Primal is a 2010 Australian based movie; for their friend’s anthropology doctorate (or the Aussie equivalent, if there is such a thing) a group of friends ventures into the outback to find a mysterious cave, whose water feeds out into a nearby lake. The cave is covered in drawings from what was likely the Indigenous people of the area, depicting a human being birthing some sort of tentacled monster. The painting of the beast resembles some divine vagina.
Mel is the blonde of the bunch, and after she goes for a seemingly fun romp in the water, she is accosted by leeches. Within one night, her teeth fall out; she’s running a fever and spitting up blood. By morning, Mel has sprouted a row of full, razor-sharp teeth, and eats an infected rabbit that the group killed the day before after it bit one of them.
Nude romp in the water gone wrong! Mel screaming as she sees the leeches that cover her naked body.
Interesting to note that although the rabbit is clearly sick with whatever mysterious plague this is—from the sharp teeth to the unchecked aggression and thirst for blood—the woman it bites does not get sick from it.
Also by morning, besides the bad dental work, Mel has a newfound, irreversible taste for blood; she remedies this by biting someone’s throat out, and killing nearby wildlife. She bisects them, and drags the lower part into the cave.
Mel, post transformation. Great new set of chompers! The downside? The insatiable, thirst for blood and reverence of a creature you can’t possibly begin to understand.
After a night of running around like headless chickens, Dace, survivalist expert and the one competent person of the group takes a dip after Mel comes for him. Though he is leech-free, after a couple hours he falls ill and meets the same fate as Mel.
There’s nothing special or particularly memorable about the characters in Primal. I gotta give the movie credit where credit is due, though; I was pretty impressed with the route they took with the big bad.
Like I said before, it was kind of surprising that, after clearly being bitten by a rabbit that was clearly infected with the same illness that Mel succumbs to later, nothing happens following the bite. I expected typical creature fodder via blood contact—meaning, once you get bit by the infected parties, it’s over. Not the case in Primal.
Jace, survivalist expert and total copycat; he saw Mel’s shiny new teeth and just had to get his own.
Upon rewatching the opening scenes, I realized
Namely, the shot of the cave that houses the giant, alien worm monster, and the next scene of the empty, quiet lake that Mel and Dace eventually meet their fate in. The waters that the worm swims in feeds down to the lake, which houses the infection.
Mel and Dace
The fateful night where Mel takes her final dip, she gets into it with her boyfriend. When she steps out of the water, they both look on in horror as Mel realizes that she is covered in leeches. Shortly after getting them off, she runs a fever and begins the vacation from Hell for the rest of the characters.
At first, it seems like the leeches themselves are the cause of Mel’s infection. But, in following the canon of the movie, perhaps she was covered in so many of them because, like the rabbit, they were attracted to the scent of blood, and latched on. After Dace jumps in to get away from Mel, and subsequently begins showing signs of the illness, we thusly realize that the water itself contains the deadly, bloodthirsty contagion.
Final girl Anja and one of her friends near the lake that kickstarts the mayhem later in the film.
In the final act of the film, the sole survivor, Anja, heads into the cave with the paintings, after she realizes that something is preventing Mel from entering. She finds one of her friends who she thought dead, only to discover that the friend is heavily pregnant. She cuts open her stomach, and out slides something that would look right at home in the great city of R’lyeh; a tentacled monster with a gaping mouth covered in teeth, much like the teeth Mel and Dace sprout after infection.
After this happens, Anja is held down and nearly raped by a giant, worm-looking monster, likely the father of the baby abomination birthed only moments before. The ending raises many more questions than before; the main question being, what is the worm’s ultimate goal in all of this?
TW FOR IMPLIED RAPE IN THE NEXT IMAGE. It isn’t graphic, no nudity, but it doesn’t hurt to add a warning.
Anja, being held down and almost forcibly impregnated by the monster that haunts the cave.
Some theories O’Mine
The giant worm that occupies the cave impregnates human beings in the hope that the host will move on to another water supply. Once the host does so, the baby is born and slides back into the water, infecting the local supply and turning all things that enter the water into sharp-toothed monsters.
The monsters, now servants to the worm-god, bring it portions of their kill, to feed it. They hold the worm-god in high reverence and do not enter its domain, but sometimes, it is necessary to sacrifice a host to the creature so the cycle can start anew.
Granted, there are a couple holes in my theory, namely, the idea of the cycle. In the film, Kris, who gives birth to baby Cthulhu, stays in the cave as her stomach gets bigger and bigger; she refuses to leave it. That directly shits on my theory because within a couple of hours after her kidnapping, she was displaying signs of a 9-month pregnancy.
The squad chilling at the entrance of the cave.
Now, if the creature wanted a host to spread the infection, wouldn’t the creature baby take a bit longer to incubate, so the host has time to move to a new water source? Like how a human pregnancy affects the hormones of the mother, why couldn’t the creature instill some sort of instinctual drive into the host to leave the cave and head to a nearby body of water to incubate the creature and eventually give birth to it?
I like the twists and turns of a film that initially seems to begin as a zombie tale, then slowly devolves into a creature feature, but there are some elements in it that beg for a follow-up.
Trying to figure out 1. What the fuck was that and 2. What the fuck is going on
I absolutely wouldn’t be mad if they decided on another entry focusing on the creature’s background, or a follow up to what occurred in the movie, but it seems like a long shot; the film was released ten years ago, and from its Wikipedia, it doesn’t seem like anything else is in the works for this film. Too bad. I guess I have to create some theories of my own.