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Frazetta Man

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Frazetta Men meeting their typical fate at the hands of a Barbarian Hero.

Named for the art of Frank Frazetta, Frazetta Man is the generic subhuman native of the Lost World, or else the relic of a bygone age frozen in the ice. He most likely wants our women, and is prepared to pursue them across hundreds of miles of jungle and savanna. He is applied in hordes, can rarely be reasoned with, and basically exists to be triumphed over by Mighty Whitey so the Hollywood Natives may be properly awed.

Your basic Frazetta Man has the wiry build of a chimpanzee, though he is generally around human size if not larger. He'll be covered in hair (usually not fur) and will rarely wield any weapon more sophisticated than a knobkerrie. Seldom if ever will females or children of the species be seen, perhaps explaining his fixation on the Nubile Savage in her Fur Bikini.note  His language, if he has progressed beyond the grunting stage, will be simple and brutal, and his gods will exist primarily to excuse his bloodthirsty nature.

Although we tend to associate this trope with the Two-Fisted Tales and Jungle Opera of the early 20th Century, this trope is actually Older Than Dirt. There are a few very old instances in the Folklore section below, and an Ur-Example borderline Frazetta Man even acts as the Deuteragonist in one of the oldest surviving stories in the world.

One possible modern take on this trope is Bigfoot, Sasquatch, and Yeti, which are speculated by some people to really be surviving prehistoric hominids, though of course their existence hasn't been proven. Though interestingly, these ape-like creatures aren't something new and have existed in the mythology of certain peoples for thousands of years, leading some to suspect that the oldest examples may be distorted accounts of now-extinct species of humanoid encountered by Early Man. Relatedly, ancestral memories of Frazetta Man may also be pitched as the slightly-more plausible inspiration behind legends of The Fair Folk, trolls, and the like. In anthropology, this is referred to as the theory of "fairy euhemerism", and is generally not taken very seriously.

More intelligent species of Frazetta Man exist, physically little different but typically adorned in primitive jewelry and using weapons as advanced as swords or axes. Such varieties often function as Mooks for the local Big Bad, and may shade over into orcish or Beast Man territory. Compare Killer Gorilla, where non-human apes get a similarly brutal, savage portrayal. See The Morlocks for Frazetta Man's subterranean cousins; where Frazetta Man merely retained ancestral primate traits, the Morlocks developed their atavistic features as an adaptation to living underground (or, in futuristic settings, to living and working in dingy industrial environments). Also see Pelts of the Barbarian, for when primitive humans wear clothes made of fur instead of simply being covered in hair themselves.

Contrast Handsome Heroic Caveman.


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    Anime & Manga 
  • The Trolls in Berserk are a savage horde of primitive beasts who eat everything (including the corpses of their own fallen) in their way and kidnap women and drag them down to their lairs to rape, impregnate and kill them in that order. Some of them are smart enough to use human weapons and plate armour however, something which disgusts Isidro when he first sees them.

    Comic Books 
  • Dark Horse Monsters: In "Mike and Viv Go to Vegas!", Mike experiences one of these. He envisions himself as a Frazetta Man decked out in Conan the Barbarian-style clothing fending off a variety of cartoonish dinosaurs that look like they came out of The Flintstones, as a scantily-clad Viv clings to him going "Oooooh, Mike!"
  • A lot of the primitive humans in The Goddamned are portrayed as more ape-like mongrels than people, implied to be the result of both their barbaric lifestyles and inbreeding.
  • Dapper, a villain from The Goon, is a gangster who resembles a hulking, apelike caveman, making him the rare antagonist who can go toe-to-toe with the Goon himself without magical or technological aid. In a twist, however, Dapper is also pretty smart, almost a Genius Bruiser, and, as his name suggests, he's very much a Wicked Cultured Sharp-Dressed Man trying to compensate for his animalistic appearance.
    You see, for an evolutionary throwback such as myself, a veritable Cro-Magnon if you will, the clothes make the iceman. A linen and silk suppression of my brutish and savage nature. A symbol that I am a cultured, sophisticated, modern man.
  • Hellraiser: The cavemen in issue #6 of the Pinhead miniseries are drawn in this manner. Notably, the cover has the tagline "The climactic Cro-Magnon clash!" despite them definitely not being Cro-Magnons (who were essentially indistinguishable from modern humans).
  • In issue #7 of Supergirl (1972), "The Sinister Snowman", Supergirl bumps into two large, hairy and apelike cavemen trapped in a large slab of ice as she is exploring a mountain in the Himalayas. Suddenly they awaken, break free and attack Supergirl, uttering unintelligible noises but showing immense strength.

