Movies From The Black Lagoon: Blood Monkey

Movies From The Black Lagoon
Blood Monkey - 2007,Rated R

A remote jungle in Thailand is the setting for this poorly titled horror yarn that pits a morally challenged anthropologist and six bland grad students against an advanced species of chimp.
This one gets off to a decent start that depicts a failed attempt to capture a super simian. The cunning plan involves using a young person as bait who then leads the killer primate into a trap, which it then promptly escapes from before decimating the whole group. This fierce moment is immediately followed by a boring interval in which we meet and follow the grad students who are poorly developed and overly made-up "Euro-somethings" who appear to have honed their acting chops by watching hours of reality TV.
Things pick up when our group arrives at the base camp of Dr. Hamilton. The Doc turns out to be an educated, enthusiastic, and almost entirely evil sort who has stumbled onto a valley untouched by mankind. He gets the students enthused about being able to name new species after themselves but neglects to mention that he really just wants their warm bodies around to provide a tempting treat for a yet untyped species of super monkey. The students aren't very sharp and give up their cell phones to Hamilton's assistant, Chenne. She's an odd duck too which she demonstrates by using Kung Fu to destroy one blonde's make-up case.
After another extended scene of people walking through the jungle while spouting stilted dialog we finally get to the meat of the movie as the characters find themselves in the valley. They are a little surprised to learn that a campsite is already set up but that's nothing compared to the sudden appearance of a mortally wounded dud who stumbles into camp and subsequently expires. Instead of cutting their losses they stick around and get to make first contact with the new species of monkey which are territorial, rude (they gather on tree branches and urinate onto the kid's tents), and downright unpleasant, preferring to rend their victims limb from limb. It all leads to one long night of monkey shines that decimates the cast and proves once again that one should never underestimate hometown advantage.
This one has plenty of dull patches but winds up working due to the violent unforgiving nature of the monsters and a ferocious performance by slumming Oscar winner F. Murray Abraham. The star of Amadeus single handedly keeps this movie afloat with his bug-eyed performance as the unhinged Hamilton. Only a star of this guys stature could get away with making a speech about how much he admires these critters and is anxious to stamp his name on him, all the while bleeding out after being impaled upon a nasty bamboo stake trap the monkeys have designed. It's a truly professional piece of work by an acting veteran who refuses to phone it in even if he is starring in a killer monkey movie.
Best Line: "That rain is urine."

Tom Doty occasionally emerges from the Lagoon to check his e-mail. If you'd like to get a message to him, write to: dotyfox@pennswoods.net.