from their cruise ship. They eventually wash up on an island and find themselves being hunted for sport by the rich people living there. After several harrowing days, the hunters find and shoot the entire family, at which point they realize the island is a theme park based on "The Most Dangerous Game" and the hunters were actually armed with paintball guns.
- Suikoden IV contains a back scenario where aristocrats from the Scarlet Moon empire engaged in a cruel hobby dubbed "human-hunting".
- Deer Avenger and its sequels revolve around a bipedal, talking deer which hunts humans, especially hunters, in order to avenge his fellow deer which have been hunted.
- The Elder Scrolls IV: Oblivion includes a quest (titled "Caught in the Hunt") which revolves around the player becoming the target of a human hunt.
- Hitman: Contracts contains a level where the protagonist must rescue the potential victim of a human hunt from an English manor.
- Manhunt revolves around a fictitious convicted murderer, James Earl Cash, who is forced to hunt other convicts as part of a snuff film.
- Smash TV is based on a fictional TV game show in which the main character is put in an arena to fight waves of clones for money and prizes.
- Thrill killing
- Sadism and masochism as medical terms
- Premeditated murder