Sunday, December 26

Shakma (1990) - Toshiba EMI (Toemi) Japan VHS

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A bit long in the tooth (hehe), but decent medically-enraged-baboon-run-amok quickie with Christopher Atkins, Amanda Wyss, and Roddy McDowall being Roddy McDowall. The impact of the baboon, named "Shockma" on-screen, is lessened by the humor of seeing him constantly chewing, standing up like he's the man, and violently slamming into doors with his face (animal lovers beware). There's also the ridiculous excuse to lock up the research facility at night with a "real-life" fantasy role-playing game overseen by McDowall and an ASCII game interface. Naturally, the animal breaks loose as the participants roam the floors looking for keys and clues to save the "princess". The bloody attacks never go anywhere near the extreme savagery of a real primate/human attack. The film also has that pleasantly well-lit, bright fashion-drenched look of the period making the sitdown inoffensive despite its repetitive nature. Toemi's uncut Japanese VHS is open-matte full frame mirroring the "rarish" North American tape.              

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