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Starring: Dominic Purcell, Brooke Langton, Orlando Jones, Jurgen Prochnow, Gideon Emery
Director: Michael Katleman
Rating: NC-16 (Some Violence & Gore)
Year Made: 2007




- Crocumentary: Bringing Gustave To Life
- Deleted Scenes
- Audio Commentary by Director Michael Katleman and Visual Effects Supervisor Paul Linden





Languages: English/Spanish/Thai
Subtitles: English/Trad Mandarin/Bahasa/Korean/Portuguese/
Aspect Ratio: 2.35:1
Sound: Dolby Digital 5.1/Dolby Digital 2.0
Running Time: 1 hr 34 mins
Region Code: 3
Distributor: Scorpio East




In one of the most remote places on earth, a bloodthirsty serial killer has claimed over 300 victims and is still at large to this day. Now inspired by the true story of the world's most prolific killer comes PRIMEVAL, a nail-biting horror-thriller that follows an American news crew determined to capture this terrifying murderer alive. The danger begins as producer Tim Freeman, cameraman Steven Johnson and their rag-tag team set out on a journey up-river in search of their subject. But the deeper they probe into the mystery of this elusive assassin, the deadlier their trip becomes.


The story behind the marketing for “Primeval” sounds far more interesting than the premise of the movie. When it was first released theatrically in the States, no one knows it’s a movie about a killing croc all thanks to the talented bunch of marketing people at Disney (financed under Hollywood Pictures). The tagline reads something like this: “Inspired by the true story of the most prolific serial killer in history."

What’s your initial impression of it? A slasher horror-thriller perhaps? And to top off, the giant croc and cast were never featured on the posters except images of some gruesome skeletons.

Ironically the campaign work so well that nobody knows the main star in fact is a twenty-feet amphibian. In the end, the movie only earns a dismal US$10 million domestically throughout its run. Barely enough to cover the production costs.

Six months later, the threatening picture of the big croc finally make its first and last desperate attempt on the cover of the “Primeval” DVD. And here we are reviewing this home video product.

The story follows a team consisting of television crew, a scientist and journalist being send to the African country of Burundi in search of a giant crocodile nicknamed Gustave, which have killed hundreds of locals. Sounds like a mix of “Lake Placid” with “Anacondas”?

Wait, there’s more to it. How about throwing in a stash of “Blood Diamond” as well? To make matters worse, the team is not only confronted by a terrifying creature but also a civil war which is brewing there.

Shot entirely in South Africa, “Primeval” boasts excellent cinematography and exotic locations that even the National Geographic Channel will be proud of. Although Stan Winston is not here to advise on the creature effects, I must say for the entire length, the CG effects for the big croc is pretty much believable. Check out the scene whereby the cameraman, Steven Johnson (played by Orlando Jones) is being chased by it to prove my point.

Despite the few good points mentioned, the ultimate failure of “Primeval” lies in the treatment of the script. It doesn’t belong to an action drama genre or a horror thriller genre. Half the time, TV producer Tim Freeman (Dominic Purcell who filmed this during his break from “Prison Break” and conveniently spot the same cost-saving hairdo and stubble) and his gang are running away from the civil war soldiers than the croc. There’s even an action car-chase that looks pretty out-of-place here. Seriously it lacks any notions of good-old suspense, horror and fun.

It’s a sin to say that it’s not even as half-cheesy as “Anacondas”. Worse, it makes another croc thriller, “Lake Placid” Oscar-worthy.


“Crocumentary: Bringing Gustave To Life”
is a short feature which touches on how the animators create the CG creature. I suggest you watch the movie first as the feature is spoilers-filled.

There are 3 "Deleted Scenes", none of them really crucial and most are just extended cuts of the original scenes. Naughty viewers out there might prefer the “Shower” scene perhaps.

Surprisingly, the “Audio Commentary by Director Michael Katleman and Visual Effects Supervisor Paul Linden” is a lively one. Watching the movie while listening to their bantering adds more fun to it.


Most of the croc attacks took place at night and fortunately the transfer has no problem bringing out the dark levels and saturation. Like mentioned earlier in my review, the gorgeous shots of the wild are bright and natural.

Equipped with at least 10 subtitle options and 4 languages, this Code 3 DVD is more than sufficient to cater to the masses. And the DD5.1 and 2.0 tracks are a boast with a generous helping of surround sound effects such as gunshots and loud growls courtesy of Gustave.

PARTING THOUGHTS: Remove that civil war subplot, add in more Gustave and "Primeval" might triumph as a good chessy B-grade movie. But alas it's a case of doing too much with too little to show.



Review by Linus Tee


. Primeval (Movie Review)

Other titles from Scorpio East:

. Forest of Death

. The Fox and the Hound 2

. The Fox and the Hound

. Dumbo

. One Last Dance

. Protege

. The Curse of the Golden Flower

. A Battle Of Wits

. Rain Dogs

. Heavenly Mission

. Exiled

. Operation Undercover

. Diary

. Fatal Contact

. Singapore Dreaming

. Rob-B-Hood

. On The Edge

. The World's Fastest Indian

. Dragon Tiger Gate

. Unarmed Combat

. Crazy Stone

. Election 2

. We Are Family

. I Not Stupid Too

. The Shoe Fairy

. 2 Becomes 1

. 49 Days


. Dragon Eye Congee

. A Chinese Tall Story

. Perhaps Love


. Election

. The Myth

. Wait 'Til You're Older

. The Maid


This review is made possible with the kind support from Scorpio East


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