Teenager Joan gets more than she bargained for when her workaholic dad buys her a cute pet monkey who grows wings, fangs, and an insatiable thirst for blood come nightfall.
This week I panicked and chose one of the most literal horror movies at my disposal. I’m embarrassed by my choice but we move round these parts, and frankly it’s not the first time I’ve let the team down. I doubt it’ll be the last.
Joan lives in the small town of Gale, Kansas (yes really) with her dad, a workaholic who prefers the office to his own daughter’s company (judging from this movie I think that seems fair). On Joan’s graduation day, he rocks up quite a bit after the fact and she gives him a piece of her mind. She’s not wrong really, as since her mother left (can’t remember if it was a death or just out for a pack of cigs in the middle of the night), he’s been emotionally unreachable.
Determined to make it up to her, he does the only logical thing – he buys her an illegally imported pet monkey. Alas, we the viewers have already had a little intro into this little guy’s journey from China to the US – and it wasn’t pretty. One of his smugglers was killed brutally by a mystery (winged) beast, while the other animals were torn to shreds on the plane. In fact Joan’s new monkey pal, along with the other smuggler, seems to have been the only survivor…
Despite it seeming like the most inadvisable idea of all time, dad picks up the monkey anyway, and kind, animal-loving Joan falls in love with him instantly. Which isn’t immediately obvious because she calls him Skippy – and everyone knows that’s only allowed when the animal is a Kangaroo/Wallaby, right?
Skippy is smitten with Joan too and proves his love on the first night when he sneaks out while she’s sleeping and kills her boyfriend Jason. I mean, I’ve missed some detail here – he actually turns into an ugly flying creature and disappears out the window. Unfortunately, Jason is getting it on with the sheriff’s daughter Chastity – ‘cos Joan won’t give it up – so she gets slaughtered too.
As well as cheating boyfriends and hot girls with loose morals (but nice underwear sets), Skippy is also helping himself to pets and other locals – basically anybody outdoors at night. Sheriff Flemings, devastated by the loss of his only daughter, is hell-bent on getting some answers and at some point we learn that Skippy is actually an ancient demon called Nikko, that can only be killed by a specific magical weapon, passed down by generations of a particular Chinese family.
Furthermore, these beasts multiply if killed by conventional weapon so as you can imagine, all hell breaks loose when everybody starts shooting at Skippy and subsequently, his mates.
Is there any hope for Gale, Kansas? Well honey, you know what to do.
Ugh. There’s just nothing to this one really, apart from some dire acting and rubbish FX. Skippy is sweet enough but his moral code is shaky – much like the foundations of this story arc. If he loves Joan so much why is he trying to harm the people who clearly mean the most to her, like her best friend Sonya?
It tries to throw a little urban legend/ancient lore into the mix and clearly has a Wizard of Oz flavour – yet, it doesn’t bother to see any of it through. If you’re going to be a shitty B-movie, inspired by one of the most iconic musicals of all time, why not try and make it fun? Please.
Pile of old monkey poop, and I’m sorry to everybody.
MY RATING: 1.5/5