Link 1986 REVIEW

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Link 1986 was supposed to be “Jaws with Primates” but it didn’t get close, says SIMON BALL

Elizbabeth Shue and friend in Link 1986
Elizbabeth Shue and friend in Link 1986

DIRECTOR: Richard Franklin
CAST: Elisabeth Shue, Terence Stamp, Steven Phillip, David O’Hara, Steven Pinner

Link 1986 Review

When zoology student Jane Chase (Elizabeth Shue) volunteers to help Dr Steven Philip (Terence Stamp) with his research into chimp intelligence at an isolated creepy old house on the English coast, you know it isn’t going to end well.

Philip shares his country pile with three chimps: Voodoo a dangerously violent elderly female, cute, cuddly baby Imp and Link, a former circus performer, with a penchant for cigars, trained to act as Philip’s butler.

Naturally Philip vanishes pretty soon after mentioning having Voodoo put down, and the creepy stuff ratchets up further when Link spies on Chase taking a bath. Before long all kinds of mayhem breaks loose as the formerly docile butler turns into a deranged super strong killer.

When Jane’s boyfriend arrives at the scene, his pal says ‘If it’s alright with you, I’ll wait outside’. Yes it’s the horror movie equivalent of wearing a red jumper on Star Trek and mayhem breaks out as Jane and her bf fight for survival. Fortunately for them no one told Link to check the gas was off before firing up a stogie. See it’s true, smoking will get you in the end folks.

Link (1986)

Link 1986, “Jaws with Primates”

According to director Richard Franklin, Link 1986 was supposed to be Jaws with primates, but whereas sharks are just eating machines, chimps are pretty smart and staying out of the drink won’t save you from one gone bad even if he is rather obviously played by an orangutan with his fur died black. What makes Link so effective as a chiller for me, are the close ups of Links face as he goes about his evil business.

The thing is he looks so darn harmless, but behind that benign expression you can imagine that there is all kinds of nastiness going on in his head. When you add Jerry Goldsmith’s jolly circus type incidental music to Link’s screen time you have a potent creep out recipe.

My only gripes with Link are the prologue, which was apparently added later at the insistence of producers Golan and Globus to set the chimp’s psycho behaviour up for the audience, which just wasn’t needed and there is just not enough screen time for Terence Stamp, but of a waste.

What did you think of Link? Tell us in the comments section below!

Watch Link 1986 Trailer


  1. I completely agree with most of what you said about how harmless Link seemed to be even when he was about to go on his dangerous rampage. It’s pretty strange how this movie isn’t more well known.

    I agree the introductory scene really wasn’t needed. I had no idea what it was for when I first watched but now I know it’s actually Imp going around killing the animals like Dr Phillips explained in the movie. It’s pretty disappointing for me though how much cutting was done to this film as well. Also I heard Stamp’s limited appearance in the movie is explained by the low budget which meant they cannot afford to have him in a bigger role.


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