Primeval Kill tells the ‘true’ story of one of the most prolific serial killers to date. He is said to have killed over 300 people yet still remains at large. Gustave is very much real but not human (as the trailer says)….
Up to this point & when it was first released in 2007 there has been no mention of who or what Gustave is. You see this movie has taken a lot of criticism for the fact that they did their best to hide the fact that Gustave is a crocodile. So a lot of people went to see a movie about a prolific serial killer who was at large & instead got a killer-crocodile movie filled with shitty effects & casual racism. Yeah…they were pissed….
Thankfully I knew what I was getting into as the movie poster shows a croc on it, I’m not a fan of these kinds of movies as they invariably over-play the abilities of said creatures. The last killer croc/gator movie I saw was Lake Placid & I still haven’t gotten over it.
The film opens in the African bush where an anthropologist is looking into a mass grave of bodies. She suspects something sinister is going on & goes to dig up another grave but instead gets attacked by something unseen that drags her out to water. The soldiers she is with get a bit upset & spray bullets into the water before we get a lingering shot of her mangled body being dragged under water.
I really liked this opening, it made me think I was going to be watching a more realistic portrayal ala The Ghost & The Darkness (about the lions – see this movie!) sadly the movie doesn’t follow this up.
Tim is a reporter who just messed up an important story by using falsified evidence, his boss is angry so forces him to go with Aviva, an animal reporter to Africa to get some shots of this famous Crocodile. The 3rd part of their group is black stereo-type Steve who does everything possible to annoy the viewer throughout.
When they land they are greeted by Harry who warns them of a dangerous warlord who controls areas of the African bush, he calls himself Little Gustave & he will kill them if they run into him. Alongside a local hunter/tracker & crocodile expert they set off to try & capture Gustave the giant crocodile.
I had hoped the warlord angle might offer something fresh in a basic killer croc movie but it really doesn’t. In fact its barely used & when the final scenes play out the ‘big’ revelation is nothing more then a big ‘meh’.
So considering this is based on a croc that is supposed to be real they must have gone to serious effort to make this croc look real & terrifying right? Hell no!
Of course they chose to rely on computer effects for Gustave & because of that he looks really fake. To make matters worse he runs really fast, can turn like a rally car & roars. Crocs can’t roar because they have no vocal chords, they hiss. Seriously you have to see Gustave to believe it, its down-right stupid.
Most of the actors do a passable job – nothing to write home. The implied love angle between Tim & Aviva never really takes off mainly because she is pretty ignorant. She ignores local customs, hangs around nasty men wearing very little & at the end gets out of a car when they are trying to escape Gustave to get a dog.
She almost gets them all killed for that….
Special mention must go to Steven…as I mentioned above his role is to say mildly racist things & be as stereo-typical as the come. So the first African man he meets he greets him with “what’s up my brother?” & then gets pissy when the guy ignores him. He compares Gustave to OJ Simpson saying “that he messed up when he killed that white woman” & the ultimate one “I’d never say this in front of a bunch of white people, but slavery was a good thing. Anything you gotta do to get the fuck out of Africa is ok with me”.
It’s not funny….
Ignoring the obvious deception to try & get butts in the seats a movie about a killer croc that might be real is a pretty boring affair. It takes something special to elevate these kinds of movies but it certainly isn’t here.
As soon as I saw Gustave properly my heart sunk, it then all but shrivelled up as I watched him tear his away around the African bush like a formula one car. You have to get the star of your movie right & they get this crocodile really wrong.
Still he’s way more enjoyable to watch then Steve is.