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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. Written by
Many of the scenes that involved Shakma angrily attacking a door were achieved by putting a female baboon that was in heat on the other side of the door. This is evident if you happen to spot a particular part of Shakma's anatomy during these scenes. See more »
A lab sheet's name box for the titular baboon reads "Shockma" instead of "Shakma". See more »
A wild baboon attacks medical students who are playing a game, trapped in a large tower.
Why did this movie attract my attention? The great cast. We have Roddy McDowell with a bow tie, Playgirl model Christopher Atkins ("Blue Lagoon") and Amanda Wyss ("A Nightmare on Elm Street"). A solid cast right there, despite this being a film that few people have probably ever heard of. Granted, these were 1980s stars on their way down at that point, but still decent.
Ari Meyers, who may be less well-known, is also present, dressed as though she was prepared to audition for a role on "Full House". The breakout character was actually Bradley, the homosexual nerd, played by unknown actor Tre Laughlin, who apparently never acted in anything else.
The problem with this film is that it runs a bit too long, especially towards the last act, and that earns it a five. A six would have happened if it was trimmed down -- the monkey is not on screen too much or too little and we spent a fair amount of time watching these people play a game. Important in some ways, but the game has little to do with them getting attacked -- they could have been doing anything. (Although it is interesting to see how little is revealed to the audience -- if you figure out the rules of the game just by watching, well done).
This also is the sort of movie where the audience might point out the dozen or so bad decisions made by each character. Despite a lack of phone or fire alarms, surely they must have some way to get in and out of the building... but it never seems to occur to anyone, with their best thought being to throw silverware out a vent to see if someone notices. (And if they do notice, why will it make them call the police?)
Not bad as a hidden gem, but not something to go out of your way for, either. Could make a nice double feature set with "Link".
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