Saturday, October 13, 2007

"Primeval" review

Primeval (2007)

Director: Michael Katleman
Writers: John D. Brancato

Dominic Purcell ... Tim Manfrey
Brooke Langton ... Aviva Masters
Orlando Jones ... Steven Johnson
J├╝rgen Prochnow ... Jacob Krieg
Gideon Emery ... Mathew Collins
Gabriel Malema ... Jojo

“Primeval” is a cry for peace disguised as a giant crocodile movie. I was wondering why the marketing for this one was so garbled. Now I know that the marketing department was just as confused as I was. I saw posters around town with a bunch of skulls and bones on it but had no idea what the movie was about. When filmmakers mess with time honored monster movie conventions, you usually end up screwing the pooch. “Primeval” screws a few pooches.

A bunch of reporters head into Burundi to do a story on Gustave, the giant killer crocodile that is feasting on a smorgasbord of Burundians. There is a warlord in the bush who likes the way Gustave operates so he emulates his monster friend by calling himself Little Gustave. Gustave controls the water and Little Gustave controls the land. But who controls this movie? Giant crocodile flick segues into African atrocity movie to give the filmmakers some mental relief that they’re not just wasting their time on another killer croc flick. The reporters decide it’s their duty to report back on the senseless murder going on in Burundi so they try to turn the B-crocodile flick into an A-action movie by matching wits with Little Gustave’s militia. Big Gustave gets upset that he is being forced out of his own movie.

“Primeval” is a mess but it has moments that make it an enjoyable mess. Gustave rips and tears anyone who is stupid enough to enter his habitat. He is a merciless monster who kills people just for fun. But Gustave moves too fast for a giant croc which exposes him for the fake digital effect he is. The blood and guts scenes are almost always set during a driving rainstorm which makes it hard to figure out exactly whose blood and guts is flying around. Then again, I’m always happy to spend some time with a giant man-eater so I had some fun watching “Primeval”. If you are not picky about your monster thrills, “Primeval” may be worth a look.

One last thought, the real point of “Primeval” is spelled out at the end of the movie where the reporter comments that humans are responsible for the monster that Gustave has turned into. Thanks to non-stop warfare in Burundi the lakes are filled with dead bodies which is where Gustave got his insatiable appetite for human flesh. The evil that men do gives rise to monsters. This would have been a cool idea for this movie if they had started out showing the militia dumping bodies into the lake. That way we could have watched Gustave grow into the beast that he is.

Watching human evil manifest itself as a monster is still a good idea for another horror movie. How about giant gorillas running amok through Rwanda in “Primeval 2”? Genocide crimes come back to haunt the killers! The gorillas take revenge and want total human genocide! Not that I’d endorse exploiting African warfare just to sell a B-monster movie but “Primeval” did it so they can keep the ball rolling.

SCORE: 2 out of 4 hopping mad Gustaves


Anonymous said...

Again Dr. SunShine needs to know where you find these photos.

Dr. Gore ( said...

Dr Sunshine,

The internet is a wonderful thing. One must dig deep through the muck to find pictures of this caliber. I enjoy digging them up.