Wednesday, August 25, 2010

A Week of "P" Movies: Primeval

Ah, yes. Primeval. The love-child of Lake Placid and Blood Diamond. But you know what? I love Lake Placid and I love Blood Diamond. So yes, gosh darn it, I love Primeval.

First of all, fuck all of those initial teasers that led us to believe that the movie was about some wacko serial killer that killed over 300 people. Remember that? Remember feeling like an idiot when you found out that the serial killer was actually a fucking CROCODILE? I do. And I was pissed at first, but then I was like, "Giant crocodile? Eating people? I think I'm gonna like that."

The plot: A reporter, producer and cameraman travel to Burundi to do a story on the legend of Gustave, a massive man-eating crocodile that has been feeding on villagers for years. They also take on the impossible task of capturing this beast, so they bring a guide, a croc expert, and a big cage. Yes, I'm sure that will work great. In the midst of their adventure, there is still civil war in Burundi - mass killings and terror at the hands of the elusive Little Gustave, an evil warlord who soon wants this team dead after their cameraman films him slaughtering an entire family.

We're not safe on land, either.
Most people, as I recall, had a problem with the movie incorporating the whole genocide thing into the story. Like, "Please. We just want to watch a crocodile eat a bunch of Africans. Let's not get into real-world issues here." Or they spouted off some bullshit about how the movie "couldn't make up its mind on what it wanted to be: a horror movie or a political commentary." When the fuck did a movie ever have to be either-or? Why shouldn't a movie, based on a true legend, set in Africa, confront the issues that were going on in that region at the time? People might have even been more pissed off if they hadn't included that bit into the film.

To the movie's credit, they give a reason for how Gustave's reign of terror came to be and what this has to do with the genocide. The bodies of those murdered by Little Gustave and his men were dumped in the water and Gustave fed on them, getting his "taste for human blood." The commentary here is obviously that they fear and are trying to kill this beast, when it was man's violence that created him in the first place. Okay, I'll buy that. It's a good enough explanation for the movie.

Basically, Primeval is not a bad movie. If Gustave was the only thing the team had to fear in the movie, then the audience would just scoff and tell them to pack up and leave. Bringing Little Gustave into the mix puts our heroes in a much more dangerous situation. Making him the man who was their contact into the country also shows that he has the power to not let them out of the country, as well.

Ooooh, creepy, isn't it? 

The plot is fairly predictable, but that is not always a bad thing. Of course I knew that we would eventually meet Little Gustave and that Big Gustave would eat him. That was pretty much a given. Doesn't mean that I still didn't enjoy seeing Little Gustave's head crushed like a grape in the big croc's mouth. While he was covered in urine. Good stuff.

Yes, there are a lot of unbelievable situations here where most of the main cast should have easily died. I know that, I see it. The worst scene is at the end when Gustave comes plowing through the back window of the SUV. That car and fucking everybody inside should have been mincemeat after Gustave spent five minutes thrashing around, but amazingly everyone survives and the car still runs. Whatever.

Eat, you beautiful thing you, eat!
Gustave himself actually looks pretty amazing. For an entirely CG crocodile, the effects come off almost seamlessly. He interacts amazingly well with the environment, especially the water. Watching the effects feature on the DVD, you see that a lot of the water was CG as well, and while I know fuck all about computer effects, something tells me this must have been a pain in the ass to accomplish. So a big kudos to the effects team for the work on Primeval. We're well-learned in how really bad CG can ruin a potentially good creature feature (coughcoughSYFYORIGINALScoughcough), but I think Primeval pulled off the task quite well. Despite the fact that Gustave wasn't exactly an ordinary crocodile, like he was supposed to be. I'm thinking the CG dudes added some enhancements and scarier looking scales or something because he looked way more menacing than regular crocs do.

So all in all, it has its flaws and at times some distasteful jokes that some would find offensive, but I would say that Primeval is one of the better animals-run-amok movies out there. It's a serious movie, but still fun, but then not so much fun that it's laughable.

I still don't know how I feel about Dominic Purcell in this movie. Do I like him? Is he really that bad of an actor? Sometimes he's tolerable. I don't know.


  1. I love PRIMEVAL. No question. I'd marry it.

  2. Well, it seems like you and I are the only ones. Or no one else will admit to it.

    1. Watching far its ok..I think I'm more interested in you though? Kinda sexy