Written by: Michael Den Boer on July 20th, 2010
Theatrical Release Date: Italy, 1988
Director: Vittorio Rambaldi
Writer: Umberto Lenzi
Cast: Patrick Lowe, Cheryl Arutt, Sarah Buxton, Mitch Watson, Bo Svenson
DVD released: July 13th, 2010
Approximate running time: 92 minutes
Aspect Ratio: 1.77:1 Anamorphic Widescreen
Sound: Dolby Digital Stereo English
DVD Release: Code Red
Region Coding: Region 0 NTSC
Retail Price: $22.98
Synopsis: After it becomes agitated by the flashes of a reporters camera. A baboon that has been exposed to experimental drugs escapes and bites a reporter. The contaminated reporter leaves his wound unchecked and slowly transforms into a homicidal maniac.
Primal Rage was the directorial debut Vittorio Rambaldi, the son Carlo Rambaldi who created special effects for the following films Lizard in a Woman’s Skin, Deep Red, Close Encounters of the Third, Alien, Possession and E.T. the Extra- Terrestrial. The screenplay for Primal Rage was written by Umberto Lenzi a versatile director who is best known for his cannibal films Eaten Alive! and Cannibal Ferox. The score for Primal Rage was composed by Claudio Simonetti, a frequent collaborator of Dario Argento. Some of the music from Primal Rage originally appeared in Dario Argento’s Opera.
Primal Rage is representative of the schlocky horror films that emerged from Italy in the late 1980’s. The film industry in Italy was in decline with a shift towards making films for television. Production wise Primal Rage is at best a notch above the aforementioned television productions that were becoming more prevalent in Italy in the late 1980’s. The direction is lackluster, the actors just mundanely go through the motions and the dialog is deliriously awful. Also you know that you are in for an awkward evening of mayhem and debauchery. When this film’s main comedy relief are a trio of rapist jocks. The one area where this film is mildly successful are its gore related moments which were created by Academy Award winning special effects artist Carlo Rambaldi. When all is said and done, while Primal Rage is not as bad as say Black Demons or Zombie 4: After Death. It is still an acquired taste that many viewers will find bitter.
Code Red presents Primal Rage in a anamorphic widescreen that retains the film’s original aspect ratio. This a solid looking Hi Def sourced transfer that has been flagged for progressive playback.
This release comes with one audio option, a Dolby Digital stereo mix in English. The audio sound clear and balanced throughout.
Extras for this release include trailers for Family Honor, Horror High, The Night Child, The Black Klansman, Slithis and a Long Ride From Hell. This DVD comes with no menu. The trailer for Family Honor plays before the film and the other trailers play after the film. Overall Primal Rage gets a strong audio / video presentation from Code Red, who present the film for the first time ever fully uncut on DVD.