Sumatran Rat-Monkey


Simian raticus
Abilities and Weapons:
teeth, claws, senses
rat-like primates
Skull Island
First Appearance:
film "Braindead"

Simian raticus ("rat-monkey") also known as Sumatran Rat-Monkey or Devil Monkey is a species of primate that is found on Skull Island. The animal is described in the book "The World of Kong: A Natural History of Skull Island" (2005).

The monkey looks more like a rat than a monkey, hence its name, and its most notable features are its wide, black eyes and its two long front teeth. It is nearly hairless and its skin colour is a brownish grey. Its nosferatu-like fingers are essentially claws and it has a suprisingly large amount of strength. These creatures live around the trenches of Skull Island where they are prey to giant spiders.

History[edit | edit source]

Braindead[edit | edit source]

In the sequence before the credits of the film, set in year 1957, an explorer named Stewart McAlden leads his team out of Skull Island with the captured Sumatran Rat-Monkey. The team is stopped by warrior natives, who demand the return of the creature. The monkey, however, breaks out of it's cage and bites Stewart during their escape to a waiting jeep. Seeing the bite mark on Stewart's right hand, his assistant and his men hold him down and amputate it because the creature carries a virus, known as the Rage Plague, which transforms its victims into a flesh eating zombie-like creature that is capable of physical mutation after prolonged infection. A bite mark and scratches are then seen on his left arm and his head, leading them to kill him to prevent his transformation. Despite this, the creature is still successfully removed from the island and is shipped to the Wellington Zoo in New Zealand.

This creature would lead to a small zombie outbreak in Wellington after Vera Cosgrove was bitten by it while attempting to snoop on her son Lionel on a date with a local Spanish girl named Paquita María Sánchez. Vera was quickly infested with the virus and became a ravenous zombie, while the Sumatran Rat-Monkey was quickly put down. Lionel returned her home and tried to keep her locked up but she would escape and infect dozens of others. The infestation is soon after contained, however.

King Kong (2005 film)[edit | edit source]

In the 2005 remake of King Kong an animal cage stowed in the hold of the SS Venture has a sign reading "Sumatran Rat Monkey - Beware the bite!".

Trivia[edit | edit source]

  • The Sumatran Rat-Monkey is a creature created by director Peter Jackson for his demented 1992 zombie horror comedy "Braindead" (known in the US as "Dead Alive").
    • In the film's prologue, we learn that this nasty beast that lives on Skull Island - the fictional location of the 1933 classic film "King Kong".
    • According to this film's lore, the Sumatran Rat-Monkey is hybrid, the result of small tree monkeys having been raped by giant plague bearing rats that swam ashore from a sinking ship.
  • In the movie "Braindead" it is brought to life on screen in a jerky stop motion style, as a homage to veteran effects master Ray Harryhausen.
  • The Sumatran Rat-Monkey appears in the tunnels in the 2007 PC game "Hellgate: London", released by Electronic Arts.
  • Jackson snuck a reference to the creature into the movie The Adventures of Tintin (2011), in where the character of captain Haddock refers to Tintin's dog Snowy as 'The Giant Rat of Sumatra'.
  • This species is also a homage to the giant rat of Sumatra, an animal mentioned in Sir Arthur Conan Doyle's Sherlock Holmes story "The Adventure of the Sussex Vampire". In this story, Holmes briefly talks about one of his unpublished cases, involving a ship called the Matilda Briggs and the aforementioned rodent. The detective famously describes it as "a story for which the world is not yet prepared". Whether the rat is supposed to represent a real or fictional species is unknown, although some have speculated it refers to the real species generally referred to as the giant Sunda rat (Sundamys infraluteus), a rather large muroid which is known to inhabit Sumatra.
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