Unrated - Cinema of the Extreme

Not to be confused with Steffan Schlachtenhaufenís 2007 Bigfoot movie of the same name, PRIMAL concerns six travellers on a drive and hike in the Australian wilderness who find themselves at the mercy of a monstrous entity that has survived for more than twelve thousand years by infecting animal life-forms with a mutating viral strain that when in contact with humans transforms them into flesh-eating monsters.

The script doesnít take itself seriously with several running jokes relating to the validity of crude language and sexuality. Character development, as to be expected in an unpretentious monster movie, is a little thin on the ground but with enough insight to allow the audience to grasp the irony of various character traits that lead to the individual memberís downfall. First to fall victim is feisty Mel (Krew Boylan) whose decision to skinny dip in a pool of infected leeches, kick-starts the action. Mel soon discovers she has a bad case of edentulism but not to worry as she swiftly grows a fresh set of shark-like razors, designed to rip out the throats of prey and tear bodies apart to facilitate swift devouring.

With new found strength, constitution and agility that include the ability to throw around double her body weight, leap inhuman distances and sustain hefty body-blows that fail to even stun, Mel makes a fearsome enemy, and only fire seems to offer any protection, for along with the beastís primal attributes comes its original fears.

Despite an enormous amount of CGI that transform the set into a forest, accentuate the gore quota, and provide a reasonably good monster that might have stepped out of an August Derleth Lovecraft pastiche, PRIMAL is an above average horror film that certainly delivers its action. The script is not very original and bares more than a passing resemblance to the likes of CABIN FEVER and THE RUINS; the latter also serves up a prehistoric entity that was once served by ancient pagans with a penchant for human sacrifice. Nevertheless, this latest entry in the terror-Australis field, from director Josh Reed, does what it says on the box and worth catching if you like your horror slick and none-too serious.

Carl T. Ford


Directed by Josh Reed

English language/ Australia / 2009 / 85 Mins approx / Colour / Rated 18

Studio: Kaleidoscope

Release date: 28th February 2011
DVD and Blu-ray


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