After over 20 years in development limbo, Full Moon Features is set to unveil its long-anticipated creature feature The Primevals at this year’s Fantasia International Film Festival on July 23. Directed by renowned stop-motion pioneer David Allen (Equinox, Young Sherlock Holmes), The Primevals has been a passion project for Allen and Full Moon CEO Charles Band since the 1970s.
Allen first conceived the idea for The Primevals as a way to showcase his groundbreaking stop-motion talents. He co-wrote the script with fellow effects artist Randy Cook (The Gate) and began principal photography in the 1990s with Band producing and a cast that included B-movie scream queen Brinke Stevens. However, tragedy struck when Allen passed away from cancer in 1999 at just 54 years old, leaving the film unfinished and unreleased.
Now, over two decades later, Band has tapped visual effects veteran Chris Endicott (Avengers: Infinity War, Spider-Man: Homecoming) to complete Allen’s original vision. Working closely with Allen’s storyboards and notes, they have emerged with a loving tribute to the fantasy films of special effects pioneer Ray Harryhausen.
The Primevals promises to be a real treat for practical effects aficionados and creature feature fans. Filmed in dimensional stop-motion, the film’s menagerie of mythological beasts, including ape-men, giant birds, and serpentine monsters, pay homage to Harryhausen’s work on classics like Jason and the Argonauts and The 7th Voyage of Sinbad. Along with stop-motion, The Primevals also features an array of practical effects ranging from animatronics to green screen compositing.
Set in the Himalayas, the film follows Dr. Claire Collier (Juliet Mills of Beyond the Door fame) as she investigates the remains of a gigantic humanoid creature found by Sherpa guides. Believing it to be related to the mythical Yeti, she assembles an expedition team including her former student Matt Connor (Richard Joseph Paul) and swaggering big game hunter Rondo Montana (Leon Russom). Their journey into the forbidding peaks brings them face-to-face with a tribe of primitive ape-men, enormous predatory birds, and other unbelievable creatures beyond their imagination.
With The Primevals set to premiere shortly, nostalgic monster movie fans have reason to rejoice. Thanks to Charles Band’s decades-long dedication, David Allen’s lost classic can finally be seen as originally intended. Expect top-notch practical effects and creature designs when The Primevals debuts at Fantasia Fest this July.