A zoology student must try to out smart a murderous and super-intelligent orangutan.



(story) (as Lee Zlotoff), (story) | 1 more credit »
1 win & 2 nominations. See more awards »
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Complete credited cast:
Jane Chase
Dr. Steven Phillip
Steven Finch ...
David (as Steven Pinner)
Richard Garnett ...
Kevin Lloyd ...
Joe Belcher ...
Taxi Driver


Student Jane jobs as an assistant for the animal researcher Phillip in a lonesome old house. They live alone except for the chimpanzees and butler Link: a 45 years old very intelligent orangutan. Phillip wants to put Link to death. However before he can do this he's vanished tracelessly one morning. Link starts behaving more and more aggressive and prohibits Jane from using the phone or reaching the next village. When she punishes him by locking him out, he becomes violent. Written by Tom Zoerner <Tom.Zoerner@informatik.uni-erlangen.de>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


For thousands of years man has enslaved the ape, now the tables are about to turn. See more »




R | See all certifications »




Release Date:

19 September 1986 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Abernes nat  »

Box Office


$1,720,450 (USA)

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Sound Mix:



Aspect Ratio:

1.66 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


Anthony Perkins was offered the role of Dr.Steven Philip. See more »


Link is an orangutan and they have reddish-brown fur, in the film he is recalled as a chimp and the trainers dyed his fur black. See more »


Imp: [Typing on the monkey computer to Jane] LINK DIRTY BUG
Jane Chase: Oh, come on. You are going to hurt Link's feelings.
See more »


Performed by The Kinks
Music by Ray Davies
Published by Davray Music Ltd.
Courtesy of Carlin Music
See more »

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User Reviews

Monkey see, monkey don't
19 August 2007 | by (London, England) – See all my reviews

"There's just a few rules that you have to remember: 1. You're the dominant species. You must never, ever treat them as equals. 2. Don't ever let anything escalate. Always forgive them, whatever they do. 3. Don't get involved in their squabbles. They sort them out. And 4. Erm, some turds in the hall. Can you clear them up?"

Whenever anyone comes up with that kind of list in a movie you can start ticking off the order in which they'll be forgotten and place your bets on who dies first, and Richard Franklin's Link is no exception to the rule. It's not a particularly ambitious film – it can pretty much be summed as a girl stalked in a remote country house by an unbalanced killer, with the spin being that this time the killer is an ape – but it's a pleasingly well-crafted and executed one. Unusually for director Richard Franklin the influence here seems to be less Hitchcock than Argento, with plenty of bravura camera-work – complicated tracking shots, long lenses, multiple speeds and step-printing that are far more effective than they have any right to be. Naturally the apes outshine the humans (Elisabeth Shue and a fairly brief but entertaining turn from Terence Stamp), with Locke the Orangutan giving a surprisingly layered turn as Link himself, the unstable former circus hack and "Master of Fire."

Barely remembered today, it's one of those films that just got lost in the cracks: a key and very expensive part of Verity Lambert's catastrophic production slate (The Holcroft Covenant, Wild Geese II, Morons From Outer Space, Bloodbath at the House of Death, Slayground etc) that led to EMI films being sold lock, stock and barrel to Cannon, who promptly dumped it with a token release, the film rarely even turns up on TV these days. But any ape movie with a heroine called Jane (after Jane Goodall, not Tarzan's mate) that uses both The Kinks I'm An Apeman and Marlene Dietrich's entrance in a gorilla suit from Blonde Venus as well as offering an infectiously demented Jerry Goldsmith Baroque'n'Roll score mixing synths, symphony orchestra, calliope and a 7/8 drumbeat definitely deserves a second look.

8 of 13 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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