Martin is a Hollywood special effects artist and actor with anger management issues. At the instruction of his director, Warren, and his girlfriend, Nicole, Martin seeks the consult of Dr. William Stein (Reggie Bannister) for hypnosis to deal with his problem. Though Martin leaves feeing great, little does he know Dr. Stein may not be a true therapist – and his hypnosis session may have unleashed a primitive beast from within him.
Most horror fans have learned their fair share about psychology though they may not know it. Primitive gives simplified education in Freud’s structural model of the psyche: the id, ego and super-ego. The id is raw primitive instinct that does not know what is good and what is evil. The ego tries to help the id with realistic long-term solutions and the super-ego fights the id’s want for instant gratification and gives feelings of guilt. While the possibility of Martin’s id breaking away from his body to wreak havoc on the world plays out, Martin’s mother passes away and he has to return to his hometown of Baronville. Each character within this town is a perfect caricature. From the bumbling cops to the small town bar owner, the people in Baronville are well written and well acted. Soon enough, they all begin to meet their demise as electrical interference fills the town and black goo fills their sewers.
While ooze found in toilets and gore filled deaths are disturbing in their own right, there is something else in this film that left me a little uneasy. Actor Matt O’Neill (Martin) and actress Kristin Lorenz (Nicole) look eerily alike with the same mouth structure. I hesitated a moment – is it camera trickery and one person is playing both parts? Are they related? Thankfully, no. Otherwise, watching a rightly placed sex scene (guys, there are boobs!) would’ve been downright awkward.
Primitive, though incredibly campy, is quite a good film. A conveniently placed backstory on Martin’s rage since a child does not feel overdone, making Dr. Stein’s agoraphobia perfectly placed into the story from the lead up of a newspaper on his front porch to his debating whether to leave his apartment to help. The flow of the story is actually superb from start to finish, and the monster suit is frightening, even if it isn’t very realistic. Primitive isn’t overly intriguing or amazing, but everything about seems to be wrapped up in a nice little bow, something that a lot of movies forget about these days.
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