By Richard Winters
My Rating: 2 out of 10
4-Word Review: Cavemen find some luggage.
This is a bizarre hybrid between Quest for Fire and The Gods Must Be Crazy that really doesn’t work at any level. The story focuses on a lost tribe of cavepeople living somewhere in the deep jungle and what happens when they come into contact with luggage that was dropped from an airplane.
The natural inclination is that this was an American rip-off of The Gods Must Be Crazy as that film was released two years earlier, but really didn’t become the international hit until it was released in the U.S. in 1984, which was a full year after his one came out, so it is hard to tell. Either way this film doesn’t have the charm or gentle humor as that one did and has a glaring amount of loopholes that makes no sense. A viewer can be willing to suspend their disbelief even in a fanciful story, but there still needs to be some overriding logic and explanation of some kind even a quirky one and this has neither.
For instance are we really supposed to believe in this modern age that there are people living somewhere on the planet in a Neanderthal state? I’ve heard of third-word nations, but this has to be fifth or sixth world. How do they come into contact with a plane? Do they go through a time warp, or does the plane? Also, how many plane crews will arbitrarily dump out the entire luggage from their cargo bay the minute there is trouble with the engine? On top of that one of the cave ladies has a curly perm hairdo. Where did she get that from the local cave lady hairstylist?
The scenes showing the cave people interacting with each other becomes quite tedious mainly because they don’t speak any English and communicate through an odd language that the viewer cannot understand. It would have helped had there been some subtitles and might have actually made it funnier. Also, the segments showing the cave people opening up the luggage and their bewilderment at all the items they find inside is quite predictable and one-note.
When two of the plane’s passengers come into contact with the tribe later on while looking for their lost luggage it only adds to the films mounting incongruities. When one of the men lights a match and holds it in front of one of the cavemen he somehow instinctually pulls out a cigar that he found in the luggage and lights it, but how would he have known that is what a cigar is for? When one of the men asks about a specific crate the cave people immediately knows what he means and even repeat the word, but again how?
I’m all for weird offbeat movie ideas, but this one leaves so many loose ends that it is hard to get into it from the start. Despite its brief 78 minute runtime it is still way too long and ultimately quite boring and pointless.
My Rating: 2 out of 10
Released: June 4, 1983
Runtime: 1Hour 18Minutes
Director: David Kendall
Studio: General Pictures
Available: VHS, Amazon Instant Video