MONSTROUS MOVIE REVIEW: Primal Rage (2018)
I first became aware of the 2018 film PRIMAL RAGE after reading a review in the winter of 2022 BIGFOOT QUEST MAGAZINE. The fact that I hadn’t heard of it before was quite surprising to me. The review interested me greatly, so I went to my go to, Amazon. Being a physical media collector, it is difficult to buy something unseen. Thankfully Amazon streams it free as a part of Amazon Prime.
The one thing I noticed before seeing this film was that it received mixed reviews. It seemed like either you liked it or you hated it (another reason not to buy something before you see it). Thankfully the review in BIGFOOT QUEST MAGAZINE was all I needed to put it into my Amazon Prime queue. Not only did I like it, I liked it enough to purchase.
The story revolves around a newly reunited couple, Ashley and Max. Both have had run ins with the law in the past, usually revolving around drugs and alcohol. Max just got out of jail after serving his sentence and the couple are trying to make a go of it again. As they are talking to each other as they drive, they accidentally hit a man on the side of the road. When they get out to investigate, they quickly realize that they did not do the extensive damage to the person as he is torn up.
They soon encounter a creature forcing them to run into the woods to get away from it. Before taking its human meal from the side of the road. the monster pushes their vehicle down into a ravine. For the rest of the film the couple tries to stay alive, not only by staying away from the creature, which has a strong basis in native American mythology, but they also need to avoid if possible, the group of rednecks hunting in the woods.
To me, the movie is part PREDATOR (1987) and part PUMPKINHEAD (1988). The cinematography is beautiful and most of the film is shot in the woods. Though an open expanse, you still feel a sense of being claustrophobic with how dense the woods are. The use of fog is perfect, adding a lot of atmosphere and tension. You just never know what might come out of the woods that you won’t see until it’s too late, between the thickness of the woods and the fog itself.
The creature itself, that can only be described as Bigfoot, starts out wearing a mask and some armor, made from tree bark and wood, very reminiscent of Predator. When the mask comes off, his face is a combination of Predator, Fluffy from CREEPSHOW (1982), a primate, and a cat. Bigfoot is done with practical effects and the design is wonderful. You definitely would not want to encounter this creature when out in the woods.
The kills are very gory and again, done practically. When Bigfoot starts taking out the rednecks, you actually cheer him on. It’s not too long though before you realize that this creature is an equal-opportunity murderer. This is one of those films that you can just sit back in the dark and enjoy. I found it nicely paced, great acting all around, and with enough horror and gore to satisfy most fans of the genre. This is definitely one the better Bigfoot movies out there and is one I highly recommend.
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