STEPHEN GALLAGHER

Screenwriter and novelist

pages in this section

Screenplays

CHIMERA (Zenith/Anglia) - 1991

Chimera image

Adaptation of the novel in four one-hour episodes, starring John Lynch, Emer Gillespie, Kenneth Cranham, and George Costigan.

Studio filming took place at Shepperton, and the Cumbria locations were transplanted to North Yorkshire. Malham House became the Jenner Clinic, and the finale was shot on the streets of Kettlewell. Directed by Lawrence Gordon Clark, with animatronic effects by Image Animation. First screened at the National Film Theatre.

From Videoscope: The Phantom of the Movies, reviewing the US video release of the feature cut under the title MONKEY BOY:

The title and video box make it look like a simian variation on Child's Play, but this Brit import is closer in spirit to a vintage Professor Quatermass caper. Though not quite in the latter's class, the movie, based on Stephen Gallagher's Chimera (also the film's original title) is a bloody but earnest sci-fi thriller that effectively mixes pathos with chills. Monkey Boy begins with a lab massacre that rapidly runs the body count to an impressive nine as the genetically engineered title mutant, earmarked for live vivisection, flees his cell with vengeance in mind. Like Watchers and sequels (see index), the plot follows several factions as they pursue the mutant, including its creators, the police, and the conscience-stricken scientist who arranged for the creature's escape. Lynch, as the boyfriend of a lab victim, is equally determined to expose the unnatural experiments that hatched the monster. While MB's components may be familiar, director Clark and scripter Gallagher keep the film consistently engrossing.