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Monkey Shines (1988)

 -  Drama | Horror | Sci-Fi  -  29 July 1988 (USA)
6.2
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Ratings: 6.2/10 from 6,847 users  
Reviews: 59 user | 54 critic

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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Title: Monkey Shines (1988)

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
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Kate McNeil ...
...
Christine Forrest ...
...
...
Boo ...
...
William Newman ...
Tudi Wiggins ...
Tom Quinn ...
Chuck Baker ...
Ambulance Driver
...
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 our 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:

Monkey Shines: An Experiment in Fear  »

Box Office

Budget:

$7,000,000 (estimated)

Gross:

$5,344,577 (USA)
 »

Company Credits

Production Co:

 »
Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

| (cut)

Sound Mix:

Color:

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

This was the first film role for Stephen Root, then a stage actor. According to Root, he had been instructed by his agent not to let the casting directors know that he was inexperienced with film as an actor. Root's official debut was Crocodile Dundee II (1988), which had been released in theaters a month before this film, despite being shot a month after it. 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 »

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 »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more (Spoiler Alert!) »

User Reviews

A Fine Film...For the Mature of Mind

Nope, you ain't gonna get zombies in this George Romero offering. Nope, you ain't gonna see ungodly amounts of screen blood ooze out of all kinds of twisted, sick, mangled body parts either. If you are looking for sheer violence of the gory kind - look elsewhere. This Romero film is a thoughtful, intelligent, suspenseful film that spends a lot of its time developing the personalities of its characters as well as the climax of the film. A young man studying to be a lawyer is paralyzed after hit by a truck. He loses his beautiful girlfriend to his surgeon, his mother stays with him and hires an obnoxious nurse with a budgie, and his whole life is upside-down as he must depend on others or machines for everything. A friend from an experimentation lab donates a monkey to him that will help care for him. The monkey initially brings back his zeal for life but soon strange things start to happen....almost a telepathic link of kinds is established between the small capuchin monkey and the wheelchair-bound man. The film builds events very slowly and with a lot of talk. I thought this helped the film as the writing is crisp and the acting more than adequate. The star of the film...the small monkey is a talented little thespian. As strange as this sounds...she with the aid of Romero's direction... actually is able to create some sort of pathos. The scenes where she listens to the tape and hugs her owner are powerful as are the ones where she uses her face to express her emotions. Jason Beghe also does a credible job in his difficult role. The other actors are fine. Maryanne Hodges(Mrs. George Romero) does an outstanding job as the uncaring nurse. Stephen Root of News Radio also has an intriguing role in a plot strand that is left for dead in the end. Although the film is fine in many respects, it has some problems. Most of these problems arise from the script. Some plot elements are never really explained fully. Some plot strands are abandoned. And some characters are over-drawn in terms of stereotypical behaviour. Romero once again tackles a difficult task and does a very credible job overall. The thing I found most unique about the film was his choice of music for the film. It just seemed inappropriate somehow. The only music that really worked was the the music that Ella(the monkey ) heard as she embraced her owner. That was a fine choice.


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