I'd like to say that The Mike has always been as awesome as he is now. Oh wait, he actually has been. However, he wouldn't have gotten his trademark "The" - or his chance to write about movies on the internet - if it weren't for Jason of BoxOfficeBoredom.com. Though one dorm room was far too small to hold both of our egos, the internet has become a great place for Jason to share what The Mike taught him about movies and for The Mike to first (and still occasionally) share his thoughts via Jason's nearly 10 year old website. Though he doesn't have my natural charm or superior wit and guile, Jason succeeds in other areas by having intelligence and being mature and married. Basically, we're the Rock & Sock Connection of Iowan Movie Freaks....if you smell what The Mike is cooking.
FMWL's 12 Midnights of Christmas presents: 4 Evil Monkeys
By Jason of BoxOfficeBoredom.com
I was given the honor of guest writing for From Midnight, With Love this holiday season as part of their 12 Midnights of Christmas event. The daunting task of writing of horror fun with a holiday theme was a welcome challenge. While I can’t promise that my horror expertise is any more wonderful than a 3 week old fruitcake, I can promise you today’s list will have you going ape!
I know the Wizard of Oz doesn’t exactly lay any claim as a horror film, but who didn’t grow up having a fear of being whisked away by winged monkeys after watching this film as a child? If being carried away by a tornado and being stalked for your shoes by an evil witch isn’t enough to frighten you, then being carried to the witches clutches by winged monkeys should have you shaking in your ruby slippers. These horrific little creatures were the part of the film that frightened me the most as a child. Sure, winged chimps probably only exist in the land of Oz, but I live close enough to Kansas to fear that a tornado just might pass through Iowa and whisk me away to winged monkey land!
My first set of true horror monkeys comes from a DVD my 5 year old niece introduced me to called Blood Monkey. Starring acclaimed actor F. Murray Abraham, who's up for slumming it in a low budget horror ape film, Blood Monkey follows a professor and a his college interns as they travel deep into the jungle to observe some strange primates. Little do these students know that their professor just might be leading them into a trap with vicious monkeys who feast on human flesh. The blood monkeys just might be some of my favorite primates of horror because of their antics as they slowly taunt their potential prey. From tree top urinating on their victims tents to moving their map markers, the blood monkeys prove that in some cases it might be possible for apes to have more evolved brains than the average horror actor.
No list of horror monkeys would be complete if it didn’t include Link from the movie Link. Link is the primate pal of a strange animal behavior scientist, played by Terence Stamp. A one time circus monkey that was known as “Link: Master of Fire!”, Link now serves as Professor Phillips personal butler. Dressed down in his tuxedo best, Link has served the professor for years, but is creeping up on the old age of 45 when the professor brings in a young girl who is interested in his work to stay with him for the summer as a maid. This maid just so happens to be Elizabeth Shue, whom FMWL fans just might know happens to be a perfect sight for The Mike’s eyes. As Shue learns from the professor early on, Link may not make it to his 46th birthday since he is growing more unruly by the day. Problem is, Link isn’t planning on retiring anytime soon. Upset that he will soon be unemployed, Link begins terrorizing the Professor and his house guest.
If I haven’t got you excited about the 80’s cheese of a killer primate film yet, and you are like The Mike, it includes a great scene where Link tries to join a nude Elizabeth Shue in the shower. If nothing else, this primate flick teaches us that it isn’t just James Bond who has a license to kill in a tuxedo.
Ella is the capunchin critter from the film Monkey Shines. This film about a crazed primate is directed by famed “____ of the Dead” horror director, George Romero. Romero decides to forget about the brain dead, brain munching zombie plot and go with a brainy monkey instead. Enter into the picture Ella, a trained monkey who is supposed to help a struggling paraplegic by helping him with common tasks. At first Ella seems to be the perfect companion chimp, but as her vast knowledge about her new owner grows so does her ability to want to please her master. And it just so happens a mad scientist trainer, Jeff, decided to genetically alter her brainwaves by injecting her with a strange serum that happens to somehow telepathically link Ella to her master. Ella’s bad monkey antics find her owner questioning just how far Ella is willing to go to please him and begins contemplating if she is capable of murder. What starts out as a happy chimp who does household chores turns into a evil little rage filled anthropoid who is wanting to kill everyone and everything.
Whether it's putting a dead parakeet in your slipper or threatening to light you on fire, Ella shows no mercy to her victims. Whether you can run, walk or crawl (or aren’t physically capable of doing any of the above), Ella is going to make sure you let her do what she wants. And if you don’t see Ella’s point of view, this is one primate who is going to terrorize you until you come around to her way of thinking.
Merry Christmas to all, and a very special thank you again to The Mike for allowing me to guest write on his site. I’d love to tell you I taught The Mike everything he knows, but this guy has been one of my movie mentors for the at least the last 10 years. Enough with the sucking up to The Mike and horror monkeys - Bring on Day 3!
************************************************I couldn't have said it better myself. Thanks to Jason for joining in, and for giving me the idea that words about movies belonged on the interwebs so many years ago. In the meantime, head on over to BoxOfficeBoredom.com, because not only can you read Jason's stuff, you can read how awful The Mike was at writing about movies 8 years ago. Win/Win, right?