    Comic Strips 
  • A two-page George Booth comic called "Ip Gissa Gul" was published in The New Yorker in January 1975. Its titular "ip" (ape) is a hulking apeman searching for a girl while observed by some slightly more human-looking cavemen, with all the dialogue in goofy broken English. While this strip was his most famous, Booth did numerous other strips with similar hulking ape-men.
  • The Phantom: The island of Eden is inhabited by semi-sentient prehistoric man-creatures.

    Fan Fiction 
  • Prehistoric Park Reimagined: Over the course of the woolly mammoth rescue mission Ice Time, Jack and Nikolai end up encountering a particularly vicious tribe of early hominids explicitly referred to as Ape Men that even end up named after the Kzamm from Quest for Fire in the story's in-universe Neanderthal language. In traditional fashion for this trope, the Ape Men of this story look very much like anthropomorphic apes and are portrayed as incredibly brutish and violent to such a degree as to be The Dreaded to multiple animals as well as to the Neanderthals. But in an inversion, these beings are also ironically the most advanced of the early hominids encountered in the story by virtue of how they know how to cure meat while also possessing a basic understanding of tactics and a comparatively more advanced language then that of the Neanderthals and Cro-Magnons (albeit, one that is incredibly unnerving and almost evil sounding).
  • Prehistoric Park: Returned from Extinction: A whole tribe of these end up at the park after the events of The World Outside of Time, though, as opposed to the normal ape-man appearance associated with this trope, the narration refers to them as "monkey-men" and implies they are lither than the standard. They're the hominids from Primal (2019), who live alongside Spear and Fang. Notably, the series also features a dinosaur example of this trope, in the form of the Orniths from Evolution. Contrary to the normal depiction of this trope, though, none of the examples in the story are portrayed as being particularly savage. The first time the "monkey-men" meet the orniths, for example, has both parties initially being cautious until a member of the hominids, Spear, who is sharing their cave, offers the dinosaurs a piece of cooked meat as a peace offering.

    Films — Animation 
  • Fire and Ice (1983): The sub-humans, character designs by Frank Frazetta himself. Unusually for the trope, we see a female one at one point (she appears to be some sort of shaman).

