Shakma (Animal Horror) [Movie/Reviews]

7/10

Year: 1990
Genre: Horror
Source: Blu-Ray (Code Red)

An experimental drug that is supposed to reduce aggression has the opposite effect on a baboon that is being experimented on by a group of medical students and their professor. While they are playing a fantasy role-playing game in their research facility, the baboon escapes and begins hunting them down.

I really love this one. I mean a movie about a killer baboon, what’s not to like?

The whole movie is set in one building, a research facility. You could call this a slasher movie, with a baboon. They all get picked off one by one by the furious monkey. There are several great suspenseful scenes when he raging baboon goes berserk, and you hold your breath, the great music score heightens this experience. With most killings you don’t really see any effect, more close-up shots with a lot of blood.

All baboon shots are the real deal, there are no CGI effects (too early for that to have entered the movie industry), all fury and destruction of furniture and inventory are Shakma really going at it. On the set they had people with dartguns incase he would attack the crew, which happened several times. Shakma is played by the baboon, Typhoon (handled by Gerry Therrien). Typhoon also played the baboons in The Fly (1986) and Duncan Jax’s baboon in Order of the Black Eagle.

I watched the Code Red’s Blu-ray edition of this, and both picture and sound quality are okay, but not better than DVD quality, although Code red says it’s a brand new 16×9 (1:78) HD master. We get some bonus features such as audio commentary with director Tom Logan, moderated by Cult director David DeCoteau. And an on-camera interview with director Tom Logan that’s very interesting.

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