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Shakma (1990)

  Tags: 90's, Amanda Wyss, Ann Kymberlie, Ari Meyers, Christopher Atkins, Donna Jarrett, Greg Flowers, hidden gem, Hugh Parks, killer monkeys, Rob Edward Morris, Roddy McDowall, Tom Logan, Tre Laughlin, underrated

Your rating: None Average: 6 (2 votes)
Reviewer Rating: 
6

shakma.jpg
Rating #: 
6/10
Director: 
Tom Logan, Hugh Parks
Runtime: 
101 minutes
Cast: 
Christopher Atkins, Amanda Wyss, Ari Meyers, Roddy McDowall, Rob Edward Morris, Tre Laughlin, Greg Flowers, Ann Kymberlie, Donna Jarrett


This is a very underrated and relatively unheard of flick. In a long line of killer primate movies, this ranks in the top. Why? Well it has a lot of original aspects to it, like the fact that they actually used a prime mate that is generally very violent (baboon), instead of turning a somewhat docile primate into a killing machine. Sure they did experiments on the creature, but it really wasn't modified in any way, so in the end it's just a crazed baboon running amuck in a small research facility, and somehow it works!

The story is about a group of teens who stay a research facility during closing hours, and no it's not because they wanted to have a party-filled night of sex, drugs, and alcohol. Nope, they stay overnight to play a fantasy role-playing scavenger-hunt-type game. Talk about a group of dorks, but it apparently goes towards their college fund, so of course the group isn't just filled with the geek-squad. While the group is going about looking for clues to the next key, a crazed baboon has broken free and is hunting down the unknowing teens.

Now you've gotta admit that the theme of the movie is somewhat original. I mean, the fact that the teens weren't there to party is fairly new for a flick in the 90's. I guess after the same-old from the 80's they decided to try a different reason for the dumbass teens to stay the night in a building. A dungeons-and-dragons-type game wasn't a bad choice I think. I also thought it was cool to see Roddy McDowall playing the scientist-type guy that heads the game. You may remember him mainly from the movie Fright Night as "Peter Vincent."

This movie also has the gore-factor going for it. The baboon really does a number on the teens when he gets the chance, and he wastes not time either. I loved seeing him go frantic when they'd shut the door in his face, because that sucker would be clawing the hell outta the door while making this crazy shrieking-type noise that added to the effect. Baboons sure can be freaky creatures when they're pissed! So if I liked the movie so much why did I give it a 6-rating? Well the characters can't seem to reframe from doing stupid things at times, and there are some situations that seem like they can be easily resolved if they had tried a little harder, but then there wouldn't be much of a movie if they did that.

Either way, this is a movie not to be missed, especially if you're into those killer-animal-type movies. It's not on DVD in the U.S. and chances are that you'll have trouble finding it on VHS, but you might get lucky. Hong Kong has an uncut DVD out and so do the U.K., but expect to dish out a lot of $$ if you're not gettin' the HK one. Hopefully one day we'll see an official U.S. for this baby on DVD, but until then we'll have to settle for what we can get!

A good movie, with some scares here and there. The ending was a bit of a let down, but the rest of the film was enjoyable. Check this out.

Posted on July 5, 2009 - 3:56pm | FrighT MasteR

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