I’m not usually one for big nature horror movies like Godzilla or Eight Legged Freaks, but when I picked up Primeval on a lark I was not dis...
Primeval and the Monsters We Make
The figure of Gustave, the monster croc, can be read as a natural parallel to the bloody conflict taking place in Burundi. Just as Gustave claims the lives of hundreds of unsuspecting Africans, so does the war. This parallel is made clear in the film’s opening scene as an excavation is under way to unearth a mass grave. When the expedition’s lead forensic anthropologist ventures too close to the water, she is snagged and torn apart by Gustave.
This parallel between Gustave and Burundi’s civil strife is natural considering that they are both part of a never ending cycle. It is the genocide and murder of hundreds of Africans that created Gustave in the first place. With too many bodies and not enough graves, the dead were thrown into the Rusizi river, where Gustave grew fat on their flesh. As one journalist puts it “We create our own monsters” Furthering this connection, the resident warlord even takes him name from the crocodile and is known as “Little Gustave” suggesting that their brand of violence is the same.
Primeval was a surprise and became more than your standard big nature horror film with its critique of western media and the violence in Burundi using the croc Gustave.
About author: Monster Scholar
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