Score One for King Kong: The Movie Viewing Habits of Chimpanzees

I’m not sure if one should make much of this or not, but it’s in today’s crop of email alerts, on THE INDEPENDENT (, by Jack Shepherd: “Chimpanzees Love Horror Films, Research Finds.” Finder’s credit in this case is courtesy of Robert Dunbar via LITERARY DARKNESS on Facebook. In some ways the title may be a cheat, the brief film fay4in question starring, next to a regular human, a man in a monkey suit to aid audience identification. Also it’s unclear which one they cheered for, if either, only that the film held their attention — focused particularly on the hammer used in an attack — despite attempts by researchers to distract them. (In fact, it occurs to me, King Kong notwithstanding, that it might not be horror per se., but action — or violence — the chimps were applauding.)

Be that as it may, the next time someone questions you for having the bad taste to like to watch horror, you need only start to peel a banana and say that you’re in the best of company. Or so claims the article which can be found here.


  1. Did you see my response to that (chimp/horror) on Facebook? I cited the pet chimp that attacked its owner’s friend and tore off her face and hands, ears –blinded her (she lost her eyes too) and all but killed her. I wondered if it had been watching “Freddie’ –Nightmare on Elm Street, etc. etc.

    Maybe the chimps should not be allowed to get “ideas”?

  2. Yes I did, in fact. I would note also it doesn’t ask if there are particular types of horror chimps prefer over others, e.g., I tend to like supernatural themes, but get bored by the randy teens in a cabin threatened by monster(s) subgenre (CABIN IN THE WOODS, however, being a brilliant exception in that it went to a frame story concerning supernatural roots).

    I would draw the line, though, at “tortureporn” for chimps (which, come to think of it, the film in the study sort of was, in a mild sense)..

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