Directed by Addison Binek, Psycho Ape! is a bombastic blithe bloody bananafest of butchery that initially begins twenty-five years ago when a killer gorilla escapes from the Detroit Zoo and goes on a murdering spree, leaving only Nancy Banana (Kansas Bowling) alive. This hypnogogic horror is hostile to your senses. For what it lacks in budget it sure makes up for in humour, tastelessness, and tackyness. Like Troma and others before it the film embraces it weakenesses and exploits them to full effect on the big screen and blatantly shows you its influences in the opening minutes.
Since the emergence of The Greasy Strangler the bar has changed on what to expect on the fringes of horror, but do not worry, the psychotronic assault of Psycho Ape! will more than satisfy those who dwell on the periphery of cinematic tatse. It is clearly not for everyone, and never had any intention to be. You get what it says on the tin so it must be judged as such.
At the heart of it, Psycho Ape! is a primate parody of Halloween with the Psycho Ape returning after twenty-five years and looking for Nancy, in the meantime Bill Weeden’s Dr. ZOOmis is hunting for the missing ape. Weeden’s narration, 80s video horror editing, crazy psychedelic scene cut inserts, and guitar riff death strikes build up a movie that would have been passed around on a third generation video cassette at the back of the classroom in the 1980s – a movie that would have grown into legend by word of mouth by those who saw it. These days are now gone though, unfortunately the internet has robbed the audience and the film maker of such honours.
Verdict: 8/10. As mentioned Psycho Ape! is what it is and must be judged as such. The movie is one crazy trip that dishes out dozens of death by banana, sees the gruelling dream match we all wondered about: Ape Vs. Lassie, and who doesn’t love an Infinity Gauntlet wielding Psycho Ape? Then just as you think you have seen it all Psycho Ape deals you even more blows to your already shattered senses!