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PRIMEVIL
DVD region 2. Revolver.

PrimevilNo relation to the popular TV show, this is the story of five annoying wankers who find themselves stranded on a mysterious island after a castaway they have rescued wrecks their yacht. After spending too long bickering and moaning, they finally discover an abandoned camp, where a video recording reveals that the island is inhabited by strange, primitive humanoids – missing links if you like – and that a religious hit squad is out to prevent news of this scientific discovery being revealed.

The Church Assassins are led by Lance Henricksen, who gets about five minutes of screen time before this element of the story is dispensed with – you suspect the whole purpose of this subplot is to have an excuse to crowbar a big name into the credits without having to spend much money. After that, we have to endure the rest of the cast being picked off one by one in badly filmed, messy attacks by the ape men, who act like Predator (leaping, unseen, through the trees while rubbishy visual effects represent their limited field of vision) and look like cast-offs from an old Roger Corman film.

PrimevilEventually, we’re down to the Final Girl, Brianna Brown, who makes her way into a series of caverns, at which point the film turns into The Descent. It starts to look better here, but there’s still precious little actually happening, and the emotional discovery of her boyfriend, still alive, has no impact because none of these characters were at all likeable anyway, so you won’t really give a damn about their ultimate face.

To be fair, the final 10 minutes of the film really pick up the pace and start to deliver something more interesting, as our surviving girl is forced to face her fears and learns that she has to fit in with the primitives to avoid being killed – rather like the ending of Last Cannibal World, in fact (hardly a surprise, as the influence of the jungle cannibal subgenre is all too obvious throughout). The final shots manage to find an emotional core that the rest of the film is missing, but unfortunately, it’s far too little too late.

Primevil is horror by numbers, lifting elements from other films and mixing them into a generally unsatisfying whole. It’s not wholly awful, but in the end feels like a bland TV movie that you’d only sit through if your remote control laws broken and you couldn’t flick channels.

DAVID FLINT

BUY IT NOW (UK)

 

 

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