If you’ve never seen Shakma then you probably should. I mean how many slasher flicks have there been where the killer is actually a psychotic baboon, not counting Larry Drake in Dr. Giggles? Not sure what that joke means but I ran with it anyway.
A group of medical students are planning to play a live-action fantasy role-playing game in one of the school buildings after class hours. It just so happens that this med school has been performing aggression experiments on baboons. Because one of the super-aggressive baboons named “Shakma” is med student Christopher Atkins’ favorite, he fails to obey teacher Roddy McDowell’s order to put the animal down when the creature’s behavior proves too dangerously volatile. That proves a fatal mistake when the chemically-altered simian springs back to life and gets loose in the building. From then out it’s basically a slasher flick with live-action role-players being systematically stalked and killed by a homicidal maniac, but in this case the homicidal maniac happens to be a psychopathic baboon with serious anger management issues.
I’m one of the few people who can actually say they saw Shakma on the big screen during its very brief theatrical run back in 1990. I haven’t seen it since then but I do recall it not being a great movie by any stretch of the imagination, though I’d still dare to say it’s better than a lot of what passes for low budget horror these days. I’d be curious to see what my reaction to it would be all these years later. Though the film’s long out-of-print on VHS, I may get my chance now that a long overdue US DVD release is imminent.
Trinity Home Entertainment will be releasing a budget priced DVD of Shakma on October 16th. No other details or even box art are currently available, but you can click here to pre-order it through Evilshop. Given the under-$10 retail price I wouldn’t expect much of anything by way of extras. I’m just hoping it at least has a nice print and not just a VHS transfer like a lot of low priced DVDs I’ve come across in the past.
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