|Index||9 reviews in total|
Attempting to make up for his continual absence, a man's purchase of a
monkey for his daughter turns out to be a form of demonic
monkey-creature that begins terrorizing the townspeople and must band
together with a group of hunters to take the creatures down.
This turned out to be a solid, middle-of-the-road offering that had some rather fun stuff about it. One of the better elements here is the fact that the opening shock jump doesn't kill off everyone it comes in contact with, which is a pleasant surprise as well as the film's origin story for the creatures which is far better than expected and definitely has some good elements for later use coming out of it. As well, we've got a couple fine action moments with the multitude of creatures swarming over their victims in town at several big scenes, and the finale at the house is quite exciting. This is still plagued with the usual Sci-Fi Channel atrocious CGI and gore, but as well there's another flaw in the treatment of the guardians' search for the creature who seem shoehorned into the story without really doing much and their quest at starting at the front of the chain of possession halfway through the movie doesn't make much sense. Overall, this one wasn't all that terrible though.
Rated R: Violence, Language and Brief Nudity.
I'll be honest in saying that I was expecting to hate Flying Monkeys,
as with a few exceptions SyFy's movies are terrible. Flying Monkeys is
not a great movie, far from it in my view, but you can do with far
worse. Admittedly, the dialogue flows poorly and reeks of cheese, the
gore is very artificial-looking and trivialises the attacks rather than
adding to them and the demon hunters and their subplot felt shoehorned
in and like it was just padding out the running time. There also for me
seemed to be too much emphasis on anti-gun control, I liked that there
was a commentary but at the end of the day it felt overstated. However,
while nothing particularly is top-drawer in Flying Monkeys there were
assets that did seem better done here than in other SyFy movies.
The movie is shot and edited reasonably competently, and while the CGI effects are not going to win any awards and look a little goofy they are proportioned quite well and at least they don't look like they only took five-ten minutes to make. The attacks are quite nail-biting and inventive, more so than usual actually, and the finale is exciting. The father-daughter relationship is something we have seen many times, but was quite touching here. The story of course is weird with the feel of two or more stories rolled into one, also ones that together don't particularly mesh well so the movie did feel muddled at times, but it is not too predictable and it didn't ever bore me. The music and sound effects fit with the atmosphere quite nicely and don't overbear the drama.
We've seen these type of characters before, but while not all were necessary they weren't annoying. Even Wang had his moments. And who cannot love Skippy, he is very cute though he is equally convincing as a demonic monkey. The direction shows a director with more experience in this genre and one who knows how to keep things moving without it getting too overly-serious or overly-comical. The acting is better than average, Maika Monroe and Vincent Ventresca especially were quite good. Overall, weird but quite entertaining. A great movie it isn't, but I- and coming from someone who dislikes most of SyFy's output intensely - cannot bring myself to hate it. 6/10 Bethany Cox
Why do I watch Syfy movies? Simple: I long for the days of Creature Feature and Chiller Theater. Okay, so not much today comes close to "The Killer Shrews." I am also not the first to point that most current CGI does not improve on Ray Harryhausen. That said, there a few Syfy films worth watching. "Sabretooth" is not bad; "Rise of the Zombies" is a pleasant surprise (and way better than Steve Niles "Remains"); the best to my mind, is "Abominable." Now this film about flying monkeys with big appetites actually has a few things going for it. 1) Not a typically predictable plot--after a girl receives a pet that is not what it seems to be; (2)Two Asian ass-kickers who bring the right combination of seriousness and humor; (3) Likable characters--not generic monster food, and; (4)scary monsters. No need to make these flying monkeys Cloverfield-size--this is one film where the CGI works. Better in every way than the useless "Tasmanian Devils." 6/10
Flying Monkeys (2013)
** (out of 4)
The latest from SyFy centers on a father (Vincent Ventresca) who is late to his daughter's (Maika Monroe) graduation so as a make- up gift he buys her a monkey. What he doesn't know is that this monkey is actually a shape shifter that can grow wings as well as grow in size and likes to eat humans. FLYING MONKEYS is pretty much what you'd expect from a movie that shows up on SyFy but I think for the most part it's slightly entertaining and ranks as one of the better things to turn up on the channel at nine o'clock. I know that's not saying too much since there's a lot of bad movies on there but this one here actually works on a few levels. For starters, I thought both Ventresca and Monroe were good in their parts and they certainly helped keep the film interesting and moving along. I thought both of them fit their roles just fine and their performances were certainly better than you normally see in a film like this. The supporting players, while not perfect, were also entertaining in their roles. I can't say the father-daughter subplot was all that great but it's certainly better than what most "B" movies offer up. Another thing that actually works are the CGI monkeys. Yes, the thought of a flying monkey is rather silly but I still thought the special effects were better than most. For starters, unlike so many movies, this one here didn't try to make the monsters bigger than Godzilla (remember the channel's BIGFOOT?) and instead of making them look fake, they actually went the extra mile to make them look realistic or at least as realistic as a flying monkey can be. The CGI wasn't over-the-top nor was it so bad that you couldn't believe what you were watching. First-time director Robert Grasmere has worked on several big films so he's obviously been around talent. I think he actually did a good job considering what the material was. Of course, this is still a SyFy "B" movie so I'd be interesting in seeing what he does from here as well as the cast members.
