Primal Rage (2018). Starring Casey Gagliardi, Andrew Joseph Montgomery and Jameson Pazak. Directed by Patrick Magee.
Primal Rage, not to be confused with the 1988 monkey virus film or the 1994 arcade game that took me to the cleaners financially during The Summer That Shall Not Be Talked About. No, what we have here is a brand new Bigfoot movie featuring practical effects!
First off, we have to address the issue that Bigfoot is a doomed genre. Despite having thousands of believers and people who will gladly sit down any day of the week to read a Bigfoot book or watch a Bigfoot movie, no studio has ever managed to give us a decent Bigfoot movie. They just can’t seem to do it. From The Legend Of Boggy Creek and The Capture Of Bigfoot in the 70’s, to Night Of The Demon and Demonwarp in the 80’s, all the way up to Abominable, Bigfoot Country and Bigfoot Wars in the new millennium, what we have is the cinematic equivalent of infinite monkeys banging away at infinite typewriters and yet not one is capable of producing a decent Bigfoot movie, they’re universally complete and utter SHIT. It’s a doomed genre, I tell you.
Apart from Exists in 2014. That was good.
So this movie starts out all Backcountry as freshly released prisoner Max is picked up by his wife Ashley. Of course driving through the isolated woods they get attacked by the Bigfoot, leaving them stranded. Until they come across some guys hunting. Here the film tries to inject some Deliverance type menace but the hunters are just too stupid to give any real sense of threat. In fact you could remove these characters from the movie completely, they’re just a pointless distraction.
Eventually the Bigfoot reappears, taking out the pointless hunters. This is where the film scores points. This Bigfoot is no mindless creature, this one is a fucking badass Rambo motherfucker. It uses bows and arrows and bear traps to take care of business. The creature design is also pretty fucking sweet and spends the first part of the movie wearing a mask and blending seamlessly into the background, Predator style. Ah yes, Predator. More about that later.
Around the one hour mark, the movie loses its way as it tries to inject some Native American mumbo jumbo complete with an aged crone straight out of Pumpkinhead. This honestly serves no purpose whatsoever and just comes off as filler before we get to the final act.
Ok, the final act is basically a remake of the climatic end scenes in Predator, complete with mud caked hero in battle with the unmasked creature. Minus the exploding digital watch. The problem is, Max is no Dutch and the Bigfoot is no Yautja.
Despite all of these short comings, I liked this film. As I said, the creature design is awesome and the decision to use practical effects is always a win. At the end of the day, if you’re a Bigfoot fan who has given up on the genre, give this a go because this is a movie with a great Bigfoot that tries something new and will give you 90 minutes of dumb Bigfoot fun.
Steve Barnard lurks in the Stygian swamps of South America. He divides his time between scouring ancient jungles for the lost City of the Monkey Children and watching horror movies. Literally any horror movie he can get his hands on. Especially Japanese ones.