    Films — Live-Action 

  • In Before Adam by Jack London, all the main characters are primitive hominids with ape-like features and behaviour. The main antagonist of the story, Red-Eye the "Atavism", is a hulking, particularly ape-like member of the tribe who prefers to walk on all fours and is characterized as exceptionally aggressive and violent.
  • Edgar Rice Burroughs made liberal use of Frazetta Man in a myriad of incarnations;
    • The best known and best developed are the Mangani, a missing-link "anthropoid ape" species who raised Tarzan and are halfway between this trope and Killer Gorilla. They're not quite as evil as examples of this trope tend to be, though the original Burroughs novels definitely place them as mentally and morally inferior to Tarzan himself.
    • Pellucidar has the Sagoths, an advanced breed of Frazetta Man who act as Mooks to the ruling Mahars, along with separate species dubbed Ape Men, Gorilla Men, and Brute Men. Tarzan at the Earth's Core has Tarzan wonder if the Sagoths and the Mangani have a common ancestor due to sharing a language.
  • In The Chronicles of Prydain, Gurgi is a rather comedic take on this trope, described as existing somewhere between man and beast, and most illustrators have interpreted him as distinctly simian. His basis is less anthropological and more folkloric (see the woodwoses above under Folklore). He appears as a kind of comic relief sidekick to the main characters. In the Disney movie, however, he is portrayed as a kind of mustachioed anthropomorphic sheepdog, and doesn't really fit this trope.
  • Robert E. Howard's Conan the Barbarian:
    • In "Shadows In The Moonlight" Conan fights one:
      "A gray man-ape," he grunted. "Dumb, and man-eating. They dwell in the hills that border the eastern shore of this sea."
    • There's also Thak from "Rogues in the House", though he may be a mild subversion — he's dangerous explicitly because he's smart as well as strong even though he doesn't speak, and Conan himself acknowledges after defeating him that he has "slain a man tonight, not a beast."
    • It gets a bit more complex than that when you read Howard's essay on the Hyborian Age and other related materials — it turns out that after the cataclysm that destroyed the previous Thurian Age, several human groups (including King Kull's birth people, Atlanteans), devolved into Frazetta Men shortly after falling back to savagery, and Cimmerians like Conan are explicitly descended from them. Those from Conan's time are the descendants of those who didn't re-evolve back into humans.
    • The Picts of Hyboria as depicted in the Conan stories also. They are brutish sub-humans akin to Neanderthals, living in the aptly-named Pictish Wilderness in the uncivilized western parts of the continent. The Kull and Bran Mak Morn stories depict them in more human (and sympathetic) terms, however.
    • The short story Spear and Fang by the same author depicts a conflict between a Cro-Magnon and Neanderthal over a Cro-Magnon woman. This trope is played so straight that said Neanderthal even has fangs, as the title suggests!
  • Doc Savage: Zigzagged. Monk plays it straight in that he looks like a hairy man-ape. However, he subverts it in every other detail; he's a genetic freak born to perfectly normal human parents, and rather than being a near-feral savage, he's actually possessed of a genius-level intellect.
  • The Earth's Children Series (which starts with Clan of the Cave Bear) by author Jean M. Auel zigzags this trope constantly. For example, the Neandethals of this series are depicted as a very loving and intelligent people and not beast-like (which is what the Cro-Magnons assume them to be) but they are terribly sexist and patriarchal (The Cro-Magnons are depicted as existing in an idealized primordial matriarchy, whereas the female Neanderthals are socially inferior to the males). They are also depicted as having only a limited capacity for verbal speech, but they do have a perfectly functioning and complete sign-language which the Cro-Magnon humans (with a few exceptions) cannot comprehend as a language at all. Also their technology never progresses not because they lack intelligence but because they have an overwhelming Genetic Memory which is static and inherited.
  • Trolls, Ogres, and Dawn-men from The Elenium by David Eddings are Frazetta Man on steroids, and (at least the Trolls) backed by genuinely powerful (if stupid) gods.
    • They're also fairly different from each other — ogres are described more in terms of animals than this trope (which is all we get, since they never actually show up in person) and are huge horned beasts, trolls are unchanging (they don't have to change, because of the aforementioned powerful gods) but actually relatively smart (one of them even engages two of the protagonists in a philosophical debate). Dawn-men are simpler and unchanged — they are the precursor species of trolls and humans brought forward in time by the magics of the bad guys.
  • In The Epic of Gilgamesh, Enkidu starts out as a Noble Savage take on this trope, running freely with the gazelles of the plains, who do not fear him as they would a human. He becomes civilized over the first part of the story, as the priestess Shamhat introduces him to sex, alcohol, and clothing. This is portrayed as a good thing in some ways, since Enkidu can now enter the city of Uruk and befriend Gilgamesh, but also a somewhat tragic moment, since Enkidu's old animal friends now see him as just another human, and flee from his approach. It also leads, ultimately, to his death, since man is mortal. This makes this trope Older Than Dirt.
  • Used for horror in "Facts Concerning the Late Arthur Jermyn" by H. P. Lovecraft, where it's revealed that decades ago, the titular character's great-great-great-grandfather, Sir Wade Jermyn, had discovered a tribe of white-furred ape-men living in Darkest Africa. Unusually for this trope, they're not portrayed as doing anything particularly evil. The reason he committed suicide prior to the book's opening had been due to learning that Sir Wade Jermyn had fallen in love with the tribe's princess, marrying her before smuggling her out of Africa, with all the subsequent Jermyns being descendants of this union of man and ape-woman. It's unclear whether the story is meant to be read as an expression of Darwinian horror at our simian heritage, or if it's just Lovecraft's fear of race-mixing, or even both. The story is generally considered one of Lovecraft's least scary by modern audiences, if not quite as underwhelming (and racist) as The Reveal from "Medusa's Coils".
  • The Fifth Child: The titular fifth child born to the Lovatt family is some kind of evolutionary throwback who destroys their domestic bliss.
  • Clark Ashton Smith's Hyperborea Cycle of fantasy stories feature a hairy, cave-dwelling race called the voormi, who are initially presented as straddling the line between this trope and Hollywood Natives; the story "The Testament of Athammaus" revolves around the execution by beheading of a notorious voormi bandit named Knygathin Zhaum, so it's clear that the humans of Hyperborea see the voormis as more than just animals. However, as the Cycle progressed, Smith leaned more and more into the Medieval Prehistory elements of the setting, and his descriptions of the voormi begin to sound more and more explicitly inhuman, referring to them as "three-toed", suggesting they may actually be more ground sloth than hominid. A few of Smith's notes toward an unfinished story were eventually assembled by Lin Carter into the posthumous collaboration "The Scroll of Morloc", which fleshed out voormi culture a bit, focusing on a feud between rival shamans, and giving them a rudimentary form of literacy, despite their primitive technology.
  • In The Last Day of Creation by Wolfgang Jeschke, the time travelers stranded five million years ago in the Mediterranean are assisted by ape-like natives they call Chaps who they have taught to speak English and use their vehicles and weaponry. They are cannibals, but the time travelers can't persuade them otherwise so have learnt to live with it. The protagonist eventually befriends one of them and chooses to remain in the past with him when offered the possibility of returning to an (albeit very different) future.
  • The Lord of the Rings has the Woses, inspired by the woodwoses from folklore. Here, they're just a tribe of technologically primitive hunter-gatherer humans who look very strange to everyone else, but they aren't aggressive, stupid, or even particularly hairy, and they show the Rohirrim the way through Drúadan Forest in time to save the day at a climactic battle. In reward, King Elessar recognizes their right to the Forest in perpetuity, and they are never seen again. Interestingly, the Rohirrim say that the Woses remind them of their old legends of the Pukel-men, a word meaning the same as "woodwose". They receive an expanded backstory in The Silmarillion and Unfinished Tales.
  • The Wergu ("beastmen") from The Lords of Creation, Neanderthals transplanted to the Lost World jungles of terraformed Venus. Portrayed as vile and filthy creatures who are nothing but menaces to humanity; however they're only seen from the viewpoints of their enemies and/or victims—at one point a group of Neanderthals give their lives so the women and children can escape, and the main characters reflect that they might have misjudged them.
  • These become the primary antagonists for much of The Lost World (1912), though it is perhaps a bit less Mighty Whitey than some examples because the outsider main characters would be toast without the army of the more human natives of the plateau. Much is made of Professor Challenger's resemblance to the chief of the ape-men. Deconstructed a bit in the A&E version; see below.
  • In Man After Man: An Anthropology of the Future, several of the new genetically-engineered human species (particularly the plains-dwellers, tropical forest-dwellers, and temperate woodland-dwellers) have been changed into forms resembling earlier hominids, with limited intelligence compared to modern humans.
  • Played with in Quest for Fire (the book the aforementioned movie was based on): The man-eating Kzamms are hairy and bestial with ape-like limb proportions but have somewhat more sophisticated fire-keeping methods than the Noble Savage protagonists. The Blue-haired men are even more ape-like but much less bloodthirsty. Aghoo and his brothers are the straightest examples, being brutish and hairy Neanderthals, but they are merely three individuals who are despised and feared by the rest of their tribe.
  • In Sannikov Land, there are the hairy and brutish Vampu, stuck at the Palaeolithic stage of development and constantly at war with the more civilized Onkilons who are modern humans.
  • A Song of Ice and Fire:
    • The Sothoryi, the inhabitants of the southern continent of Sothoryos. They are hairy, robust, ape-like humanoids that somewhat resemble the below-mentioned Paranthropus. They're famously savage and violent and are rumoured to be cannibals who eat humans and each other, and in the further reaches of the continent are said to be even more barbaric and follow some kind of Religion of Evil. Every attempt by Westerosi or Essosi people at settling the continent has been beset by attacks from them. However, they seem to be at least related to humans and are probably intended as an offshoot of early hominids, as they can breed with humans (but not produce viable offspring) and have language; those on the coasts have learned the Trade Talk pidgin, although they're not considered smart enough to be worth taking as slaves, except for use in the fighting pits.
    • The Ibbenese defy this trope. Their description in The World of Ice & Fire makes it pretty clear that they're Neanderthals, and they seem to have been the original human inhabitants of Essos before being displaced by modern humans. However, they're not described as unusually savage or barbaric, just insular and kind of weird, and they trade and interbreed (with varying rates of success) with "regular" humans.
  • The Morlocks from H. G. Wells' The Time Machine in appearance, though they're actually a subversion in 1) being more sophisticated and technologically advanced than the more human-like Eloi, and 2) being the evolutionary descendants of humanity (along with their Eloi prey).
  • "The Ugly Little Boy": The In-Universe portrayal of Timmie by the newspapers is an "ape-boy" to sensationalize stories told to an ignorant public. Averted by the child himself, who is intelligent, learns to speak and read English, and plays with the Director's son, who is roughly the same age. Because he's an actual Neanderthal child.
  • Manly Wade Wellman wrote a series of stories about a Handsome Heroic Caveman named Hok the Mighty and his struggles against savage, cannibalistic Neandertharls (although Hok knows them as "Gnorrls"). These stories were actually fairly well-researched for the time, although much of Wellman's research is fairly dated today - he takes it for granted, for example, that all contact between sapiens and neanderthalensis was violent, and that Neanderthals vanished because they were all killed, rather than simply genetically absorbed. There's also a lot of Deliberate Values Dissonance: we do see Gnorrl women and children, and Hok seems perfectly willing to kill them without a moment's hesitation because they're his tribe's enemies. All in all, he and the other humans are only slightly less brutal than the Gnorrls.

