Primal Rage (Giallo Bio-Horror)


At the tail end of the 1980s, the Italian horror business was in crisis mode. Argento had fled after Opera for an attempt at grabbing the brass ring of a career in America. Fulci had taken ill and his sporadic output suffered as a result. Lamberto Bava never fulfilled his early promise and Michele Soavi had yet to come into his own. After a long and rich history, what was next? This crisis is what fuels Primal Rage, an eerily prescient bit of bio-horror that just received a new sparkling release from our friends at Vinegar Syndrome. A precursor to 28 Days Later, this film takes a while to warm up to but when it gets cooking…prepare yourself.


Rob Lowe’s little brother and his nerdy sidekick are crushing the college strip trying to find love and maybe some stories for the school paper. When the sidekick busts up the school’s science lab, he unleashes a highly contagious and severely dangerous lab monkey who spreads a virus with truly hideous results. After a slow first thirty minutes, this movie grows on you like a fungus. By the time of several bravura set pieces, like the gang bang attempt and the Halloween party, this movie crosses the line into kicking serious ass. Carlo Rambaldi (who’s son Eugenio directed this flick) goes whole hog on some tasty gore FX and the cast acquit themselves nicely. Originally released in severely cut form by Warner Bros. in the VHS days, Vinegar Syndrome bring Primal Rage to Blu-ray in a stunning little package. The big revelation is the reinsertion of several bits of juicy splatter taken out for the tape release. The transfer itself is a thing of beauty with colors that really pop and a nice grain structure. Overall, adventurous genre fans are in for a treat.


Written by David, Comptroller of Your Last Scrap of Existence

Primal Rage (2023, Blu-ray)
Director: Vittorio Rambaldi
Distributor: Vinegar Syndrome
4.5 / 5