Teenage Caveman

January 28, 2012 7 Min Read

Review by: Fusion3600

Plot: What’s it about?

After a world altering chain of events, the remnants of mankind have been forced back into prehistoric lifestyles. This means no power, no cars, no grocery stores, and the tribes have found shelter within the caves. David (Andrew Keegan) is a young member of the tribe and while he is a good person by nature, he is resentful of all the rules in place. The tribe’s shaman has clamped down on all the members in terms of personal luxuries, including reading materials, relationships, and even sex. But at the same time, the shaman indulges in all sorts of sinful gestures, though he claims it to be the will of the higher power. When the shaman tries to force David’s girlfriend to have sex with him, David comes to her rescue and in self defense, kills the shaman. As this means he is certain to be killed by the tribe, he takes off to start a new life and much to his surprise, a band of his friends decide to join him. The road is harsh, thanks to storms of all kinds and lack of food & shelter, but they persevere, hoping to discover a new, better life. They soon discover a couple of survivors in a battered city landscape, ones who offer them a life of pleasures and luxuries, but are these people as harmless as they claim to be?

The fourth Creature Features picture to reach DVD is Teenage Caveman, which plays more like an acid trip than a traditional horror movie. Yes, this movie has scenes of violence, gore, and monsters, but I expected these elements to be the focus, which simply is not the case. So I was taken a little off guard by Teenage Caveman, as I anticipated a creature driven flick, when it is driven more by odd characters, narcotics, profane dialogue, and sex. The film has one very decadent, sometimes exploitative scene in which the characters engage in hedonistic pleasures, including massive amounts of cocaine, booze, and sex. As always, director Larry Clark (Kids, Bully) lingers on the young bodies to no end, as both males and females are shown in various states of undress, with ample nudity on showcase. The tone is often offbeat and you can’t really tell sometimes where the movie is headed, but it does keep your attention. The actual monster makeup looks good, as do some terrific scenes of carnage, but keep in mind, the creature angle is not the main focus here. I recommend Teenage Caveman to those interested in an off the wall, acid trip kind of picture, but don’t expect too much, as this is no classic.

In a movie like this, you don’t need classical performances to be present, but you need wild characters and here, Richard Hillman has that task. Yes, the film has several memorable characters, but Hillman’s Neil has most of the best lines and thanks to his outlandish performance, the maximum entertainment value is gained from the role. Hillman plays the part as if he has been shooting up for about a decade nonstop, then stopped cold and has turned into an overly hyper, often insane madman on the brink of total meltdown. His delivery is snappy and even on more dull lines, his method yields some laughs, as he is like a wild animal at times in Teenage Caveman. Other films with Hillman include Mambo Cafe, Bring It On, Legally Blonde, Boys and Girls, Detroit Rock City, and Palmer’s Pick Up. The cast also includes Andrew Keegan (10 Things I Hate About You, “O”), Tara Subkoff (The Cell, Freeway), Tiffany Limos (Bully, Ken Park), Crystal Celeste Grant (The Wood, Lawnmower Man 2), and Hayley Keenan (The Rules of Attraction).

Video: How does it look?

Teenage Caveman is presented in a 1.77:1 anamorphic widescreen transfer, with a full frame edition also included on this dual layered disc. The image here is quite good, as we’d expect from such a recent production. The print has a few small defects, but remains very clean most of the time and I saw no softness, so detail is high throughout. A number of tricks are on display here, to alter the visuals to the filmmakers’ intents, so while some scenes look washed out and overblown, this is intentional and there’s no reason for concern. I found the contrast to be stark and well presented, while colors are bright and on the mark, though as I mentioned, some visual tricks are used to manipulate these elements. In the end, this is another solid transfer from Columbia, who aside from their recent full frame only mishaps, have always been a reliable studio.

Audio: How does it sound?

The audio here has some moments of spark, but most of the time, this Dolby Digital 5.1 track remains rather dormant. The storm sequences and a few of the more frenetic moments allow the surrounds to open up, but on the whole, this film has no need for powerful audio and by turn, you can’t fault this track for that. The music sounds good however, while dialogue is clean and always in proper balance, so no vocals are lost here. This is not a memorable audio experience, but the material is well covered and as such, I see no reason for complaints. This disc also includes subtitles in English, French, Spanish, Portuguese, Korean, Chinese, and Thai.

Supplements: What are the extras?

This disc includes a brief behind the scenes featurette, some talent files, a selection of still photos, and a promo spot for the Creature Features series.

Disc Scores