DVD Review: Blood Monkey

Coming soon to the Sci-Fi Channel, if it didnít already appear on it, this epic (and I use that term loosely) has Oscar winner F. Murray Abraham searching the jungles for his Oscar that has been stolen by a group of monkeys who think that he shouldíve know better when reading this script. 

Six American grad students, Greg (Matt Reeves), Dani (Freishia Bomambehran), Amy (Amy Mason), Josh (Sebastian Armesto), Sydney (Laura Aikman), and Seth (Matt Ryan), are traveling into the deepest, darkest jungle to be under the tutelage of Professor Hamilton (F. Murray Hamilton). 

When they get to Hamiltonís base camp they find his assistant Chenne (Prapimporn Karnchanda) is more decked out to be a soldier of fortune than a scientist.  The Professor leads them into a valley that he claims has been unexplored.  When they reach the bottom of the deep valley they find a base camp that reveals that the Professor has been lying to them all along. 

The previous expedition has been following the Professorís theories of a super-intelligent missing link and they paid for their intrusion into the valley with their lives.  The students find out the same information, but the crazy Professor Hamilton will not let them leave the valley until his discovery is proven with irrefutable proof Ė or the monkeys make a quick meal of them.  

You would think that an Oscar winning actor, as the cover reminds us, like F. Murray Abraham would know better than to star in this dreck.  However, everybody has got to eat or pay his or her tax bill (as Michael Caine says about him starring his that rotten Jaws sequel). 

The group of students is archetypes, the sensitive one, the horny one, the one with the video camera, etc. and Abraham seems to be trying out a cheapjack version of Captain Ahab.  The monkeys are a computer-generated lot and offer little in terms of creativity or suspense.  The gore special effects are minimal, which makes me wonder about the possibility of it having aired or airing on the Sci-Fi Channel. 

When they do a gore effect towards the end of the picture, with the villain of the piece, some of the spikes sticking out of him arenít exactly straight.  Itís really rather laughable.  Only made more laughable by the fact that theyíre promoting Abrahamís Oscar and that starring in this type of film only adds some tarnish to the golden statue instead of making this movie any better. 

I suppose the film does show something in that it has a rather bleak ending, unlike its similar brethren, but its still not enough to save it.  Not to mention that this appears to be more of the same since another very similar film starring Lance Henriksen appears on DVD at the same time.  

Blood Monkey is presented in fullscreen (another thing that makes me think that it will be coming to a certain cable channel that Iíve mentioned).  There are no special features.  

Blood Monkey is pretty dire and has the smack of a terrible cable film.  Iíd avoid it at all costs unless you want to drink a few beers and tear it apart with your buddies.  

Blood Monkey is now available at Amazon. As of yet, there is not a release date for the UK. Visit the DVD database for more information.

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