In a movie filled with legginess, scrunchies, leotards and unplanned upskirts, i.e. all the things I like, I can't believe I'm going to start off my review of Primal Rage with a tangent about Bo Svenson's lackluster ponytail. I know, what I'm about to say is sort of scrunchie-related, but my tangent doesn't pertain to Bo Svenson's scrunchie, it has more to do with the flimsy nature of the ponytail itself. Poorly constructed and ill-conceived, every time Bo Svenson's weak ass ponytail would appear onscreen, I found myself teetering on the brink of madness. Now, normally, I'm in favour of ponytails on men, but the one Bo Svenson (Night Warning) sports in this movie gives male ponytails a bad name. In fact, if I had a ponytail while I watched this movie, I would have cut it off in disgust the second I had the chance. It's a good thing I already went through my ponytail phase, or else we would have been... uh, I guess, cleaning up a huge wad of hair. What I think I'm trying to say is this: I despised Bo Svenson's ponytail in this movie. In order to restore my faith in male ponytails, I watched a random episode of Parker Lewis Can't Lose. Why that show and not say... something else? It's simple, really, P.L.C.L. features Frank Lemmer (played by Taj Johnson), my male ponytail inspiration. Even though mine had more of an undercut vibe to it, Lemmer's male ponytail is what enabled me to traverse the 1990s pretty much unscathed. It's a hell of a thing being a man with a ponytail in the 1990s.
Okay, great, now that we got that out of the way, who wants to obsess over denim skirts, leotard-ensnared butt-cracks and the mother of all upskirts? Whoa, whoa, calm down, folks. If I had known you were that perverted, I would have scrapped my scrunchie screed all-together. Anyway, let's get down to business, shall we?
Oh, and before I continue, you can't watch this film without seeing Nightmare Beach first. While I suppose you could watch Primal Rage first... What I mean is, you need to see both films. Sure, one is about a killer in a motorcycle helmet terrorizing spring breakers and the other is about monkey-pox-infected college students terrorizing the campus of a Florida university (Florida International University, to be specific - Go Panthers!), but they essentially take place in the same universe.
Yeah, yeah, I know, every movie in existence technically takes place in the same universe. But does every movie feature the same cast, the same crew, the same locale and the same red motor scooter? Trust me, they don't. (And this one does?) Haven't you been paying attention? Yes, it does. Jeez.
Keen observers couldn't help but notice that the red motor scooter Sarah Buxton famously rides in Nightmare Beach didn't have a rear-view mirror on one of its handlebars. (So?) So? Well, the one Sam Nash (Patrick Lowe), roving reporter extraordinaire (he's basically a journalism student), drives in this movie does. The question is, are they the same scooter? I mean, how many red motor scooters could there have been in southern Florida circa 1988? Not many I'm guessing.
I've just been informed that red motor scooters were in fact quite commonplace in southern Florida during the late 1980s. Who knew?
Either way, the film starts off with Sam Nash driving around the picturesque F.I.U. campus on his red motor scooter like a boss. Noticing a leggy blonde getting her car towed by an unscrupulous tow truck driver, Sam Nash steps in to help the leggy blonde in distress. After he explains to the tow truck driver that what he is doing is illegal, this so-called "numb nuts" (Sam's words, not mine) realizes that he has no choice but to let her car loose. And just like that, Lauren Daly (Cheryl Arutt), the leggy blonde, has found her knight in shining armor. Or, to put it in terms you'll understand, her pussy just exploded into a thousand little pieces.
When Lauren and Sam are finished making goo-goo eyes at one another, the former goes home to her apartment, where she finds Debbie (Sarah Buxton), her new roommate, poking around in her closet. And the latter heads to the offices of his school newspaper, where he covers for his pal Frank Duffy (Mitch Watson), who is in deep trouble. Why? Whoa. Aren't we curious today. Well, it would seem that an article Duffy wrote about "stud baggers" (female students who are paid to have sex with the school's football players) didn't go over well with some of the ladies mentioned in the piece.
And therein lies the difference between Sam and Duffy when it comes to reporting. While Sam is all about exposing the truth using traditional methods, Duffy sees himself more as a gonzo journalist.
It's while doing a story about animal cruelty on campus that these divergent styles clash with one another, as Sam tries to get the scoop using conventional means, while Duffy decides to break into the school's lab, Animal Liberation Front-style, in order to get to the bottom of things.
Unfortunately, Duffy is bitten on the arm by a demented monkey during the break-in. And this couldn't happen at a worse time, as Sam and Lauren want to fix Duffy up with Debbie so that they can go on a double-date.
Remember when I said in my review for Nightmare Beach that Sarah Buxton owed me an upskirt? of course you do. Well, you'll never guess what happens during Duffy and Debbie's date. That's right, we briefly see Debbie's panties. I was so happy when this occurs, as I felt somewhat cheated when Sarah Buxton's ultra-short yellow pleated skirt in Nightmare Beach failed to produce an upskirt. Seeing that the film was shot in Florida (a state renowned for its stiff breezes), I would have thought an upskirt would have been mandatory, but alas.
At any rate, it appears that Duffy's monkey bite is slowly turning him into a mindless killing machine, and... Oh, crap. I just remembered that Duffy bites Debbie on the neck while on their date. I guess I was too busying admiring Debbie's upskirt to notice Duffy bit her (it was mild nibble).
The rage virus (28 Days Later... totally ripped this movie off) soon spreads across the campus, and Dr. Etheridge (Bo Svenson), his pathetic excuse for a ponytail, Sam and Lauren have to race against the clock to stop it before it spreads even further. And by further, I mean the campus of the University of Central Florida - Go Knights!
This may sound weird, but horror movie fans will love the sequence that takes place at the F.I.U. Halloween party. Featuring hundreds of extras wearing elaborate costumes, the kills are pretty creative and The Facade Band perform their hit song "Say The Word" (the song also plays over the opening credits). In case you're wondering, the reason I said it might sound weird, is because the film is a horror film. But I don't think horror movie fans will dig the first hour (it plays more like a college sex comedy). That being said, the gruesome finale more than makes up for it, as it's all kinds of insane.
Even though I haven't mentioned her, I think now is as good a time as any to pay tribute to Kimberly (Jennifer Hingel), the sniveling hosebeast who wows the F.I.U. faculty on a semi-regular basis with her leg crossing prowess. Woo-hoo! Cross them legs, girl.