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Caveman (1981)

“Back when you had to beat it before you could eat it”

Nothing too cerebral about that tagline. Well actually, there was nothing too cerebral about this movie – but the nice thing was, no one pretended that there was.

Bumbling cavemen, sexy cavewomen, a dinosaur eating narcotic berries, a gigantic mosquito, and various prehistoric scatologica – Caveman was a loin-skin romp, darn it, and proud of it.

Atouk (Ringo Starr) loves tanned and leggy Lana, but Lana belongs to brawny tribe leader Tonda. And Tonda, to his credit, knows potential girlfriend trouble when he sees it, so he kicks lusty Atouk right out of the pack.

Atouk’s homeless for a bit, but then with friends Lar and Tala, he forms a new tribe – a place where a good-hearted misfit caveman can finally feel good about himself!

Together, his tribe discovers fire, makes music (starring caveman Ringo, of course, handling the percussion duties), and fry a gigantic reptilian egg.

caveman6Writer/director Carl Gottlieb was best known for his contributions to Spielberg’s Jaws script, but there was no need to fear the presence of man-eating creatures in this one – the dinosaur animation went for laughs, not chills.

Clichéd moments of more serious-minded dinosaur/caveman movies past were roundly mocked. And when the star T-Rex is as old and dopey as Caveman‘s, you know you don’t have too much to worry about.

Some people think that when they walk out of a comedy like this, they’re just a little bit dumber than they were when they walked in. Au contraire! There was hardly an English word spoken in this movie (Ringo himself supposedly having created the caveman patois used throughout), which meant we actually learned an ancient and foreign language while we watched. Thank you, Ringo.

Ringo Starr and Barbara Bach began their long relationship after meeting on the set of this movie.

The film opens up with a caption reading “One Zillion BC – October 9th”. October 9th was John Lennon‘s birthday and was included in the film in memory of Ringo Starr’s former friend and bandmate.

The caveman word for sex is “zug-zug”.


Ringo Starr

Dennis Quaid

Shelley Long

Jack Gilford

Cork Hubbert

Mark King

Paco Morayta

Evan C. Kim

Ed Greenberg

Carl Lumbly

Jack Scalici
Folg’s Mate

Erica Carlson
Folg’s Daughter

Gigi Vorgan
Folg’s Younger Daughter

Sara López Sierra
Folg’s Son

Esteban Valdez
Folg’s Younger Son

Juan Ancona Figueroa
Folg’s Youngest Son

Juan Omar Ortiz

Anais de Melo

John Matuszak

Barbara Bach

Avery Schreiber
Ock’s Mate

Tere Alvarez

Miguel Angel Fuentes
Grot’s Mate

Ana De Sade

Gerardo Zepeda

Hector Moreno
Noota’s Mate

Pamela Gual

Carl Gottlieb