Maybe it's because they land somewhere in the Uncanny Valley
. Maybe, as with the Monster Clown
, it's because writers like subverting the traditionally "cute". Maybe it is a reflection of our savage ancestry. Maybe it's a remnant of our struggle with our differently-evolved cousins. Or maybe it's simply that Everything's Better with Monkeys
. Whatever the reason, killer simians make for good alien monsters.
Such extraterrestrial monkeys tend to be brutish killing machines - an intelligent alien ape is usually a subversion.
Yes, we know
this should be called Killer Space Non-Human Primate. No, Earthly villains who happen to be actual apes are not Killer Space Monkeys.
See also Maniac Monkeys
. May be a Killer Gorilla IN SPACE!
. Not to be mistaken with Apes in Space
, who are monkeys that go into
Anime and Manga
- The Saiyans from Dragon Ball Z. They used their power to transform into giant "apes"note during the full moon to conquer planets for Frieza. And calling the Saiyans 'monkeys' was a bit of a racial slur used by Frieza and his underlings.
- A group of intelligent killer space monkeys appear in the Doctor Who Magazine strip "Sins of the Fathers".
- The Thunes in Mike Baron and Steve Rude's comic book Nexus resemble apes. Thunes are an intelligent race, though, and are just as varied morality-wise as humans. The two most prominent Thune castmembers are Nexus's two best friends, Dave and his son Fred, who calls himself Judah.
- Titano from the Superman comics, who features in the page image, started life as an ordinary Earth ape. Rocketed into space, he and his ship were bombarded with radiation, which changed him into a giant ape with incredible strength and the ability to emit beams of Kryptonite radiation from his eyes.
- The Marvel Transformers Generation 1 comic had a race of (somewhat) intelligent, vicious cyborg monkeys living in limbo.
- The Gorilla Swarm from Astro City.
- The aliens in Evolution start evolving into ape-monsters around the third act of the film as they reach the monkey stage of the evolutionary "ladder".
- The Simeons in the Godzilla series were a race of apes from a planet that was coming close to being sucked into a black hole, deciding to relocate themselves to Earth and building Mechagodzilla to try and conquer the planet in Godzilla vs. Mechagodzilla and Terror Of Mechagodzilla.
- One variation is the Planet of the Apes franchise, in which the apes are exactly as brutish and nasty as humans. Also, they're not from space.
- Star Wars gives us Chewbacca and his fellow Wookies, who are for the most part the most unambiguously noble critters in the galaxy. The Wampa from Hoth is a more traditionally monsterish version.
- The Morlocks in the 2002 adaptation of The Time Machine were particularly ape-like.
- The Magog from Andromeda.
- The Ogrons, a race of mercenary grunts often turning up as henchmen to the Daleks in Doctor Who.
- A Doctor Who spin-off novel revealed that the Soviet equivalent of UNIT was called OGRON (Operativnaya Grupo Razvedkoy Obyedinnyonich Natsii- United Nations Surveillance Operations Group); this is regarded as a metafictional in-joke.
- Firefly: Space monkeys are raised as a possible reason why Kaylee's engine room is so untidy in "Train Job".
- Goldar of Mighty Morphin' Power Rangers fame was treated as one (though the original version in Kyōryū Sentai Zyuranger was griffin-themed).
- Big Bad Pearl Forrester acquired a killer space monkey named Professor Bobo as a henchman in later seasons of Mystery Science Theater 3000. He... wasn't particularly good at his job.
- The Kromaggs, the product of parallel evolution on one of the worlds of Sliders with a taste for human eyeballs. In their initial appearance, they were most definitely ape-descended, though later appearances made them more human, with something of a Nosferatu bent. (Note that their name comes from "Cro-Magnon", but the actual Cro-Magnons were modern humans.)
- The Mugato from Star Trek: The Original Series.
- An Easter Egg in Adobe Photoshop CS2 enables you to bring up an alternate about box, (very temporarily) relabeling the program "Adobe Space Monkey".
- Space 1889 High Martians look and act like evil flying monkeys.
- Not so much killer, as their role is more of The Engineer, but Warhammer 40,000 features the Jokaero, a race of space orangutans. They produce fantastically advanced and powerful weapons which can fire in a variety of modes (heavy flamer, lascannon, melta), and it's possible to have an entire army of them plus one Inquisitor.
- Another tabletop wargame, AT-43, features the Karmans a race of intelligent apes (actually uplifted Earth gorillas), fond of philosophy and simian-related Shout Outs. With fondness of BFGs.
- Star Frontiers had the Yazirians as a playable race. They were generally good guys, of the Proud Warrior Race Guy sort.
- Spelljammer brought the Yazirians back, but renamed them "Hadozee," or "deck apes."
- Alternity had the Weren, who were also Proud Warrior Race Guys.
- System Shock 2 had creepy zombie space lab monkeys. With Psychic Powers (either cryokinesis or pyrokinesis, depending on which kind of monkey).
- City of Heroes has transdimensional psychic monkeys. Which emit toxic gas when defeated.
- While both the Grunts and the Elites from the first game have a substantial number of ape-like features, Halo 2 went right out and admitted it with the Brutes, who are basically gorillas. Gorillas in Powered Armor who dual-wield shotguns.
- The Covenant name for Grunts is Unggoy, which in Tagalog means monkey.
- Halo: Reach includes the Gúta, essentially tusked lizard monkeys that look kind of like trolls. However, due to resource constraints, only two appear in the entire game (in "Nightfall"), so some think of them as a Giant Space Flea from Nowhere.
- Andross, the Big Bad of the Star Fox series is an evil scientist appearing as a giant orangutan head and hands. Most of his underlings are also monkeys and apes.
- The Cosmic Silverback in the Dead Ops Arcade minigame of Call of Duty: Black Ops, along with the much smaller Space Monkeys in the Nazi Zombies map Ascension.
- A literal case with General Skun'ka'pe in the third season of the Sam & Max episodic adventure game.
- The Tarka from Sword of the Stars are one part reptile and one part this. In return, they consider us this too.
- The Purr-Lin in the Turok series.
- Kuja from Final Fantasy IX.
- The Final Boss of the first Aero Fighters, which also appears as a final stage mid-boss in the sequels.
- Despite having four arms, bullymongs from Borderlands 2 are considered ape analogues.
- The Drengin in Galactic Civilizations are an Always Chaotic Evil race with notably simian features and largely act as the main antagonistic force during the story campaign. And then they get a splinter faction in the Korath Clan, who are even worse.
- The Lespuko from El Goonish Shive probably count as this. It is a species of alien, its name means "Rock Ape" and it has been shown to be aggressive.