Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Horrorthon 2: Day Twenty: Link (Richard Franklin, 1986) -- C-

Link may be the strangest R rated film ever made. Its narrative and initial half would indicate something purely innocuous, somewhat engaging questions of scientific curiosity, but mainly focused on the cutesy relationship of the human-like ape and the even cuter novice Jane (Elizabeth Shue) to veteran primatologist Dr. Phillip (Terrence Stamp). The dopey carnivalesque music helps to solidify this tone. However, in its second half, Link becomes something else: the titular ape goes nuts, Dr. Phillip goes missing, and Elizabeth Shue gets naked. Wuh? Not that the more conventional half is very good to begin with, but the oddly situated shift takes the film in no discernably appropriate direction, a climax bringing Shue's boyfriend to the Dr.'s mansion and her rescue. Director Richard Franklin sets up an interesting proposition - subverting the standard narrative of human and ape becoming friends with unlikely shifts and changes. Yet his reasoning seems to have ended there, not going nearly far enough to be outrageous, nor intelligent enough to be dramatically engaging.

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