    Live-Action TV 
  • The Lost World (2001) recreates the war between pithecanthropoid ape-men and Lost World native humans from the book, but delves into the aftermath of the struggle a lot more. The "Indians" of the Plateau initially want to kill all of the ape-man prisoners, but Prof. Challenger tries to stop what he sees as a genocide. The story then delves into the question of whether he is right to try to impose his beliefs - even high-minded, well-intentioned ones - on the Plateau natives, showing just how seductive colonialist thinking can be. This is in contrast to the book, where the ape-men are slaughtered en masse without a second thought.
  • Saturday Night Live
    • One sketch advertised a home workout system called Bioflex, a genetically-engineered hyper-aggressive apeman that just leaps out of its shipping crate and beats the living daylights out of you.
      "Being pounced on by the angry, hungry creature tones and firms your thighs and glutes. Wrestling with the violent ape-beast works your shoulders, pecs, and abdominals. Finally, being pummeled and beaten by the vicious man-monster is also part of the workout."
    • Another sketch, "Unfrozen Caveman Lawyer", is Exactly What It Says on the Tin. Phil Hartman plays Kiroc, a prehistoric Neanderthal who was frozen for thousands of years, only to be discovered and revived in the modern era, after which he apparently went to law school. The humor of the sketch comes from how Kiroc exploits this trope to win cases, thinly presenting himself as a simple, primitive man who doesn't understand the world of the future to convince the jury that his arguments, being self-evident even to a "stupid caveman" like him, must be true.
      Kiroc: Your world frightens and confuses me. Sometimes, the honking horns of your traffic make me want to get out of my BMW and run off into the hills, or whatever. Sometimes, when I get a message on my fax machine I wonder, did little demons get inside and type it? I don't know! My primitive mind can't grasp these concepts. But there is one thing I do know: when a man like my client slips and falls on a sidewalk in front of a public library, he is entitled to no less than two million dollars in compensatory damages, and two million dollars in punitive damages.

