Sunday, March 30, 2014

The Primevals


Normally when I run across a movie in Starlog that never made it to the screen, there is very little information to be found on it, but this is not the case with The Primevals.

In the early issues of Starlog there was a series of columns about special effects. The article in the April 1979 (Number 21) issue talked about stop motion animation and featured an interview with animator David Allen. Inspired by stop motion animation great Ray Harryhausen, David started doing work for commercials and then worked on movies like When Dinosaurs Ruled the Earth and Flesh Gordon in the early 70’s. In 1967, with the help of SFX greats Dennis Muren and Jim Danforth, David conceived the fantasy epic Raiders of the Stone Ring. The movie was eventually pitched the Hammer Films but the project didn’t go anywhere.

David interest in this pet project persisted and he continued to refine the script and it eventually turned into The Primevals. He kept trying to get the film made while continuing his stop motion animation career on movies such as Willow, Ghostbusters II and the Puppetmaster movies. In the early 1990’s he finally got backing to produce the film and did live action filming between 1994 and 1999. Sadly he passed away in August of 1999 at the age of 54, his film never having been completed.

Since the film did get pretty far in it’s development there is a good bit of information on the net about it. First there is a page on the site for David Mosher FX about the film that has pictures of some of the stop motion animation models produced for the film. There is also some good information including concept posters on the Tomb of the Unproduced Horror Movie blog. On YouTube you can find some early footage of the film, the live action portion appear to be of questionable quality, but the stop motion work is quite impressive. Finally, there is even a Facebook Page for the film.