No, this isn’t the British ITV/Watch series, but a monster movie from the folks behind Stars Wars: The Empire Strikes Back and Scorpion King (the late Irvin Kershner and director Roel Reiné). But if you are hoping for thrills on the scale of those blockbusters then be prepared, as this adventure is more bargain bin than big budget.
Taking its cue from adventures like Edgar Rice Burroughs’ The Land That Time Forgot and HG Wells’ The Island of Dr Moreau, Primevil concerns a group of friends shipwrecked on an island – located somewhere within the Bermuda Triangle – that’s inhabited by humanoid creatures. Also on the island is Lance Henriksen as a gun-totting priest, who has just eliminated an archeological team at the behest of a very nervous Catholic Church (how very Da Vinci Code).
As the castaways get picked off by the creatures, Anna (Legend of the Seeker’s Emily Foxler) finds a working computer (how very handy) and discovers this lost tribe is actually the missing link to modern man. Cue some Lara Croft/Ripley-style mud-soaked running through the jungle as Anna tries to escape.
Primevil isn’t really much cop – the story is exactly the same as the Billy Zane travesty Surviving Evil – and you’d be forgiven in thinking that you are watching a Predator rip-off (the film-makers have unwisely chosen the same heat vision camera tricks).
But I’m a sucker for men in rubber suits. The cossies here not might be as convincing as the ones in the Predator movies, but thankfully they aren’t silly as the ones you get in films like At The Earth’s Core or 1980s fare like Humanoids of the Deep. Mind you, I couldn’t help thinking of Christopher Heyerdahl’s Big Guy in TV’s Sanctuary every time one of the creatures appeared on screen.
Primevil is an old school creature feature from Revolver Entertainment that thankfully doesn’t rely on CGI for its special effects. It might be cheap and derivative, but it’s a guilty thrill nevertheless. It also boasts a really chilling Omen II-inspired soundtrack.