Movie Review: ‘Primal Rage’ a Hoot of a Bigfoot Pic
Poor Max (Andrew Joseph Montgomery): on his first day out of the pen, he makes a poor impression on wife Ashley (Casey Gagliardi) during a car quickie, some local hillbillies harass him outside a gas station, and he spills beer all over the car when his spouse runs over a half-eaten naked guy.
Oh, and Bigfoot pelts him in the head with a rock, sending him helplessly tumbling down a hill and into a stream.
In Primal Rage, the feature debut of special effects technician Patrick Magee (who worked on features like Spider-Man and Alien vs. Predator), Bigfoot can not only toss rocks but also slice up his victims using knives and axes. He’s also an expert archer, cleanly picking off well-armed hunters from the cover of foliage.
That’s bad news for our protagonists, who find themselves lost in the woods and stalked by the drooling, hairy creature after Ashley unwisely decides to jump in the river to rescue her husband.
Ashley and Max also happen across those well-armed hunters, led by the sleazy BD (Marshal Hilton) who taunt and harass the unfortunate couple rather than help them out of the woods. They’re more of an immediate threat than the creature for our leads, and make for some great Bigfoot fodder when the inevitable occurs, which is sooner than expected.
Finding an desolate stretch of road after responding to a 911 call Ashley was able to place before running after hubby, a Sheriff (Eloy Casados) quickly deduces that this is the work of a bigfoot, here called Oh-Mah (the film’s original title). He clues us in to some unnecessary backstory of the creature, rooted in some half-assed Native American mythos.
Primal Rage (not to be confused with the video game series of the same name, which also included a bigfoot-like character) stalls and stumbles on its way to a lengthy 106-minute runtimes, and the final act is a hazy fightout deep in the woods that offers few surprises.
But the costumes, makeup and gory violence, all accomplished via practical effects, are of high quality for a production like this, and the central creature (who even dons a pseudo-costume himself, for some reason), is a standout.
And despite how silly the whole production is, Primal Rage never winks at the audience; it takes itself oh-so-seriously, which only adds to the fun. Only the during the bloody final act, which also includes a questionable rape scene and a bizarre Native American witch character, do things get truly icky.
Primal Rage may be the best bigfoot movie to come out yet - at least of the horror variety - which isn’t saying much in a genre spearheaded by the likes of The Legend of Boggy Creek. It most resembles the gruesome tastelessness of Night of the Demon, though it’s a far more polished production.