Fantasia Reviews

[Fantasia] ‘The Primevals’ review: The achievement of a dream

David Allen was a genius stop motion animator. He worked on several memorable films like The Howling, Twilight Zone: The Movie, Willow, Ghostbusters II, Honey, I Shrunk the Kids and also had a long association with producer Charles Band with titles including Dolls, Puppet Master, Bride of Re-Animator, Subspecies and Demonic Toys. He took the director’s seat a few times with The Dungeonmaster and Puppet Master II. His influence on the world of special effects is undeniable. His dream was to make the movie The Primevals which he started directing years ago. But unfortunately he could not complete it because of his cancer which ended his life in 1999. Today, thanks to Charles Band and longtime Allen associate Chris Endicott, the dream is now achieved and it is amazing.

In the Himalayas, a group of Sherpas track down and kill a humanoid creature. Dr. Claire Collier (Juliet Mills) assumes it is the legendary yeti. She discovers that the specimen has undergone some kind of surgery in the brain. With the help of her former student Matt Connor (Richard Joseph Paul, Oblicion, Vampirella), a hunter Rondo Montana (Leon Russom, A Quiet Place) and a young Sherpa (Tai Thai, Universal Soldier), she starts an expedition to unravel the mystery of the yeti. But those fellows aren’t ready for what they will discover. Their trek results in an encounter with a tribe of primitive hominids hidden in some kind of lost world.

The Primevals is a perfect tribute to Ray Harryhausen and science fiction movies. Throughout the film, we think of iconic works such as King Kong, The Time Machine, Star Trek, V… A lot of creatures can be seen and they are all wonderfully animated in stop motion. There is also some miniature sets and fake snow. This gem from another era will delight nostalgic fans of vintage special effects. The actors are great and we care about them. David Allen may not have had much experience as a director but he knew what he was doing and we see the love for his project from beginning to the end. The script is well written and the music is great. Everything is entertaining and full of surprises. We definitely don’t get bored with The Primevals. This novelty from the 90s brings a breath of fresh air to a time where everything is done in CGI.


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