As giant CGI apes rule the jungle that is cinema, Addison Binek brings back the joys of low budget monkey hijinks.
Its not often I come across a low budget film these days that doesn’t take itself seriously and hits comedy gold. I find myself begging for filmmakers to stop being so serious constantly and refrain from copying the A24 method of drama horror. Those films are great and they have their place, but sometimes you just want to enter crazy town and live there for a bit. Luckily I was sent Psycho Ape, a much needed pallet cleanser from the drab and boring.
Psycho Ape is the passionate output from Addison Binek, I first saw Binek’s work on Tromasterpiece Theatre, a Mystery Theater 3000 like project complete with puppets.
Addison has a rare talent, one that many lack these days, humor. So when it came apparent that he was going to release a movie about a Ape on a killing spree I jumped on a chance to see it. Addison sent me this flick at a perfect time, I had just finished a marathon viewing of the Saw franchise for an upcoming project, when he sent me a giant bowl of banana sorbet. I could escape my torture porn prison and immediately checked it out, no regrets here.
Now if you listen to the podcast I co-host, you’ll know I enjoy films that most people turn their head from. Psycho Ape isn’t cinema garbage, it isn’t something cobbled together in an attempt to copy more well known films, Psycho Ape is a refreshing flick that everyone should check out. First it stars one of the most underrated actor to ever grace the screen, Bill Weeden. For those of you who don’t know Bill, look him up and check out his work I think you’ll agree. Second, its probably the most fun I’ve had with gore and low budget schlock in a long time. In fact, I would go so far as to say refreshing, there is actually life in this film, its not the same tired recycled formula we see time and time again.
This Flick feels Inspired by a combo of Troma, deep biting satirical magazines of the past such as Cracked, and Saturday morning cartoons.
Psycho Ape knows its strength’s and uses them well, Addison and crew really have fun with their limitations, when you are working with a lower than shoestring budget its helpful to have a sense of self depreciating humor. Now that doesn’t mean Psycho Ape is shallow and too silly for its own good, no its also a head smashing gore lovers dream. As the Ape goes on its killing spree there are wonderful vignettes of arm ripping and very inventive Bannana kills. Addison also knows horror, there are several shots that show a love of genre. Not to get to film buff, but if Addison ever goes for straight horror it would be very effective.
Psycho Ape is effective on its own though, at no time was I bored or finding myself searching for a stop button, being boring is the biggest sin a film can commit. The cast is a joy, a mix bag of Troma alums and folks who are in on the joke. The stand out is Kansas Bowling, her portrayal of Nancy Banana is so full of life and good humor that its impossible not to love the character. As mentioned earlier Bill Weeden (Sgt. Kabukiman N.Y.P.D.) brings his skills to this flick, and excels at poking fun at the horror tradition of an Ahab character. Bill Weeden plays Dr. Zoomis, again comedy gold, it helps to have a cast that are in on the joke and are having a blast seemingly. A Bananna split worth of awesome is what I guess im attempting to get across, but is it all amazing?
Usually this is the point where I talk about the negatives, surprisingly I have none.
Addison Binek and crew deploy the age old process of leaving the audiences wanting more. No scene is drawn out too long, and the comedic moments really land in glorious belly laugh fashion. Is it a perfect film, well no, but what the hell is? Any negatives I would normally outline here are taken away by the film itself, it continuously acknowledges its own flaws in a sort of meta thought process. Psycho Ape is perfect in its own way, everything it sets out to do it accomplishes and then some. I had a blast with this one, and so will you!
You can find Psycho Ape on Amazon Prime video, and on physical media its well worth the investment!
-Insert Ape Pun Here