60 years ago Teenage Caveman, a Roger Corman-directed exploitation film starring Robert Vaughn, was released to the sub-runs. Vaughn once described the pic, originally shot under the title Prehistoric World, as “the worst film ever made.”
To go by Owen Gleiberman‘s Variety review, Albert Hughes‘ Alpha (Sony, 8.17), which apparently could be subtitled I Was a Teenage Paleolithic EMO Brah, is much better than Teenage Caveman. But in some ways it’s seemingly cut from the same cloth.
“A tale of a young hunter stranded in the wilderness who becomes best friends with a wolf, Alpha is “like a Disney adventure fueled by a higher octane of visual dazzle, with a gnarly texture wrought from elements like blood, excrement and maggots,” Gleiberman writes.
Maybe, but the blood and maggots are half-mitigated by the Late Stone Age hipster apparel worn by star Kodi Smit-McPhee. Look at those nice-fitting corduroy pants, those expensive Ugg boots, that cool animal-hide hoodie poncho pullover and not one but two shoulder-slung handbags. John Varvatos meets Gant Rugger meets Rag & Bone.
Darren Aronofsky also went a little wacko with garments worn in Noah. They were the work of costume supervisor Margret Einarsdottir. Russell Crowe wore animal-skin duds that were way too high-style and intricately woven for a guy living during the time of the Great Ancient Flood.
Specifically, Alpha takes place “20,000 years ago in Europe during the Upper Paleolithic period,” aka Late Stone Age. This was the third and last subdivision of the Paleolithic or Old Stone Age. The period dates to between 50,000 and 10,000 years ago (the beginning of the Holocene), roughly coinciding with the appearance of behavioral modernity and before the advent of agriculture.