36 user 15 critic

Project X (1987)

An Air Force pilot joins a top secret military experiment involving chimps, but begins to suspect there might be something more to the mysterious "Project X".



(story), (screenplay) | 1 more credit »

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1 nomination. See more awards »





Cast overview, first billed only:
Okko ...
Karanja ...
Luke ...
Harry ...
Arthur ...
Ciafu ...
Lucy ...
Lulu ...
Mousie ...
New Recruit
Dr. Carroll (as Bill Sadler)
Johnny Ray McGhee ...
Sgt. Krieger


A young inductee into the military is given the task of looking after some chimpanzees used in the mysterious "Project X". Getting to know the chimps fairly well, he begins to suspect there is more to the secret project than he is being told. Written by Murray Chapman <muzzle@cs.uq.oz.au>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


When the Air Force assigned Jimmy Garrett to a top secret project, he didn't know what he was in for. Neither did they. See more »


PG | See all certifications »



Release Date:

17 April 1987 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Fuga dal futuro - Danger Zone  »

Filming Locations:



Box Office


$18,000,000 (estimated)

Gross USA:

See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs


Sound Mix:


Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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Did You Know?


As the emotional sounds that chimps make do not in any way resemble those of humans, it was decided to create their vocalizations using actors. Every chimp sound in the picture, other than one very brief outburst, is ADR. The role of Goliath, the giant ape, was voiced by the African-American actor Arthur Burghardt, who played Dr. Jack Scott on One Life to Live (1968) and the smallest female chimp, Daisy, was voiced by Anne Lockhart of Battlestar Galactica (1978) fame. Norman B. Schwartz was the vocal effects director. See more »


When they decide to take Virgil out of the complex, Garrett says "let's get the hell out of here" but his words don't match his mouth. His mouth movements actually say, "Let's get the f--- out of here." See more »


Jimmy Garrett: A human pilot would react differently, because a human pilot would know that he's going to die.
See more »


Referenced in This Is Us: Still There (2017) See more »


Shock The Monkey
Written and Performed by Peter Gabriel
See more »

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User Reviews

Lord of the Apes.
5 March 2009 | by See all my reviews

There are a lot of great ape films. King Kong, Mighty Joe Young, Congo, Planet of the Apes, and Gorillas in the Mist are all great ape films. However I feel that Project X is not also a great ape films, but one of the greatest and most under rated films that I have ever seen.

A young chimpanzee named Virgil is raised by a lady named Terri at a university. THere she teaches him how to use sign language. After a few years she loses custody of Virgil and he is to be sent to a zoo. However instead of going to a zoo Virgil is sent to a U.S. Air Force base where they use Chimps to simulate flight to help the Air Force understand some war tendencies better. At the base a young man named Jimmy starts to work closely with Virgil and develops a friendship with Virgil that will change both of their lives.

A big reason why this film is awesome is that it has awesome acting. Matthew Broderick is awesome in this film. He is a great actor but this is his best film in my opinion. Broderick shows great emotion at various points in the film. ALso he has a great presence with all of the chimps in this film and is truly a "Lord of the Apes".

Helen Hunt is pretty good too. I do not think that this is her best film the way I do with Broderick but she is pretty good. I think she plays the trainer who is sad to see her animal student leave great.

However as good as Broderick and Hunt are, there are other actors in this film just as awesome. Those whom I am speaking of are all of the chimpanzee actors in this film. VIrgil is awesome as the main chimp in the film who learns sign language and has a deep understanding. I also liked Goliath, the circus chimp who likes to smoke and does not like to listen to people more than he has too. The chimps do a great job of adding humor and understanding to the film. A lot of what they are doing is funny at times but by watching them and what they go through you gain an understanding of why it is important for animals to not be used as lab rats.

The message in this film is a great one. Many animals are used in tests that are not unusual to the ones done in this film. So by showing this on screen it helps people to realize that it is important to be ethical to animals and not just use them as lab rats.

I should warn viewers that there are some very touching parts that get emotional in this film. A lot of parts in this film touched me greatly and made me nearly get choked up. But I think that this helps to get the films message across.

A great film. Really under rated. Great acting by humans and apes. Highly recommended.

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