6.2/10
8,577
64 user 62 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.

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(novel), (screenplay)
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7 wins & 1 nomination. See more awards »
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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
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Christine Forrest ...
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William Newman ...
Tudi Wiggins ...
Tom Quinn ...
Chuck Baker ...
Ambulance Driver
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Party Guest
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 | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

An Experiment In Fear See more »


Certificate:

R | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

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Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

29 July 1988 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Ella  »

Box Office

Budget:

$7,000,000 (estimated)

Gross:

$5,344,577 (USA)
 »

Company Credits

Production Co:

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

| (cut)

Sound Mix:

Color:

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

One of the very few films depicting a quadriplegic having sex. See more »

Goofs

Ella urinates on Allan as a sign of mating, but it's actually the male capuchin who urinates on it's mate. This would suggest that Ella is in fact a male capuchin. See more »

Quotes

Geoffrey Fisher: You're a clinical cunt.
See more »

Crazy Credits

"Introducing Boo as Ella" See more »

Connections

Referenced in School of the Dead (2005) See more »

Soundtracks

The Glory of Love
Written by Billy Hill
Performed by Peggy Lee
Courtesy of Capitol Records, Inc.
Under license from Capitol Special Markets
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Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

 
Interesting but this movie has problems
28 October 2005 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

Allan Mann (Jason Beghe) becomes paralyzed from the neck down after a car hits him. He falls into a deep depression until a scientist friend (John Pankow) gets him a trained monkey named Ella (Boo) to help him. Allan also begins to fall in love with Ella's trainer (Kate McNeil)...but Ella begins to get very attached to Allan--TOO attached.

This was supposed to be director/writer George Romero's comeback film. He said the studio loved it and was going to put a big promotional push behind it. But, for whatever reason, when this came out in the summer of 1988 the studio just dumped it. There was next to no ads for it or coming attractions. Romero remains bitter about it to this day. It's too bad this film was just ignored. It's no masterpiece but it isn't bad.

The movie does have problems--it's far too long (almost two hours), the ending goes on forever and some of the plot is really hard to believe (I thought the psychic link between Allan and Ella was really stupid). Also the POV by the monkey was annoying and overused and there's a REAL embarrassing sex scene between Beghe and McNeil. Still I do like this movie.

As I said it's too long but I was never really bored. Beghe is excellent in a very difficult role; Pankow nicely underplays the scientist and McNeil is fresh and appealing. Also Boo (who plays Ella) is a good "actor". I realize she was just trained for her role but the expressions on her face and body movement was incredible. The plot is also quite interesting--until the end when it just strains credibility.

So not a bad film or a good one but worth catching. I give it a 7.


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