THE PUPPET MASTER IS GONE
David Allen : 1944 - 1999
By Neil Pettigrew
PRIMEVALS - a tale about a secret Himalayan valley populated with giant
Yetis and an ancient race of alien lizard men - was a project which
Allen had nurtured in various forms since the late 1960s. After
attempting to finance his dream-project independently, Allen was
introduced to producer Charles Band who, at various times during the
next 17 years, started up the production only to cancel it later for
various reasons. But in the late 1990s, it looked like Allen had finally
found the backing he needed from Band and the film would be completed.
Live action was filmed in the summer of 1994, and from 1995 though much
of 1999, Allen worked constantly on the film, devoting untold hours to
executing its complex animation sequences. How cruel that Fate should
choose now of all times to play such a callous trick, preventing Allen
from ever seeing THE PRIMEVALS up on a cinema screen.
Allen never achieved the status of stop-motion maestro Ray
nor did he enjoy the creative control which Harryhausen exercised over
his films. But all that was due to change with THE PRIMEVALS, a
production which would have demonstrated the full potential of
stop-motion as a medium for depicting fantasy and adventure situations.
David Allen's legion of fans are holding their breaths and hoping that
THE PRIMEVALS will still be completed.