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Hops and Box Office Flops: ‘PRIMAL – Cage Exotic’


Primal is emblematic of the current trajectory of the roller coaster career of Nicolas Cage. It’s a low budget, limited release, born to be on late-night cable schlock fest that just happens to brandish some star power. Besides Cage—as big game hunter Frank Walsh—Famke Janssen, Kevin Durand, and Michael Imperioli also show up, hanging their heads in shame.

They are what make this thing at all watchable because when I say the budget was low, it’s not an exaggeration. The white jaguar that adorns the poster is seldom seen. One would think that would be to the film’s detriment, but its CGI commands it must be elusive.

The Prized White Jaguar in Primal

Instead, Walsh’s main foil is Richard Loffler (Durand)—a deadly government asset who promptly escapes and roams the ship with murderous impunity.

Their game of big cat and deranged mouse is the film in a nutshell. It’s harmless, but it reeks of 90s sensibilities, as well. With a poor script, that even includes the required turn from an untrustworthy intelligence agent, there is little to enjoy outside of Cage and Durand’s performances.

Durand relishes the role of the unhinged “winter soldier,” and Cage—who literally appears to not give a shit—chews the scenery as a black market animal dealer who does not give a shit.

For that alone, it’s worth a watch. So sit back, get your fangs into a Snow Paws Vanilla Milkshake Double IPA from Lead Dog Brewing Co., and stay away from those damn monkeys! I, the Thunderous Wizard (@WriterTLK), Capt. Cash, and Chumpzilla are feeding a prized jungle cat by luring a psychopath into our snare trap of doom!

This Week’s Segments:

  • Introduction/Plot Breakdown – B-movies’ plots are generally lacking. That holds true here. (00:00)
  • The Official Summer Rage with Cage Quiz – For what was meant to be the final entry in our Nicolas Cage series, I developed a quiz dedicated to the bizarre stories about the man himself. (56:39)
  • Recommendations – And next up: We explore what happens “When Animals Attack,” beginning with Howard the Duck! (1:22:25)

And, as always, hit us up on Twitter, Facebook, or Instagram to check out all the interesting factoids—the legend of Primal Rage and more—from this week’s episode!

You can find this episode of Hops and Box Office Flops on Apple PodcastsGoogle PlayStitcherPodbeanSpotifyAcastTuneIn, and iHeartRadio!


Thomas L. Kelly

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