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Our five favorite least friendly movie monkeys

Our five favorite least friendly movie monkeys (photo)

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Friendly monkeys in film do exist. Unfortunately, humanity receives a rude wake-up call this week in director Rupert Wyatt’s “Rise of the Planet of the Ape,” and the rebooted film franchise, based on Pierre Boulle’s “Planet of the Apes” novel, features some highly intelligent, highly ticked off monkeys.

Humans have fought this battle before on the big screen, though. Many of the meanest movie monkeys had good reason to be irked, like explorers invading their homes, psycho magical witches giving them commands and being kidnapped. Here are our picks for the five least friendly monkeys among them.

5. The winged monkeys, “The Wizard of Oz” (1939)
They look happy and care-free, but these little blue slaves to the Wicked Witch of the West (Margaret Hamilton) rip apart Dorothy’s (Judy Garland) friend The Scarecrow (Ray Bolger) and whisk her off to be imprisoned in a big, scary castle. They may dress in snappy red vests, but they’re bad news to anyone who happens to anger their boss.

4. Dr. James Brewster, “The Ape Man” (1943)
In a classic Jekyll-and-Hyde-style scenario Dr. Brewster (Bela Lugosi) transforms himself into a hairy half man, half ape, which means that he has to find a way to become completely human again. Thankfully for him, he’s got a gorilla sidekick to help him track down some human spinal fluid for his cure. Unfortunately for his neighbors, he’s got to find someone to extract that fluid from.

3. General Ursus, “Beneath the Planet of the Apes” (1968)
When it came to human-hating, ego-maniacal bad guys in the first “Planet of the Apes” films, Ursus (James Gregory) was the gorilla to root against. The mutant humans beneath the surface weren’t the nicest people, either, but Ursus wanted nothing more than total ape domination. He did wear one of the coolest helmets in the history of monkey military gear, however.

2. The gray gorillas, “Congo” (1995)
All the scary-looking puppet-gorillas in “Congo” wanted to do was protect their home, but pesky humans kept creeping in and trying to take their diamonds. There’s a valuable lesson here. Never take diamonds from an ancient city guarded by primates with about a thousand times your muscle mass. They will rip your eyeballs out and throw them back out into the jungle without thinking twice.

1. King Kong, “King Kong” (1933)
The iconic misunderstood, mistreated, hunted down native on this list is none other than King Kong. You must have expected this when you first read our title. After all, he is probably the most famous character in all of film. Nevertheless, no single gorilla on the big screen has inspired fear on the scale that this fellow did. Thus, he gets our number one slot.

Did we miss your favorite? Chime in with your own picks in the comments below or on Facebook or Twitter.

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The Best Of The Last

Portlandia Goes Out With A Bang

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The end is near. In mere days Portlandia wraps up its final season, and oh what a season it’s been. Lucky for you, you can watch the entire season right now right here and on the IFC app, including this free episode courtesy of Subaru.

But now, let’s take a moment to look back at some of the new classics Fred and Carrie have so thoughtfully bestowed upon us. (We’ll be looking back through tear-blurred eyes, but you do you.)

Couples Dinner

It’s not that being single sucks, it’s that you suck if you’re single.

Cancel it!

A sketch for anyone who has cancelled more appointments than they’ve kept. Which is everyone.

Forgotten America

This one’s a “Serial” killer…everything both right and wrong about true crime podcasts.

Wedding Planners

The only bad wedding is a boring wedding.

Disaster Hut

It’s only the end of the world if your doomsday kit doesn’t include rosé.

Catch up on Portlandia’s final episodes on demand and at

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Your Portlandia Personality Test

The New Portlandia Webseries Is Going Your Way

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Carrie and Fred understand that although we have so much in common, we’re each so beautifully unique and different. To help us navigate those differences, Portlandia has found an easy and honest way to embrace our special selves in the form of a progressive new traffic system: a specific lane for every kind of driver. It’s all in honor of the show’s 8th and final season, and it’s all presented by Subaru.

Ready to find out who you really are? Match your personality to a lane and hop on the expressway to self-understanding.

Lane 10: Trucks Piled With Junk

Your junk is falling out of your trunk. Shake a tail light, people — this lane is for you.

Lane 33: Twins

You’re like a Gemini, but waaaay more pedestrian. Maybe you and a friend just wear the same outfits a lot. Who cares, it’s just twinning enough to make you feel special.

Lane 27: Broken Windows

Bad luck follows you around and everyone knows it. Your proverbial seat is always damp from proverbial rain. Is this the universe telling you to swallow your pride? Yes.

Lane 69: Filthy Cars

You’re all about convenience. Getting your car washed while you drive is a no-brainer.

Lane 43: Newly Divorced Singles

It’s been a while since you’ve driven alone, and you don’t know the rules of the road anymore. What’s too fast? What’s too slow? Are you sending the right signals? Don’t worry, the breakdown lane is nearby if you need it.

Still can’t find a lane to match your personality? Check out all the videos here. And see the final season of Portlandia this spring on IFC.

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Last-Minute Holiday Gift Guide

Hits from the '80s are on repeat all Christmas Eve and Day on IFC.

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GIFs via Giphy, Photos via The Everett Collection

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