Everybody loves a good “killer animal” film, or at least I do anyway. Ever since I was 6 years old and my older cousin let me watch “Food of the Gods,” I’ve had some sort of soft spot for animals running amok. Shakma has a pace that I would compare to a slasher flick and it delivers just enough gore to keep the bloodhounds happy. The characters are somewhat likeable and have some decent screen chemistry; All of them seem as if they have been friends for a long period of time, which really makes the slasher aspect a little more compelling.
It’s a fairly by-the-numbers horror film starring a few recognizable faces — Roddy McDowall, Amanda Wyss and Christopher Atkins are the stand outs. It may only be because I recognize them from other films, but I really felt like these three characters carried the film. It also helps that Shakma is almost always a real baboon on camera with the exception of a few shots of puppet hands here and there. Shakma really is the star of the film. The shots of him storming through the hallways, pouncing on people or bashing his head against a door are extremely effective.
This film is easy to lose yourself in and is pure enjoyment. If you’re a fan of killer animal films or slashers and you want a little something different, but not too far out of left field, I would recommend this in a heartbeat.
Shakma gets the Rottin’ Roger Demarco seal of approval with a strong 2.5 out of 5.