    Myths & Religion 
  • The Medieval European folkloric image of a "woodwose", a primitive human living in the wilderness where the Christian civilization ends, has many similarities with the Frazetta Man. Shaggy hair and beard, big club (which due to its stooped posture, could serve as a cane), naked or near-naked, etc. They weren't evil, but rather just the antithesis of urban life, law, religion, and everything else that the civilization of that time stood for — occupying a mythological role not unlike that of Fauns and Satyrs, but without the Bacchic associations. One of the Italian words for woodwose was huorco, which is one theory about where orcs got their name.
  • Chinese Mythology: The Chinese have their own remarkably similar spin on the trope in the red-haired "Yeren", also called "wildman". Nowadays it's often considered to be a cryptid in the same vein as Bigfoot, Sasquatch, and Yeti.
  • Classical Mythology:
    • The Chromandae are a race of ape-like humanoids who speak a language that is all howls, grunts and screams, and have dog-like teeth.
    • Greek mythology has a few of these, including the original cave men or troglodytes and the hair-covered Gorillai (yes, this is where the word "gorilla" comes from, and given their alleged location, it is very possibly the exact same creature).
  • Pacific Mythology: The Maero from Maori myths are a race of apelike Precursors who were driven into the mountains by the Maori, harbour a hatred of humankind due to this and launch attacks on human settlements.
  • Malaysian Mythology: While usually seen now as a variation on Bigfoot, Sasquatch, and Yeti or a type of werewolf, Santu Sakai traditionally fit to a T (except for the sharp bones on the arms and huge mouths), being regarded as a hairy, fanged and degenerate (but still human) race of mountain-dwellers who descend after long periods of cloudy weather to attack villages and capture and eat humans.

