Conrad Hamilton is an anthropologist seeking to study the missing link between man and ape. He uncovers a species of ape in Thailand, only to discover that they're incredibly vicious. They manage to slaughter his entire crew aside from himself and one assistant, but he does not give up. Deceiving a crew of college students into joining his expedition, Hamilton manipulates them into being ape chow so he can track the apes down and achieve scientific glory.
The film was the first to be released under the Maneater Series label, though none of the others are related to it. It was originally intended to be a Syfy Channel Original Movie, but due to an earlier deal the production company made it debuted on VOD first.
This film contains examples of:
- Antagonist Title
- Big Bad: Professor Conrad Hamilton, an anthropologist willing to do anything to study the apes.
- Bolivian Army Ending: The film ends with Seth being taken away by one ape and another bearing down on Amy.
- Downer Ending: Most of the cast is killed, but the last two survivors manage to escape the mad Professor Hamilton after one of the monstrous apes kills him. Hopelessly lost in the jungle, they try to hide in a cave network, only for it to be the apes' lair. Naturally, the apes show up and kill them too.
- Excrement Statement: The apes pee on their prey to mark it.
- Hollywood Evolution: Hamilton's entire goal in the film is to find the "missing Link" between ape and man. There's no such thing: Humans are a species of ape, and evolution isn't linear. The "missing link" is an outdated term for transitional fossils.
- Living Dinosaurs: The apes are an offshoot of prehistoric monkeys, managing to survive into the modern day in an isolated valley.
- Maniac Monkeys: The main antagonists are a bunch of super-smart, utterly ravenous apes picking off college students in the jungles of Thailand.
- My Brain Is Big: The apes' skulls are 1800 cubic centimeters in volume, which is the largest a human can get. They're smarter than any other ape discovered.
- Non-Indicative Name: The creatures in the film are apes, not monkeys.
- Plato Is a Moron: Greg claims he's better at anthropology than Jane Goodall.
- Scary Animal Title
- Villain Opening Scene: The apes slaughtering Hamilton's original crew.