Tripti Joshi

Monkey Shines

Updated on
Share on FacebookTweet on TwitterShare on LinkedIn
6.2/101 Votes Alchetron
1 Ratings
Rate This

Rate This

3.5/5 Blu-ray

Genre  Drama, Horror, Sci-Fi
Budget  7 million USD
Country  United States
6.2/10 IMDb

Director  George A. Romero
Initial DVD release  August 14, 2001
Language  English
Monkey Shines movie poster
Release date  July 29, 1988 (1988-07-29)
Based on  Novel: Michael Stewart
Writer  Michael Stewart (novel), George A. Romero (screenplay)
Cast  Jason Beghe (Allan Mann), John Pankow (Geoffrey Fisher), Kate McNeil (Melanie Parker), Joyce Van Patten (Dorothy Mann), Christine Forrest (Maryanne Hodges), Stephen Root (Dean Burbage)
Similar movies  Jurassic World, Night at the Museum: Secret of the Tomb, Splice, Blade Runner, Your Inner Fish, What Darwin Never Knew
Tagline  Once there was a man whose prison was a chair. The man had a monkey, they made the strangest pair. The monkey ruled the man, it climbed inside his head. And now as fate would have it, one of them is dead.

Monkey shines official trailer 1 stanley tucci movie 1988 hd

Monkey Shines (also known as Monkey Shines: An Experiment in Fear) is a 1988 American horror film written and directed by George A. Romero, based on the novel by Michael Stewart. The film stars Jason Beghe as Allan Mann, an athlete who becomes a paralyzed quadriplegic and develops a bond with an intelligent service monkey named "Ella". The film, which was produced by Peter Grunwald and Charles Evans, was Romero's first studio film, and was distributed by Orion Pictures.


Monkey Shines movie scenes

Monkey shines 1988 official trailer hd


Monkey Shines movie scenes

Allan Mann (Jason Beghe) is an athlete who is rendered quadriplegic when struck by a truck. Mann fails to adjust to his condition, becoming suicidal and despondent. When Geoffrey, a scientist friend of his (John Pankow), who has been experimenting with the injection of human brain tissue into monkeys, learns this, he is prompted to supply one of the experimental monkeys, named "Ella" (played by Boo, and voiced by Frank Welker), to Allan as a helper.

Monkey Shines movie scenes

Their relationship is amicable at first, with Mann's life being made much easier, and the two bond deeply, even sharing poignant moments with moving music. But soon their interaction takes a decidedly sinister turn. The monkey seems to become a telepathic receptacle for Mann's anger at his state and his desire for revenge against friends and family for slights both real and imagined. Simultaneously, Mann develops a romantic relationship with Melanie Parker (Kate McNeil), a specialist in quadriplegia and helper monkeys.

Monkey Shines wwwgstaticcomtvthumbdvdboxart10955p10955d

Ella's protectiveness turns to savage jealousy, even as Allan is informed that his condition may be reversible. First, she kills Allan's former girlfriend Linda Aikman (Janine Turner), who is now in a relationship with his former doctor John Wiseman (Stanley Tucci), by setting their romantic hideaway on fire. Ella then kills Allan's jealous, overbearing mother Dorothy (Joyce Van Patten), by electrocuting her in the bathtub. Ella then kills Geoffrey by injecting him with the very syringe of sodium pentobarbitone he had intended to use on her, and disables Melanie, before trying to light her on fire. Allan, helpless and alone, is able to summon the strength to turn on the tape player with the romantic music, summoning Ella to cuddle close to him. When Ella cradles Allan's head, Allan, rightfully betraying Ella's trust, bites and thrashes his head back and forth in a violent manner, hitting Ella into the handles of his wheelchair before finally relinquishing his bite and throwing her toward the open deck of his tape machine, killing Ella.

Later, Allan undergoes surgery. While resting after the operation, he has a nightmare that he flatlines and Ella leaps out of his back while the doctor is making an incision. Afterwards, Allan regains his ability to walk with the aid of crutches.


Monkey Shines Amazoncom Monkey Shines Bluray Jason Beghe John Pankow

Monkey Shines was Romero's first studio film. The film was shot in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. The film's distributor, Orion Pictures, was desperate for a hit, as it was in financial difficulty. First, the studio forced Romero to add a happy ending to the picture, a plot device which the director had long avoided in favor of more ambiguous endings. Second, after poor previews, the studio recut the film without Romero's knowledge to add a "shock" ending.

Monkey Shines Subscene Subtitles for Monkey Shines

Another issue was the film's overall length, as Romero had completed a very long and involved shooting script that numbered over 240 pages. This resulted in a first cut of which forty to fifty percent of the shot footage met the cutting room floor in the need to get the film reduced to a practical length. Upset with the way his project had been handled, Romero returned to independent films.

Critical reception

Monkey Shines Monkey Shines Monkey Death Scene YouTube

The film received a mixed response from critics and failed at the box office. Roger Ebert gave Monkey Shines two and a half out of a possible four stars. The film's main flaw, wrote Ebert, was its being overlong with too many subplots: "Romero loses momentum in the closing passages because he has too many loose ends to keep track of. Somewhere within this movie’s two hours or so is hidden an absolutely spellbinding 90-minute thriller." It currently holds a 50% approval rating on Rotten Tomatoes, based on 30 critic reviews.

In popular culture

Monkey Shines Monkey Shines 1988 OFFICIAL TRAILER HD YouTube

The Malcolm in the Middle episode "Monkey" parodies the film, as Craig Feldspar (David Anthony Higgins) was in an accident earlier in the series ("Dewey's Dog") and cannot get around easily and is forced to use a helper monkey, "Oliver", while he recovers that ends up trying to kill Craig.

Monkey Shines Monkey Shines 1988 YouTube


Monkey Shines Wikipedia
Monkey Shines (film) IMDbMonkey Shines (film) Rotten TomatoesMonkey Shines (film) Roger EbertMonkey Shines (film) Blu-ray.comMonkey Shines

Similar Topics
Blade Runner
Jurassic World
Night at the Museum: Secret of the Tomb