Caveman review by Matt Fuerst


Watching this movie, I had two words from the amazing film Spinal Tap floating in my head: "shit sandwich". These two words comprised the entirety of a review for Spinal Tap's new album from a critic. Caveman dear friends, is a "shit sandwich".

It causes me physical pain to try to recite the story back to you, since like a virus, I feel like I am giving the film more life by talking about it, feeding it. But, my charge here at JackassCritics is to report on films that I watch, and for the good of all I took the bullet for you dear readers. Our protagonist, Atouk (the one and only Ringo Starr of The Beatles fame) is, as the movie's title implies, a caveman. Throughout the course of the movie he does the normal course of Caveman-like things: he forages for food, he sleeps, he drugs the leaders woman and attempts to hump her. The storyline really is quite simplistic, we have Atouk in love with Lana (Barbara Bach) who loves hulky Tonda (ex-NFLer John Matuszak). Dejected by Lana and the tribe, Atouk wanders the land and gathers a healthy following of his own from wanderers of the land. Atouk manages to become the leader of the group through a series of happenstance, a gigantic lizard attacks and Atouk throws a pumpkin at it, which happens to land on the horn and scare away the lizard, stuff like that. Atouk manages to invent fire, marijuana and fried eggs all through simple happenings that he really had nothing to do with. I am sure during script meetings for Caveman this all seemed really clever ("Hey, what else can a Caveman invent? I know, how about a shit sandwich!") but trust me, it isn't.

There is more plot that follows, and we eventually come to the crescendo, with Atouk's new tribe facing off againstTonda's. Of course wimpy Ringo doesn't stand a chance against a former NFL lineman, so instead he uses his brain and a lizard to bring the hurt down on the oppressive tribe. I don't think I am giving much away in saying Brains wins over Brawn, Atouk becomes the leader of the unified tribe, and he lays some beefsteak to all the woman in the tribe. Hopefully this time he won't use roofies and try to date rape them, because for some reason the humor in that portion of the movie was lost on me.

Did I mention lizards? Yes, friends, lizards, a tyrannosaurus rex , and a terradactyl. If you read reviews elsewhere they will call the special effects "cute", "campy" or even "good". Hogwash. Please, do yourself a favor, and listen to me for one brief, quiet moment. The effects are crap. Claymation, stop animation have it's place in movies. It's in Jason and the Argonauts, a great, fun film. The stuff here is horrible. Painfully ridiculous, but don't worry it doesn't border on funny, because if it did, then there would be a positive aspect to Caveman. No, we suffer with really poor quality, but not egregious enough to excuse itself.

The effects are so poor, that at one point Ringo bumps into some sort of poisonous plant, and you can actually see the definition of the persons fingers that is operating the limbs of the plant. Lord almighty.

The man to blame for this effort is one Carl Gottlieb. Carl was partially responsible for Jaws, and then decided to take the corny route for the remainder of his career. Churning out some weiners like Doctor Detroit and the unforgettable Jaws 3, or should I call it Jaws 3-D? The only way for Caveman to be worse is if it was named Mumford.

The DVD quality is pretty iffy as well. The video is very clear, but the color fluctuates within the scene often. Filming out in a desert under a bright blue sky, a lot of the scenes suffer from the sky going from blue to red and back to blue again. Ugh. The sound is mono and clear enough. There is, of course, a rock-out scene where the caveman jam (you couldn't resist could you Carl? You had Ringo and you had to do it) and it could have used a little stereo surround action. The box says English, French and Spanish subtitles are included, but I couldn't get them to work on my DVD player. The original theatrical trailer is onboard, in much rougher shape than the video of the film. I was curious if they managed to covey an exciting or interesting movie in the trailer in spite of the source material, and they didn't. There is at least one scene in the trailer not in the film though.

Note to Jackass Jon, who loaned this to me: You're on probation buddy.

1 out of 10 Jackasses
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