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
I can live with poor CGI, if there is enough blood and a few laughs. I
can overlook a shoddy, predictable script if the movie is fun. But this
was so badly done and it wasn't even laughably bad.
The worst, most tie breaking flaw is that the "monster" gets attached to the protagonist. He and the girl whose "pet" he's supposed to be bond, and he won't harm her. Then the monster-hunters, here specifically to kill it, tell us that it won't hurt her because she was kind to it, instead of "treating them like the monsters they are". As in, if they weren't being hunted in the first place, they'd be docile. Then the girl kills her pet anyway, just because, with zero rhyme or reason.
The whole thing left a very sour taste in my mouth. A bad B grade horror movie relies on humor to make it watchable. Making it heartbreakingly and senselessly sad instead makes it completely worthless, as a film.
For an original SyFy Channel movie, then "Flying Monkeys" wasn't as bad
as it could have been. Let's face it, SyFy Channel do spew out a fair
share of questionable movies in a steady pace. But every now and then
they do manage to deliver something that isn't as campy, cheesy or
unwatchable as the rest of their movies. "Flying Monkeys" wasn't one of
their greatest movies, true, but it was enjoyable even though it was
The story in "Flying Monkeys" is about Joan (played by Maika Monroe) who graduates from high school. Although her dad James (played by Vincent Ventresca) promised to attend, he arrived late. And to make amends for his late-comings, then he buys his daughter an exotic pet monkey, which she names Skippy. It turns out that the cute monkey turns into a demonic winged killer monkey at night and wrecks havoc on the town. A couple of Asian hunters are chasing after the monkey to kill it before it can further its evil. And the trick is, that the monkey can only be killed by weapons that were blessed in old times. If killed by conventional means, the monkey parts and becomes two.
Storywise, then "Flying Monkeys" is as standard as these type of movies come. But still, it was enjoyable, because there was a good pace to the story, and there was just something profound cheesy to the movie which made it more fun to watch.
The acting was quite good, and that helped lift up the enjoyment of the movie. Even the monkey that played Skippy was doing a convincing job.
I nearly toppled over when they showed a scene that was supposed to be from Hong Kong. That was from mainland China somewhere, and not Hong Kong. I lived there for four years and am familiar with the scenery, the street signs, cabs etc., and that was not Hong Kong. But hey, at least they had the continent right. It was an effort, but a goofy mistake to make.
As for the CGI effects; well, they were there and they served their purpose. However, don't expect to be dazzled by multi-million dollar Hollywood CGi effects, because that is not the case.
"Flying Monkeys" is a fun movie to watch, it is predictable and generic, yes, but then again, so are many movies in the killer animal genre - if there is such a genre.
4 out of 10 stars from me. Fun, campy, predictable but still enjoyable.
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
Flying Monkeys... well, let's just say this certainly is several steps
down from what it could have been, but this cheesy horror movie had
potential. From an annoying animal rights type girl (and terrible
actress) to a woman with a "blessed" bow and arrow who is possibly even
more annoying, the cast isn't first rate by any means and the
characters are all shallow stereotypes and 21st century clichés. There
are several pervy sex jokes and unnecessary bunch of swearing in it,
the worst CGI I've seen in some time, a dopey enviro-hippie propaganda
message and some incredibly bad lines in the script.
That being said, I've grown up watching cheesy horror and sci-fi movies, from Deadly Eyes (1982) to Stonados (2013). They aren't the fun that they used to be, of course... back in the eighties (and nineties sometimes), low-budget horror companies would improvise with random props, still have decent acting and be genuinely entertaining. Today low-budget films are cheesy but not so much fun, just a load of nasty crude humor and CGI. Flying Monkeys definitely wasn't one of my favorites, it was pretty bad, but if you want to watch a movie you can make fun of with your friends or family, it's worth checking out.
For the Sci-fi creature double feature lover, this movie has it all. Similar to Sharknado in its characters. Wonderfully entertaining. Based upon on a story of a girl that receives a pet monkey as a gift. The "gift" is not what intended, but proves to be a terror to the local town. Acting in this movie was actually very good for the content. The movie constantly moved and did not have any moments of lull. Would enjoy seeing a second film of this. Setting of movie in Kansas reminded me of Wizard of Oz, definitely because there were flying monkeys (a take from the wicked witch). These also were not the friendliest creatures. I would recommend this if you are looking for a film that is entertaining, not too heavy.
I was not expecting anything extraordinary in this movie because of this being another low budget movie from Syfy. While many others hate Syfy movies (but keep on watching them for some reason), I enjoy them for what they are and Flying Monkeys is the best one that I have seen. The CGI is always bad in these movies, but Flying Monkeys has the best CGI out of the bunch. There are multiple actors with bad acting and there seems to be a strange unneeded anti-gun message thrown in, but I can overlook those things because of it being a fun movie. I don't need everything to be cinematic genius. This is a low budget television film B movie so I knew what to expect.
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