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Notes from the back row

Living in Caves



Finally, Be Kind Rewind has been released so rush out to the Village 8 and let the post-Oscar movie season begin. Remember when 300 came out last March and started destroying springtime box office records and making shit-loads of money? Well, Warner Bros is hoping to recreate that phenomenon this weekend with 10,000 B.C . Will it be as successful as 300? I doubt it. Will it rule? Of course, it’s a caveman movie.

Caveman movies have a long tradition of featuring scantily clad cavewomen performing acts of animal-style sex, peppered with lots of grunting, fighting, dirty hair and, when we’re lucky, killer beasts like saber-toothed tigers and dinosaurs.

Early caveman movies peaked with 1966’s One Million Years B.C., a film that has no understandable dialogue, some killer stop motion dinosaurs and features Raquel Welch in a fur bikini. Hottest. Cavewoman. Ever.

Horniest Cavewoman ever goes to Rae Dawn Chong in 1982’s Quest for Fire . This came out when I was six and remember all the kids on the schoolbus were real stoked on the fact that, even though it’s an ice age picture, Rae Dawn is naked for pretty much the whole movie. Apparently there’s even a caveman blowjob scene that never made the final cut. The real plot centres around a posse of cavepeople embarking on a, you guessed it, quest for fire after their life-giving and protective flame is extinguished by a rival band. Good cave man language but not enough prehistoric beasts to really make it awesome.

The beasts come out in 1986’s Clan of the Cave Bear though. Based on that book that all the girls were reading in high school (for the sex) this film stars Daryl Hannah as a poor little cavegirl orphan who gets taken in (and taken) by a clan of savage Neanderthals. Lots of lions and bears in this one, and, like the novel, lots of nudity and cave sex, doggy style. While this caveman flick utilizes subtitles (lame) it does do the best job of incorporating hand signals as a key form of caveman communication. The school kids loved this one too and when held up alongside Splash and Kill Bill it cements Daryl Hannah as one of this generation’s most versatile actresses.

Encino Man, 1992, completely shifts gears on the caveman genre when losers Pauly Shore and Sean Astin dig up a Neanderthal Brendan Fraser while excavating their own swimming pool. They take him to the mall and use him to become popular. Pretty dumb. Albeit some of Brendan Fraser’s best work, this was the nail in the coffin for the caveman genre, until now.

10,000 B.C. is directed by Roland Emmerich ( Independence Day, The Day After Tomorrow) so expect some of his usual father/son relationship drama in the story of D’leh, a mammoth hunter who must pursue warlords and his kidnapped love, Evolet, across the earth in order to find a very Egyptian civilized empire, fight a god, and, of course, fulfill his destiny by saving mankind. While it’s disappointing that the cavemen speak English and have perfect teeth and makeup, the film does contain lots of mammoths and a great saber-toothed tiger. 10,000 B.C. borrows a lot from other pictures as D’leh completes his hero’s journey, but who cares? It’s a caveman movie, aimed (as always) at teenagers and immature people like me.

Too bad it’s PG-13 though, the boys on the bus won’t like that. And, while I guess it is realistic, I’m not all that stoked on cavewomen with dreadlocks. Those shitwigs look just as bad 12,008 years ago as they do today.

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