‘You’re not in Kansas anymore!’
Flying Monkeys is a 2013 American made-for-television film produced by and for the Syfy Channel. The film is the first directed by Robert Grasmere, being better known as a special effects supervisor on films such as Prince of Darkness, Predator 2 and The Mothman Prophecies.
The film stars Electra Avellan (Death Proof/Planet Terror), Vincent Ventresca (Mammoth, Morphman) and Maika Monroe (Bad Blood…The Hunger).
Aboard a small aircraft, exotic-animal smugglers are returning to base with their latest haul of contraband. Unfortunately for them, stowed away is an extremely upset flying monkey, Making short work of two of the smugglers, the pilot manages to land the plane and quickly sells on the feisty beast (which has now returned to standard monkey shape) to a small-town pet shop owner who has no qualms about what he sells or where it comes from.
Elsewhere in the town, inevitably situated in Kansas, high school graduate Joan (Monroe) has been left to celebrate alone by her father who has a track record of finding other things to do at his daughter’s expense. In a bid to make amends, he purchases the cute little monkey we met earlier, because nothing says sorry quite like a caged primate.
Jealous of the attention the monkey is getting, Joan’s boyfriend indulges in the pleasures of the school prom queen, only for them both to be torn to pieces by the flying monkey little Skippy turns into at nightfall.
Skippy starts making ever-more regular journeys out at night, fuelled by blood-lust and it isn’t long before locals, hunters and know-it-all’s are gathered together to save the town from an embarrassing demise.
Sadly for them, shooting the beast only causes the creature to multiply Hydra-like and a mystical weapon is required to slay Skippy and his ever-growing offspring…
Syfy movies tend to veer from better than you’d expect (though still impossible to recommend whole-heartedly) to down-right awful and surprisingly this lands in the first camp. Despite a host of actors who make their living appearing in similar schlock, the story is told with an impressive disregard for sense and reason and doesn’t hang around trying to weave story arcs and tension or other trivial matters.
The real saving grace is the extremely passable CGI effects which are made all the more acceptable by virtue of the fact that the monkeys only do their killing at night, hiding a multitude of sins.
A nice change from the endless parade of sharks, it’s a harmless excuse to bring to centre-stage some of cinema’s creepiest creatures some 75 years after they first appeared. One word of warning – the line “no more monkey business” is uttered.
Daz Lawrence, moviesandmania