6.2/10
10,244
76 user 69 critic

Monkey Shines (1988)

A quadriplegic man has a trained monkey help him with his paralysis, until the little monkey begins to develop feelings, and rage, against its new master.

Director:

George A. Romero

Writers:

Michael Stewart (novel), George A. Romero (screenplay)
7 wins & 1 nomination. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Jason Beghe ... Allan Mann
John Pankow ... Geoffrey Fisher
Kate McNeil ... Melanie Parker
Joyce Van Patten ... Dorothy Mann
Christine Forrest Christine Forrest ... Maryanne Hodges
Stephen Root ... Dean Burbage
Stanley Tucci ... Dr. John Wiseman
Boo ... Ella
Janine Turner ... Linda Aikman
William Newman ... Doc Williams
Tudi Wiggins Tudi Wiggins ... Esther Fry
Tom Quinn Tom Quinn ... Charlie Cunningham
Chuck Baker Chuck Baker ... Ambulance Driver
Patricia Tallman ... Party Guest
David Early David Early ... Anesthetist
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Storyline

When Allan becomes a quadriplegic he loses all hope for living until he meets Ella - a monkey trained to fetch and carry for him around the house, obeying him in all things. But Ella is part of another experiment, and when she starts responding to Allan's underlying rage and frustration she has the ability to carry out her master's darkest wishes. Written by David Carroll <davidc@atom.ansto.gov.au>

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

An Experiment In Fear See more »


Certificate:

R | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

This was George A. Romero's first studio film. However, the studio he was working with, Orion Pictures, had re-cut the film against Romero's wishes which contributed to the box office failure of the film. Afterwards, Romero went back to independent filmmaking until The Dark Half (1993) (also from Orion). See more »

Goofs

(at around 1h 40 mins) Ella urinates on Allan as a sign of mating, but it's actually the male capuchin who urinates on its mate. This would suggest that Ella is in fact a male capuchin. See more »

Quotes

[first lines]
Allan Mann: [after waking up] Linda? I'm gonna go run.
See more »

Crazy Credits

"Introducing Boo as Ella" See more »

Alternate Versions

Earlier versions of Monkey Shines allegedly contained a bizarre brain surgery scene, as well as several abusive scenes involving the small monkey, Ellie. Although the scenes were all staged and no animals were harmed in the making of the movie, the filmmakers decided it would be better to simply leave them out to avoid conflicts. See more »

Connections

Referenced in The Simpsons: Treehouse of Horror VIII (1997) See more »

Soundtracks

That's All
Written by Alan Brandt and Bob Haymes
Performed by Peggy Lee
Courtesy of Capitol Records, Inc.
Under license from Capitol Special Markets
See more »

User Reviews

 
Nice try
3 April 2002 | by shaun98See all my reviews

"Monkey Shines" is an honorable effort that doesn't quite work. It deserves credit for originality, but falls short of the mark.

The concept is interesting, but the execution leaves much to be desired. A paralyzed man's life is made easier with the help of Ellie, a monkey trained to help disabled people get by with their daily lives. However, she used to be a lab animal who has had human brain cells injected in experiments. A bond forms between the two, and she acts out his violent desires.

The final act does a good job in delivering the goods, but the film takes too long to get going, diluting the overall effect. In fact, at times one almost forgets it's supposed to be a horror movie. When it gets going, it works, although the very ending is a bit much.

I'm still not sure the sci-fi gimmick was necessary. Surely they could have done pretty much the same things without it? Something more supernaturally orientated perhaps? Still, I admired Romero's willingness to take chances and try his hand at a more subdued thriller. Jason Beghe does a credible job in the role, and we are offered a rare glance at the frustrations of the disabled. A tighter film would have better achieved the director's goals.

**1/2 (out of ****)

An Orion Pictures release


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Frequently Asked Questions

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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

29 July 1988 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Monkey Shines: An Experiment in Fear See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$7,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend USA:

$1,902,024, 31 July 1988

Gross USA:

$5,344,577

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$5,344,577
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Orion Pictures See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

| (cut)

Sound Mix:

Dolby SR

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See full technical specs »

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