Killer bigfoot movies sound like something that should flood the horror movie market, or at least one would think, but the last notable movie I can remember about the legendary sasquatch was the slapstick family film ‘Harry and the Henderson’s’. According to a quick online search, however, apparently there have been at least 50 movies about the giant creature – the majority of which were released straight-to-video or digital video. ‘Primal Rage’ stuck out to me mainly due to the title, which initially made me think of the dinosaur fighting game that was in every arcade in the 90’s. Although I was momentarily disappointed that this film was not going to be about giant, fighting dinosaurs and monsters (‘Rampage’ will soon fill that void), my interest was piqued by the thought of a red-eyed killing machine that used tree bark as armor and long-range weaponry. One couple and an unlucky group of hunters find out just how ruthless the bigfoot is, and what happens next isn’t pretty.
I know this isn’t a blockbuster Hollywood movie, but the practical effects used in every death scene is top notch. Even the effects used to animate the bigfoot face look incredibly realistic. One thing I worry about when watching these off-the-wall horror movies is how realistic (or stupid) they will make the monster look, but I was pleasantly surprised with this film. The first bigfoot kill scene is very brutal and actually made me jump at first because I was not expecting to see something so raw and intense. Bigfoot is obviously highly intelligent in this movie, given the fact that he can use a bow and arrow and craft armor for himself, but don’t let that mislead you into thinking he won’t also use his bare hands for his dirty work. These scenes are so over the top they remind me of the ‘A Nightmare on Elm Street’ death scenes from the 80’s horror films, and I love it. If you are prone to having a weak stomach for gore, you might want to skip this one.
I mentioned this wasn’t a blockbuster Hollywood movie, but it’s always nice to see when filmmakers take their work seriously, and these filmmakers absolutely took their work seriously. The deliberate awkwardness and natural tension built up while the couple are walking with the hunters make the scenes feel “real” and focused. So many low budget filmmakers just record scenes and say, “Oh well, that’s the best we’re going to get” but this one is different. Each character in the film has their own personality and the actors portray them well. Granted the acting wasn’t what you’d get from A-list actors but it doesn’t always need to be in order to represent the characters in the story well. Sometimes just making you feel something in a scene is enough, at least in my opinion. Not all actors were great, however, (I’m looking at you, woman searching for lost husband at the police station).
As ridiculous as it may sound, I’m actually giving this movie about an armored, bow and arrow-wielding bigfoot a positive review. The plot may sound contrived but the execution was amazing, and dammit the movie was entertaining. The effort put into the practical effects alone won me over but the acting and cinematography sealed it for me – this was an enjoyable and entertaining horror movie. It’s not something you’d find on a movie buff’s list of classics but it is definitely something that should be enjoyed on a Friday night with friends, or as part of your Halloween horror movie marathon. I’m not going to spoil the ending but I will say I hope this gets a sequel. I need to see more of this ridiculous, amazing woodland monster.
This movie is…
Suspenseful, disgusting, and very entertaining.
Cheers and goodnight.
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