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Primal Rage (1988)

Rage - Furia primitiva (original title)
A scientist at a Florida university inadvertantly creates a "rage virus" while performing experiments intended to restore dead brain tissue in baboons. When a journalist for the college ... See full summary »


Vittorio Rambaldi


Umberto Lenzi (as Harry Kirkpatrick), James Justice (as Harry Kirkpatrick)




Cast overview, first billed only:
Patrick Lowe Patrick Lowe ... Sam Nash
Cheryl Arutt ... Lauren Daly
Sarah Buxton ... Debbie
Mitch Watson Mitch Watson ... Frank Duffy
Bo Svenson ... Ethridge
Doug Sloan Doug Sloan ... Lovejoy
Luis Valderrama Luis Valderrama ... Chas
John Baldwin John Baldwin ... Bryan
Turk Harley Turk Harley ... Prof. Jenkins
Jennifer Hingel Jennifer Hingel ... Kimberly
Barry Schreiber Barry Schreiber ... Oakley (as Barry D. Schreiber)
Paul Bridges Thompson Paul Bridges Thompson ... Lab Assistant
Sally Carlson Sally Carlson ... Nurse
Greg Schmidt Greg Schmidt ... Sam's roommate
Mal Jones ... Janitor


A scientist at a Florida university inadvertantly creates a "rage virus" while performing experiments intended to restore dead brain tissue in baboons. When a journalist for the college paper breaks into the campus lab, he's bitten by one of the infected baboons; the virus soon spreads to a trio of rapists and a valley girl, all of whom go on killing sprees. Written by Jojo Mac

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Primal Fears. Primal Screams. See more »


R | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »

Did You Know?


Released a year before Nightmare Beach, which was also filmed in Florida and featured 2 actors from this film and also features a few of the same songs on the soundtrack. Umberto Lenzei was involved with both films. See more »


Referenced in 46 Wounds (2012) See more »


Face to Face
Sung by Valentina
Producer: Walkman
See more »

User Reviews

Say the word? Eighties! Say the word? Rabid Monkey-Virus! Say the word? Cheese!
18 February 2018 | by CoventrySee all my reviews

Leave it to the Italians to come up with one of the most engrossing, cheesiest and outrageously entertaining splatter flicks of the 80s! Umberto Lenzi, here under his favorite pseudonym Harry Kirkpatrick, wrote the fantastically bonkers script but offered the director's chair to his lesser known buddy Vittorio Rambaldi. "Primal Rage" is as eighties as it gets: the über-cheesy and misfit pop song "Say the Word" doesn't just feature once or twice but three times integrally, there are loads of beautiful girls with humongous hairdos and sexy aerobic outfits and even the obsessive evil scientist sports a ridiculous little mullet-ponytail! There were quite many horror movies with monkeys during the late 80s, but unlike you'd suspect from Lenzi, "Primal Rage" isn't a clone of "Monkey Shines", "Link" or "Shadow of Kilimanjaro". Dr. Ethridge is working at a Florida University campus and uses a baboon as guinea pig for his research involving brain diseases, but he accidentally saddled the poor animal up with a virus that invokes rage and rabies. When the rebellious campus reporter Frank Duffy breaks into Ethridge's laboratory, he releases the baboon but gets bitten and thus contaminated with the virus. Duffy passes forward the virus to a cute girl he met during a blind date and she, at her turn, contaminates a trio of vicious rapists. Each virus carrier goes on his/her own killing spree during the night of the annual campus Halloween party. "Primal Rage" is clichéd, derivative and predictable, but oh-so-entertaining! The film is fast-paced and features terrific make-up art as well as countless of gory highlights, including beheadings and impalements. Hunky 80s kid Patrick Lowe is rather annoying, but the rest of the cast is decent, with young and yummy actresses Cheryl Arutt, Sarah Buxton and Jennifer Hingel. Naturally, of course, it's Bo Svenson who steals the show as the fanatic scientist (with ponytail). Special kudos for the creative minds who thought up and designed all the dozens of great costumes that people are wearing during the Halloween party! I honestly never saw any cooler or creepier horror costumes in my life.

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Release Date:

1 December 1988 (Italy) See more »

Also Known As:

Primal Rage See more »

Filming Locations:

Miami, Florida, USA

Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Sound Mix:




Aspect Ratio:

1.66 : 1
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