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Primal

Year: 2010
Production Co: Known Associates
Director: Josh Reed
Producer: Josh Reed
Writer: Josh Reed/Nigel Christensen

Someone somewhere had a good idea – make a monster movie and anchor it somehow to uniquely Australian visuals and pre-European culture, then have a team of attractive young adventurers stumble across it and suffer the gory consequences. Unfortunately they went on to employ either a crap screenwriter, a crap director or a bunch of crap actors. Probably all three.

They're searching for some sort of scientific breakthrough or something, going to camp in the bush to view ancient cave paintings, but there's something in the soil... or maybe the cave... or maybe it's in the water. I don't know which, because by the time it was over nothing had really been explained.

You don't know if the nefarious force is some ancient spirit, a zombie-making chemical in the soil or something else entirely. And when various members of the cast turn into monsters that apparently have to eat human flesh, none of it seems to explains the huge, shockingly rendered CGI worm thing the heroine comes across inside the cave.

The blonde girl who seems to be the most sexually adventurous (cliché number one) comes down with some sort of illness that makes her grow horrible elongated sharp teeth, bleed constantly from the mouth and attack her friends, transformed into some sort of monstrous animal.

It's up to the rest of them to decide whether to try and capture her or kill her and get the hell out of Dodge, which they can't because of a series of plot contrivances that comprise cliché number two.

If those faults weren't enough, the awful script and deplorable acting take care of the rest. It's a classic example of what's wrong with many Australian movies – they try too hard to copy iconic American genre movies and fail dismally. If it had been a creatively successful film it might have made me forget that.

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