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Horror is primal, and PRIMAL is a new Australian horror film that puts a bunch of unhappy campers in touch with various basic instincts as one of their own begins to mutate after diving into a swimming hole. Things get very ugly very quickly as the group find themselves in a situation that has completely escalated out of their control.
“It’s got all the right elements,” says producer Rob Gibson, who also provided the music as well as the exclusive photos seen here. “I think it presents the dilemma of these kids very well. They go into the middle of nowhere, and when things go wrong with one of their company, they basically have to work out whether they should still treat her as one of them—as basically human—or whether they just have to cut their losses and treat her in the same respect she’s treating them, because she’s effectively a predator at that point. It’s a great setup.”
PRIMAL was shot in and around Sydney by John Biggins, the cinematographer who expertly disguised the not-far-from-civilization environments in BLACK WATER, and the gore, fangs, etc. were supplied by the Connelly Make-up FX team, who had their own aquatic experiences on Greg McLean’s ROGUE and also created the grue for McLean’s WOLF CREEK. “We got four days at Fox Studios,” writer/director/editor Josh Reed tells Fango, noting that PRIMAL had its initial inspiration when producer Nigel Christensen went on a camping trip (besides his story credit and producing chores with John Cordukes and Reed, Christensen also served as postproduction supervisor). “I love a good bit of violence,” Reed continues, “I love a good bit of visceral film, but always at the service of the story.”
Reed has been toiling in TV for many years while making award-winning shorts (like RATTUS PISTOFFICUS) in his spare time. That is, when he’s not actually watching films. “Horror is the only genre that I routinely grab off the shelves without knowing anything about it,” he says, “and it’s the only genre where you’re likely to get that sort of surprise film where you just go, ‘Wow! That was really fun and had some great ideas in it.’ ” It’s recommended you check out his website, The House of Reed, here, where you’ll find some more nasty PRIMAL images.
That Reed is a horror enthusiast is perhaps not surprising, given that he’s the son of filmmaker Colin Eggleston, who died in 2002 and was one of the rare Australians to have directed more than one genre picture. The director of LONG WEEKEND, CASSANDRA, etc. passed a heavy baton to his son, who was more than ready to run with it. A die-hard fan, Reed was saddened at the news of the passing of Lux Interior during production, but managed to dedicate some art direction to the Cramps frontman.
PRIMAL features a cast of up-and-coming young actors including Krew Boylan, Lindsay Farris, Rebekah Foord, Damian Freeleagus, Will Traval & Zoe Tuckwell-Smith; the stunts were coordinated by Australia’s legendary Grant Page, whose career stretches back to the original MAD MAX. Since premiering at the Berlin Filmfest market earlier this year, PRIMAL has sought to spread itself out into the world like some ancient virus. Meanwhile, you can find out more about the movie and see its trailer at the official website.
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