JUNE 5, 2007


Primeval was the most mismarketed film of all time. A giant crocodile is awesome, right? So what does the fucking Sphinx do? They tried to make you thin that the villain was some sort of African swamp based voodoo serial killer. Yeah, that’s just as enticing. That’s like marketing Scream 2 as a romantic thriller (which they DID. It’s on the DVD. Watch it, it’s fucking astonishing.). Even stranger, they repeatedly told us that it was based on a real story, so anyone who googled the damn thing would find out that the real killer was a crocodile! Then again, maybe since the croc was 100% CG, and only in the movie for like 10 minutes tops, maybe they didn’t have any footage of him in order to put it in the trailer.

As monster movies go, I’ve seen worse, but there’s a severe lack of croc action. And the fact that there's a totally unsatisfying climax really hurt. Rather than, I dunno, KILL the goddamn thing, they just drive away, haunted house movie style! But since the real croc (who is named Gustave, by the way) is still alive, the writers and director chose to keep to the facts. But at the same time, the director kept saying how the movie isn’t meant to be taken seriously and you should just have fun with it. Wouldn’t it be more fun to provide the audience with a crowd-pleasing, “Smile, you sunofabitch!” style moment? Instead, they plug the durability of Range Rovers and the movie ends. Gustave lives! ....hurrah? Gustave was also the movie’s original title, according to director Michael Katleman, but it was changed, perhaps so folks wouldn’t think it was about Klimt running around killing people in the jungle.

Now, in case you’re wondering why I know so much about the director’s feelings on the film, I watched this movie “with” him, as part of the world’s first online junket. Here is the setup:

That is just about the entire desktop image, so yes, that’s how big the movie was. With a sub-youtube level of quality no less. It was so blurry and laggy at times I couldn’t even tell if the CG was bad (maybe that was the point). Katleman chatted in ‘real time’ with us, except ‘real time’ was like 20 minutes later. At one point someone asked “How did you do that shot?” and I hadn’t the foggiest goddamn idea what they were referring to anymore. I, of course, asked only important, thought-provoking questions, like “Is Dominic Purcell capable of buttoning his shirt?” (surprisingly, Katelman answered that it’s in Dom’s contract that he wears it unbuttoned. I hope to God that is true.). At first I thought the questions were being screened, but then another guy asked why the movie went direct to DVD (it didn’t), and the director was like “Ouch”. Hahahaha SBT!

The movie was also cropped, a big no no for me, especially for a film I haven’t seen. Adding insult to injury, they showed us an extra feature afterwards, which not only had superior video quality, but was shown in the correct aspect ratio. Goddammit, Sphinx!

Sadly, the film tanked, so we won't be seeing Primeval: The Revenge, in which Gustave travels thousands of miles back to America to seek revenge against Dominic Purcell's family. And the world will be poorer for it.

What say you?


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