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The Movie:

Directed by Vittorio Rambaldi and written by none other than Umberto Lenzi (the man who gave us Cannibal Ferox among countless other Italian horror and crime movie classics), 1988′s Primal Rage was an Italian/American co-production made during the end of the Italian horror boom of the seventies and eighties. The film was available on VHS during that format’s heyday but has remained unavailable on DVD until now, thanks to the efforts of Code Red.

The film is set at a Florida college campus where unbeknownst to most of the student body a scientist named Ethridge (Bo Svenson, decked out in a white lab coat and sporting the world’s most pathetic ponytail) conducts experiments on baboons. What exactly he’s up to isn’t really made all that clear, but it’s got something to do with brain surgery of some sort. Regardless, the baboon in question is injected with something that makes him very grumpy and prone to biting people, which is a lesson learned the hard way by a pair of would be ‘gonzo journalists’ working for the school paper, Sam (Patrick Lowe) and Duffy (Mitch Watson) when the dastardly baboon chomps down on Duffy’s flesh.

As the movie plays out, dopey Duffy starts to show signs of infection. His skins starts to become sickly and his veins show through, and his behavior becomes increasingly primal and enraged in nature. Go figure. Sam, who rides around town on a red motor-scooter, sets the two of them up on a date with two girls – Lauren (Cheryl Arutt) and an unusually pro-abortion chick named Debbie (Sarah Buxton), but romance is not to be for soon he starts to lose his faculties and goes on a rampage across the campus. Of course, Duffy’s condition is communicable, and with this being a college campus and girls being readily available, he winds up spreading it. Before you know it, there are all manner of infected students running around causing trouble, much to the dismay of Ethridge and the local police force.

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