Link is a 1986 thriller starring Elisabeth Shue and Terence Stamp which centers around a scientist's studies with his handful of chimpanzees. With Link, Director Richard Franklin tries to show us what could happen when the dominant species (Man) is overtaken by man's closest relative (Ape).I had seen Link many years ago when I was 11 and remembered that it as being kind of a chilling movie. So recently in a video store I rented it again just to see what it was like to see it again.
Link stars Elisabeth Shue, fresh from her first big movie "The Karate Kid". She plays Jane Chase, a biology student who offers her assistance as a move in personal aid for a Professor/Scientist Dr. Steven Phillip (Terence Stamp). He agrees to her offer and shows her around his huge castle style house, which lends an effective touch of creepiness to the atmosphere. Jane is shown the three chimps under Dr. Phillip care. A female named Voodoo, a baby named Imp, and the big man on campus named Link. Dressed in a tux and fond of sharing a cigar with his Doctor, Link is surprisingly a strong presence throughout. Definatly not one to be taken lightly.
As the film progresses we are lead into the Dr's lab and are shown a cute sequence where Jane and Voodoo are given a timed test on shapes where Voodoo almost makes Jane look foolish. After a couple of days strange occurrences begin to unfold as Link begins to show a strong defiance towards Dr. Phillip and his plans for Link's future. Link is getting old. He's 35 and Dr. Phillip decideds to sell him where the poor chimp will eventually be put down. However, Link has begun to gain knowledge of Dr. Phillip's plans and decideds that he won't go easily.
From this point on, the movie begins to get surprizingly tense. Dr. Phillip has plans to attend to matters concerning Link, leaving Jane alone to care for the chimps. Link begins to notice that without the Doctor's dominance, he has the upper hand over the house. Without Dr. Phillip, Jane must regain control over Link and when the Dr doesn't come back, she makes many startling discoveries. It soon becomes a life and death struggle for survival.
LINK is a well directed film. Richard Franklin does a fine job introducing his characters and shows us many great scenes involving the chimps and their behavior. Especially Link, who is a real standout and has a definate intellegence inside those eyes. However, the film has trouble with it's plot at times and gets a little mixed up in it's continuity. Terence Stamp creates a good character in Dr. Phillip. He plays the Doctor with an air of cool assurance and shrewdness. Elisabeth Shue as Jane places in a good performance but is stifled by a cardboard character. She is also a bit too wet behind the ears for such a demanding thriller and doesn't quite pull out the terror filled emotions needed for the film. My biggest problem with Link by far was the music, (composed by Jerry Goldsmith). The score is an odd hybrid of Jungle/New Wave and has a very unscarey tone to it. The circus themed music takes away from some scenes which could have been much scarier. Other then that, Link did have it's moments of inspired chills and great scenic photography.Link has it's moments of fine film-making but overall the film just misses what could have been a real apeshit thriller. *** Stars