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CAVEMAN(director/writer: Carl Gottlieb; screenwriter: Rudy De Luca; cinematographer: Alan Hume; editor: Gene Fowler; music: Lalo Schifrin; cast: Ringo Starr (Atouk), Dennis Quaid (Lar), Shelley Long (Tala), Jack Gilford (Gog), John Matuszak (Tonda), Barbara Bach (Lana), Cork Hubbert (Ta), Mark King (Ruck), Paco Morayta (Flok), Evan Kim (Nook), Ed Greenberg (Kalta), Carl Lumbly (Bork); Runtime: 94; MPAA Rating: PG; producers: Lawrence Turman/David Foster; United Artists; 1981)
“Even your typical neanderthal will find this spoof beneath him.”

Reviewed by Dennis Schwartz

Sitcom TV director Carl Gottlieb (“The Absent-Minded Waiter”) helms this exercise in stupidity. Rudy De Luca turns in the inane script as co-writer with Gottlieb. It’s set in One Zillion B.C., where the massive chief Tonda (John Matuszak, NFL player) gives wimpy Atouk (Ringo Starr) the heave-ho from their cavemen camp after Atouk tries raping his sultry gal Lana (Barbara Bach, Ringo’s soon to be real-life wife). In the wild, Atouk meets up again with fellow caveman Lar (Dennis Quaid), who was left behind during a hunting venture for dinosaur because he was limping. The two misfits soon unite with other misfits and their new tribe accidentally discovers how to make fire, music (using rocks to invent rock’n’roll) and cooked eggs.

They annoyingly speak caveman gibberish, a fictional language, throughout and grunt a lot, and rely on unfunny physical humor, sight gags and farting jokes. There’s stop motion effects and animation and some cheesy special effects. The film succeeds only in being gross, witless and too lowbrow to attract a hipster adult audience for such nonsense and too dark to attract children. It seems like it should be a 30-minute TV program rather than a feature length flick, as it doesn’t have enough material to sustain its 92 minutes.

The unbearable prehistoric fantasy film has to be seen to be believed how bad it is. Even a no talent like former Beatle Ringo Starr, deserves a better movie vehicle. Even your typical neanderthal will find this spoof beneath him.


Dennis Schwartz: “Ozus’ World Movie Reviews”