Produced by Walter F. Parkes and Lawrence Lasker, "Project X" makes a political commentary on the ethics of animal research :
"...grad student 'Teri MacDonald' (Hunt) trains a chimp named 'Virgil' to use 'American Sign Language'. When her research grant is not renewed, Virgil is taken away. Teri is told that Virgil will be sent to a zoo. Instead, he is taken to an Air Force base to be used in a top-secret research project involving platforms designed to simulate the operation of aircraft.
"Meanwhile, 'Airman Jimmy Garrett' (Broderick), as punishment for misconduct involving a romantic interlude in an aircraft cockpit, is assigned to the same chimp project to which Virgil was sent. Jimmy begins to bond with Virgil and they become attached to one another. Jimmy discovers that Virgil has been taught sign language. Jimmy informs his superior, 'Dr. Carroll' (William Sadler), but he is not interested.
"Unbeknownst to Jimmy, the chimps trained on the flight simulators will be killed by radiation poisoning. Once they reach a certain level in operating the flight simulator, the chimps will be exposed to a lethal pulse of radiation in the simulator chamber, to determine how long a pilot may survive after a nuclear 'second-strike' scenario.
"But when a dead chimp is removed from the simulator room, Virgil breaks away from Jimmy and escapes, communicating to the other chimps of their impending peril..."
Cast also includes Stephen Lang, Pamela Ludwig, Harry Northup, Johnny Ray McGhee, Daniel Roebuck and David Raynr.
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