Link (1986) (DVD review).

‘Link’ had its origins way back in 1986 as a relatively low-budget movie but, now it has seen its way on to DVD, it is no longer missing, thus leaving us with the question being was this a good move or was it just a load of monkey business? The main actor Terence Stamp has been doing the rounds again, despite being well into his 70s, so providing a tenuous link but maybe the movie is one he would probably like to forget. After all, he is upstaged by an orang utan called Link, Locke as he is known outside of show business!


Stamp plays a character called Dr. Steven Philip, a somewhat eccentric scientist researching into monkey behaviour albeit in a cold and detached manner. You get the idea that despite being enthusiastic about the subject, he doesn’t really like chimpanzees. Basically, he’s not a nice character! In lecturing about chimpanzees, he stresses that they have exceptional strength, the ability to rip people apart and the intelligence to know what they are doing. In his rules for dealing with them, being the boss is most important. We are then introduced to Jane Chase, the attractive young Elizabeth Shue, who is offered a job with Dr. Philip at his residence in the countryside.

Jane makes her way to the house, navigating through countryside infested with very nasty guard dogs running wild with murderous intent. Actually, the house is located on top of a cliff overlooking the sea. This marvellous setting is just outside St. Abbs which is located on the eastern Scottish coast just north of the English border and Berwick-upon-Tweed. I’ve been there many times I am afraid to say I didn’t witness mad dogs, manic monkeys or crazy scientists. Upon arrival, she is greeted by the butler, none other than the suited Link, who impassively takes her suitcase upstairs.

The young student is soon introduced to the unorganised routine of the house. In a locked room upstairs, experiments are carried out on the young chimp called Imp, a cheeky little monkey who doesn’t really get on with Link. Intelligence tests compared to Jane are not favourable making the chimpanzee take a tantrum. Enclosed in a cage is a bad-tempered chimpanzee, one you wouldn’t like to tackle. One of the party pieces Link excels at is lighting matches, mainly for his cigars.

There is a turning point when Dr. Philip decides to get rid of Link and to have him put down at the hands of a rather callous man with a shotgun. This is the turning point of the movie. Later, Jane finds herself alone in the house with the wildlife. By this time, Link is no funky monkey and we begin to see the bad side of his character. Distraught and unable to telephone because wires had been ripped out, the poor student searches for the missing Dr. Philip, even going down through the basement and out to the seashore via a cave. Nothing is found and trying to escape past the dogs is a perilous proposition. That’s when everything begins to go wrong. The tremendous strength and evil nature of Link make it look like her existence may be quickly terminated.

Can’t say much more because it would spoil a reasonably good movie. Okay, it’s now a bit dated but for all that it is still worth watching, despite being not really politically correct as far as animal rights are concerned and if chimpanzees and orang utans are really that bad, at least they were co-operative enough to do some quite spectacular acting. Yes, Link isn’t some guy in a suit, he is the real article.

The second part of the movie when the monkeys become bad, showing real menace, almost in a Frankenstein manner, is full of tension and fear. Fellow students, worried that she may be in danger, come to the rescue. Jane fights for life and had to use the only advantage that humans have over chimpanzees and suchlike and that’s intelligence. Physically, humans are outdone many times over when it comes to strength. This evolutionary advantage was all that she had at her disposal. Would it be enough?

Not sure whether not to recommend ‘Link’, I decided that it should be looked at on the positive side. It’s a movie that will grab your attention throughout and, while it is not really morally and socially correct, it’s a good enough tale to keep you entertained. Along with the movie, there were extra bits and pieces which included theatrical trailers and still pictures. Nothing really worth mentioning! It should be on release during September so if you’re interested in may be worth a monkeys!

Rod MacDonald

August 2013

(region 2 DVD: pub: Network. 1 DVD 90 minute film with minor extras. ASIN: B00CLQX3P0. Price: £ 8.53 (UK))

cast: Elisabeth Shue, Terence Stamp, Steven Pinner, Richard Garnett and David O’Hara

check out website:

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.