Primeval

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Rating: R

Starring:
Dominic Purcell as Tim Manfrey
Brooke Langton as Aviva Masters
Orlando Jones as Steven Johnson
Jürgen Prochnow as Jacob Krieg
Gideon Emery as Mathew Collins
Gabriel Malema as Jojo
Linda Mpondo as Gold Tooth
Lehlohonolo Makoko as Beanpole
Dumisani Mbebe as Harry
Eddy Bekombo as Ato
Chris April as Captain
Ernest Ndhlovu as Shaman
Erika Wessels as Dr. Cathy Andrews
Vivian Moodley as Indian UN Officer
Lika Van Den Bergh as Rachel

Special Features:
Commentary by: Director Michael Katleman and visual effects supervisor Paul Linden
Croc-umentary: Bringing Gustave to Life
Deleted scenes

Other Info:
Widescreen (2.35:1)
Dolby Digital 5.1 Surround Sound
French Languages
French and Spanish Subtitles
Running Time: 94 Minutes

Synopsis:
The following is from the DVD cover:

“Inspired by the true story of a legendary 25-foot man-eating crocodile comes the intense, terrifying horror movie ‘Primeval,’ starring Dominic Purcell (TV’s ‘Prison Break’) and Orlando Jones (‘Runaway Jury,’ ‘Evolution’). An American news crew, determined to capture this voracious monster and stop his demonic rampage, travel deep within the darkest reaches of Africa to hunt their prey. But Gustave, as the natives call him, is also on the hunt — always on the move, always elusive, always hungry for human flesh. Heart-pounding fear is nonstop in this edge-of-your-seat nail-biter about the cunning killer who continues to blaze his blood-soaked trail of terror.”

“Primeval” is rated R for strong graphic violence, brutality, terror and language.

Mini-Review:
“Primeval” was a lot better than I was expecting it to be. I was anticipating a straight-to-video caliber monster movie. Maybe because my expectations were so low I ended up enjoying it a lot more.

“Primeval” is your standard monster movie. It has your generic hero, characters being picked off one by one, the obligatory dumb scene where someone risks their life to save a dog, and a real world animal doing things in a movie that it would never do in the real world. It’s basically building off of the “Jaws” playbook. And I have to admit that I have a soft spot for those kinds of films. I love a good monster movie.

But “Primeval” has a few other features that make it noteworthy. The first is the African setting. The backgrounds and extra characters give the movie a unique feel. The political turmoil between warring tribes also features prominently in the story. In fact, there are long stretches where the crocodile, Gustave, is the least of our heroes’ worries. This helps raise it above many recent monster movies.

The CG for the crocodile also looked pretty good, at least on the small screen. It does things a real crocodile would never do (like run across an open field at full speed), but it looks cool so it is forgivable. The CG is also used to kill characters in unique and grisly ways, so gore fans should be happy.

The only noteworthy member of the cast is Orlando Jones as Steven Johnson. He brings much needed comic relief to the story and livens things up quite a bit. He has some amusing comments about Africa. While “Primeval” isn’t quite as funny as “Lake Placid,” Jones provides the only comedy this movie has to offer.

Apparently when this movie hit theaters, it was marketed as a serial killer film. As you can see from the cover, that’s not the case with the DVD. So if you like monster movies, I think you’ll enjoy “Primeval.”

The bonus features are rather slim with this DVD. You’ll find your standard commentary with the director and visual effects supervisor. The “making of” video gets heavy into the challenges of filming in Africa and the CG effects for the crocodile. There are three deleted scenes. One of them features an alternate death scene with one of the characters at the end of the film. There’s also a gratuitous shower scene that was ultimately dropped from the movie.

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