    Tabletop Games 
  • Dungeons & Dragons and Pathfinder: Hill giants are the Frazetta Men of giant-kind. They're long-armed, borderline simian primitives too backwards to have civilization beyond primitive villages, dressed in patchworks of badly cured hides and armed with clubs and primitive stone mauls, and with a pronounced taste for humanoid flesh. They're not as deliberately cruel as, say, frost giants, but that's mostly because they're too dumb and lazy.
    • The Dungeons And Dragons 3.5 Edition sourcebook Frostburn provided stats on using Neanderthals as a playable race. Unsurprisingly, they were depicted as powerful but not too bright.
  • Exalted: The jungles of the Southeast are home to savage man-apes descended from Raksi, Queen of Fangs, which are intensely hostile to any human trespassing on their territory.
  • Palladium Fantasy and Rifts have ogres. They're the Neanderthals of the Palladium world, a larger, ancestral Human Subspecies who are interfertile with humans. They have fangs and clawed hands and feet, as well as lots of hair over their body. They're not quite Always Chaotic Evil, but they're close, as most ogres are savage, rage-filled and cannibalistic, and because a significant proportion of their women are sterile, ogre tribes raid human settlements for breeding stock. They subvert this trope in one major respect, however: Ogres are as intelligent as humans, and can use technology and magic just as easily if they get the chance.
  • Rocket Age: The Grey Chanari are the possible descendants of the first attempts at genetically engineering labourers created by the Canal era Martians. So unintelligent that they aren't even considered Martian by the other Chanari tribes, they are frequently lead by escaped Julandri labourers, a race known for their own unintelligence and gonky appearance.
  • Shadowrun: A number of Awakened primates exist that were transformed by the return of magic into forms resembling the stereotypical hunched, hairy and barbaric cave-dwelling proto-humans, in may cases gaining human hands, feet and noses while retaining may apish characteristics. Particularly notable are the troglodyte (hairless Awakened chimps that live exclusively within cave systems), dours (another type of cave-dwelling Awakened chimp, possessing short and muscular physiques and human-like facial hair), munchkins (Awakened spider monkeys with hairless heads, vestigial tails, bipedal gaits and long arms) and wodewoses (tailless, muscular Awakened capuchin monkeys with lots of large, sharp teeth). They all possess primitive tool use and language skills and, with the exception of the peaceful and reclusive troglodytes, tend to be aggressive and territorial. Notably, the lack of any sizable North American populations of great apes, even in captivity, for dours and troglodytes to have Awakened from has raised speculation that rather than being descended from chimps they may be degenerate humans instead.
  • Warhammer 40,000: Neandors are abhumans who have undergone profound mental regressions while becoming physically stronger, resulting in hunched, muscular brutes of limited language and intellect. In the Imperial Guard, they're mostly used as cheap muscle.

    Video Games 
  • In Brütal Legend, the Headbangers are a silly version of Frazetta Men. They are built like Neanderthals, and only know how to bang their heads against rocks for mining purposes, so they are used as slave labor without the need of bars and chains. The Hero then introduces them to Heavy Metal, and compels them to bang their heads for freedom instead. They gain intelligence as the story goes by, building cars and weapons.
  • Some Pokémon may be closer to us than you think. Look up a picture of an Infernape. Now look very closely. What do you notice? (Hint: It's the feet!)
  • Common foes in the jungles of Quest for Glory III.
  • In The Sinking City, the Throgmortons are a rare civilized example of this trope; an expy of the Jermyn family (see Literature), they are the results of an eccentric human aristocrat and sorcerer falling in love with a she-gorilla and having children with her, creating a family that possesses excessive body hair, dense sideburns, and an ape-like cast to their facial features. Aside from their ironic bigotry towards Innsmouthers, there is nothing inherently wrong or evil about them—it is mentioned in passing that their heritage gives them superhuman strength and fortitude, and their intelligence is high even by pureblood human standards. Far from being enemies, they are actually one of the player character's few allies.
  • During the third act of Titan Quest, set in Asia, there are plenty of Neanderthal enemies met on the mountains from Parthia to the Mongolian cliffs. They have both fighters and shamans, and sometimes they ride saber-tooth lions in battle. You also get to meet their warchief, who's a colossal Yerren.

