April 3: Rock and role — A film that stars a rock star.
Shot in caveman language and filmed in the Sierra de Órganos National Park in the town of Sombrerete in Mexico, Caveman is one weird movie.
It was directed and written by Carl Gottlieb, who wrote the first three Jaws movies, as well as The Jerk and Dr. Detroit. He only directed two other movies, the short The Absent-Minded Waiter and the Pethouse Video, Son of the Invisible Man, Art Sale and Peter Pan Theatre segments of Amazon Women On the Moon. This was written with Rudy De Luca, who went on to direct and write Transylvania 6-5000.
Yet I was so excited to see it as a kid, because it starred Ringo Starr as Atouk!
Atouk is a caveman who is bullied by tribe leader Tonda (John Matuszak, Sloth from The Goonies), who has the hottest of all mates, Lana (Barbara Bach, The Spy Who Loved Me, Black Belly of the Tarantula, Short Night of Glass Dolls, Street Law, Island of the Fishmen, man, I’ve seen so many movies with Barbara Bach). He and his friend Lar (Dennis Quaid) get kicked out of the tribe, where they battle a T. Rex, meet Tala (Shelley Long) and also are nearly killed by an abominable snowman (Richard Moll).
Speaking of dinosaurs, they were all created by Jim Danforth, who left the film when the Directors Guild of America wouldn’t give him a co-director credit. You can also see his work in When Dinosaurs Ruled the Earth, Clash of the Titans, They Live, The Wizard of Speed and Time, Ninja 3: The Domination, Commando and so many more movies, most often as a matte painter.
When the movie starts it says that it was set on One Zillion B.C. – October 9th. That would be John Lennon’s birthday.
At the end of the movie, Atouk ends up with Tala instead of Lana. But in real life, Starr would marry Bach and they’ve been together since then.
I saw Caveman as a nine year old kid obsessed with dinosaurs at the Spotlight 88. I’m not sure what movie I saw it with. It could have been a reissue of Bob Crane’s Superdad but I’d like to think that I saw it with Super Fuzz.
You can watch this on Tubi.