When a Jane Chase, a young zoology student, is invited to assist anthropologist Steven Phillips with his experiments involving chimpanzees, mysterious events occur that all center around Phillip's super intelligent simian servant, Link.
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
There were no female baboons on the set. Typhoon had an Alpha and a Beta trainer. The beta trainer was on the opposite side of the door whispering Typhoon's name which angered him. See more »
The baboon appearing in the movie is not a chacma but hamadryas - a different species. The chacma baboon (Papio ursinus) is the largest species of baboon, whilst the hamadryas (Papio hamadryas) is significantly smaller and easily recognizable by a mane around his face - the only baboon species to have such feature. See more »
The students in the med school of a university play a "Dungeons & Dragons" type of role playing game in their tower after hours. They're supervised by their head professor, Sorenson (Roddy McDowall). Unfortunately, one of their primate charges is a baboon named Shakma (played by "Typhoon"), who has been genetically altered - big surprise there - and who has now gone absolutely crazy, slaughtering any stupid human unlucky enough to be close to it. As the humans dwindle in number, they find that getting help from the outside world is next to impossible.
"Shakma" is pretty laughable, all right, not that it's *completely* worthless. The action is passable, the suspense passable. The most entertaining aspect is the animal action. Typhoon is a real force of nature and was obviously trained as well as a baboon could possibly be trained. Things get pretty gory, too. The movie is generally amusing for putting an "animal attack" spin on the standard slasher formula. Everything about it is no more than adequate on a technical level; it suffers the most from its silly script and inane characterizations. The actors treat the material with the best poker faces that they can muster: former teen idol Christopher Atkins, Amanda Wyss of the original "A Nightmare on Elm Street", Ari Meyers of 'Kate & Allie'. The casting of McDowall is certainly appropriate given his iconic role(s) in the "Planet of the Apes" franchise.
This is a junk movie, to be sure, but it's still reasonably entertaining. One big problem is that it's overextended, going on too long at approximately an hour and 42 minutes.
Five out of 10.
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