    Web Original 

    Western Animation 
  • Dino-Boy: Frazetta Men called the Tree Men appear in one episode. They have tails like lions, but otherwise are clearly ape-men, and worship vulture-pterodactyls by offering up Human Sacrifices. In the end, Ugh saves Dino Boy from becoming a vulture-dactyl's meal by stampeding a mastodon herd through their village.
  • G.I. Joe: A Real American Hero: Frazetta Men called the Primords appear in the third episode, where the uncharted region of Darkest Africa that they inhabit becomes the crash-site for a fallen G.I. Joe satellite.
  • Primal (2019) features a lot of them, with the main character, Spear, being one himself. Interestingly, there’s shown to be multiple types; Spear’s people (who resemble Neanderthals), a race of pale cave-dwellers, and apemen who are far more bestial than the first two. Also unusually, the former two are portrayed quite sympathetically and get along with each other, with only the apemen being portrayed as villainous. "Slave of the Scorpion" reveals all of them exist alongside much more modern homo sapiens.

  • The theories of Danny Vendramini paint a picture of Neanderthals very much like this trope. According to him, they were brutal, bestial (but intelligent) savages resembling demonic gorillas with catlike vertical pupils more than the reconstructions seen in museums, and they preyed on Homo sapiens both carnivorously and carnally. However, this is a very fringe theory (it's really just a hypothesis). Most scientists view it as absurd and point out that it is mostly based on conjecture and confirmation bias (and quite possibly Rule of Scary), with a lack of any hard evidence for Vendramini's more outlandish claims. For one thing, genetics has proven that Neanderthals didn't look anything like what Vendramini claims, as many individuals had traits like light hair and eyes, the pitch-black skin would have been detrimental to them, since they lived in mostly cold climates with a lack of sunlight. Also, since even Vendramini believes that humans and Neanderthals interbred (though he believes this happened for sinister reasons), these monstrous traits that he described would be more apparent in modern humans.
  • Paranthropus actually fit the physical description of a Frazetta Man, as a hairy, densely muscled, bipedal gorilla-like entity, but existed well before modern humans did, and is believed to have fed largely upon nuts, seeds, and hard fruits, so it was hardly a savage cannibal. Even if it had hypothetically encountered humans, they most likely kept to themselves and avoided humans unless provoked. Neither their men nor their women would be very likely to be sexually attracted to us, either. Paranthropus actually did live side by side with Homo erectus/ergaster for a while, and some think that early humans contributed to their demise. Especially since at that time, humanity was young and curious about everything, seeing how we were globetrotters who used spears and primitive fire. We may have eaten them or their food, or burned their trees in an attempt to drive away predators. It could be that both genera got along, and other reasons are what caused Paranthropus to disappear. The recent discovery of Homo naledi, a late Homo hominin with very australopithecine features just a couple hundred thousand years before the oldest Homo sapiens fossils raises the possibility of a real-life Frazetta Man closer to the beginning of early humanity.
  • We tend to take them for granted but the common chimpanzee is essentially a real-life version of this trope: aggressive hairy man-like creatures with immense strength who make simple tools and live in warlike patriarchal societies. There's a high likelihood that folklore about hairy subhuman "wild men" is rooted in traveler's tales of chimps and other great apes, and the species name troglodytes ("cave-dweller") directly references this. Exaggerated by Oliver, a balding, upright walking chimp (due to an anatomical defect) who was exhibited in American circuses as a "humanzee" hybrid and "missing link".
  • A now Forgotten Trope of Medieval scholarly discussion, Dog-headed men, probably originated from garbled reports of baboons and macaques (i.e., they have hands and feet like humans and monkeys, but also long snouts and fangs), mixed with stories about uncontacted tribes like the Andamanese.
  • "Orangutan" derives from the Malay word orang utan, "forest person".

Alternative Title(s): Frazetta Men, Ape Man, Ape Men, Subhuman Savage