In the Shadow of Kilimanjaro (1986)
In the Shadow of Kilimanjaro is a not completely uninteresting entry into the "nature attacks" subgenre of horror film. Although it's supposedly based on a true story, the end credits pretty much admit the movie is a very fictionalized account of that story.
In 1984, the African nation of Kenya suffered through one of the worst droughts in its history. Even though the majority of the wildlife migrated to areas with more food and water, the local baboon population decided to dine on humans instead. Early on, a few tribal natives are found partially devoured and this piques the interest of wildlife preservationist Timothy Bottoms. Also on hand is John Rhys-Davies as a miner who is willing to risk himself and his employees despite Bottoms's warnings.
Despite the film being set in Africa, In the Shadow of Kilimanjaro focuses mainly on a bunch of white characters and follows them as they try to defeat the beasts and "save" the locals from being served as baboon-chow. In fact, no one other than Bottoms seems all that concerned until one of Rhys-Davies's business associates is attacked and eaten.
Ok, so, is it scary? Not really. Although there are a couple of moments that are quite well-done and chilling, such as the demise of the aforementioned associate of Rhys-Davies. While the man is changing a tire, we see, way in the background, a group of a hundred or so baboons on some rocks; he sees them begin to congregate and then swarm off the rocks towards him and his fear and panic becomes very real and palpable. This is a very well filmed sequence. Unfortunately, there aren't really any more. For most of the attacks, director Raju Patel resorts to the ridiculous overusage of slow-motion in order to convey fear, but it never works. There are also some pretty awful fake, animatronic baboons used in some close-ups that completely undermine almost every scene they appear in despite the fact they are used only in scenes where it is dark (which is often). And let's not forget the completely ridiculous scene where a baboon stowaway manages to take down a plane.
The acting by the entire cast is professional and the movie at least has a real feeling of setting, more so than a lot of movies that are filmed in Africa. The dusty landscape and the oppressive heat are almost tangible to the viewer. It all ends, expectedly, with a long-awaited, cliched thunderstorm that appears on cue just as the entire cast is about to be turned into steak tartare. The hasty credits pop-up only to reassure us that this entire movie, although based on a real incident, is a nearly complete fiction. In real life, I'll bet the Kenyans were quite capable of dealing with this problem on their own without the help of a group of Anglo-Saxon saviors.
If man vs. animal movies are your thing (Jaws, Day of the Animals, Long Weekend, The Swarm, Nightwing, Empire of the Ants, Them!, etc.) than you'd definitely find something worthwhile within In the Shadow of Kilimanjaro. It has its moments; I just wish there were more of them.