IMDb > Monkey Shines (1988)
Monkey Shines
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Monkey Shines (1988) More at IMDbPro »

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Down 8% in popularity this week. See why on IMDbPro.
Writers (WGA):
Michael Stewart (novel)
George A. Romero (screenplay)
View company contact information for Monkey Shines on IMDbPro.
Release Date:
29 July 1988 (USA) See more »
See no evil, hear no evil, speak no evil... See more »
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. Full summary » | Add synopsis »
7 wins & 1 nomination See more »
User Reviews:
One of Romero's most underrated and finest horror films - "Monkey Shines" See more (58 total) »


  (in credits order) (verified as complete)

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

Stanley Tucci ... Dr. John Wiseman
Boo ... Ella

Janine Turner ... Linda Aikman
William Newman ... Doc Williams
Tudi Wiggins ... Esther Fry
Tom Quinn ... Charlie Cunningham
Chuck Baker ... Ambulance Driver

Patricia Tallman ... Party Guest
David Early ... Anesthetist
Michael Naft ... Young Allan

Tina Romero ... Child Playing
Mitchell Baseman ... Child Playing
Lia Savini ... Child Playing
Anthony Dileo Jr. ... Vandal (as Tim DiLeo)
Melanie Verlin ... Vandal
Dan Fallon ... Allan's Friend
Alice Shure ... Nurse
Leslie Dane Shapiro ... Nurse
Christina Galesi ... Nurse
rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Rik Billock ... Garbage Man (uncredited)

Robert Hendren ... Orderly (uncredited)
Heidi Hinzman ... (uncredited)
Eric Morgan Stuart ... (uncredited)

Directed by
George A. Romero 
Writing credits
Michael Stewart (novel "Monkey Shines")

George A. Romero (screenplay)

Produced by
Charles Evans .... producer
Peter Grunwald .... executive producer
Peter R. McIntosh .... associate producer (as Peter McIntosh)
Gerald S. Paonessa .... executive producer
Original Music by
David Shire 
Cinematography by
James A. Contner (director of photography)
Film Editing by
Pasquale Buba 
Casting by
Dianne Crittenden 
Production Design by
Cletus Anderson 
Art Direction by
James C. Feng  (as Jim Feng)
J. Mark Harrington 
Set Decoration by
Diana Stoughton 
Costume Design by
Barbara Anderson 
Makeup Department
Everett Burrell .... special makeup effects assistant
Jeannee Josefczyk .... hair artist (as Jeanee Josefczyk)
Jeannee Josefczyk .... makeup artist (as Jeanee Josefczyk)
Greg Nicotero .... special makeup effects assistant
Tom Savini .... special makeup effects
Mike Trcic .... special makeup effects assistant (as Michael Trcic)
Karyn Wagner .... hair assistant (as Karin Wagner)
Karyn Wagner .... makeup assistant (as Karin Wagner)
Production Management
Nicholas Mastandrea .... production supervisor
Todd Pinsky .... post-production supervisor
Chaim 'Hank' Sprei .... production manager (as Chaim Sprei)
Second Unit Director or Assistant Director
Charles Evans Jr. .... second assistant director
Nicholas Mastandrea .... assistant director (as Nick Mastandrea)
Grace Prinzi .... second assistant director
Art Department
Norman Beck .... carpenter
William H. Franko .... foreman
Marty Garrigan .... leadman
L. Paul Gratz .... property assistant (as Paul Gratz)
Frederika Gray .... scenic artist (as Fredericka Gray)
Michael Hissrich .... carpenter
Susan Hudak .... set dresser
Howard Jones .... head carpenter (as Howard L. Jones)
Gary Kosko .... property master
Celeste Parrendo .... scenic artist
Paula Payne .... scenic artist
Michael G. Richer .... carpenter (as Mike Richer)
Jim Schneider .... set dresser
Gary W. Self Jr. .... carpenter (as Gary W. Self)
Judy Stagg .... set dresser
Louis P. Taylor .... construction coordinator
Natalie Wilvers .... head scenic artist
Beth Zamborsky .... scenic artist
Sound Department
Ron Bartlett .... sound effects editor
Larry Blake .... sound effects editor
John J. Carr .... foley editor
Mick D'Andrea .... assistant sound effects editor
Carlos Delarios .... sound re-recording mixer (as Carlos De Larios)
Robert Deschaine .... adr mixer: Lion's Gate Studios
Carol Everson .... boom operator
Donald Flick .... supervising sound effects editor (as Donald S. Flick)
Michael J. Kohut .... sound re-recording mixer
Aaron Rochin .... sound re-recording mixer
George Simpson .... dialogue editor
John Sutton .... sound mixer
Christina Tucker .... adr mixer: Directors Sound (as Chris Tucker)
Elliott Koretz .... sound editor (uncredited)
David Williams .... sound editor (uncredited)
Special Effects by
Steven Kirshoff .... special effects (as Steve Kirshoff)
Visual Effects by
Tony Venezia .... visual effects technical director
David M. Garber .... visual effects supervisor (uncredited)
Rob Menapace .... motion control graphics (uncredited)
David Meeks .... stunts
Tom Savini .... stunts
Patricia Tallman .... stunts
Judy Zazula .... stunts
David John Adamson .... stunt player (uncredited)
Camera and Electrical Department
Phil Abraham .... first assistant camera
Myles Aronowitz .... still photographer
Inspector Beal .... best boy electric
Steve Cohagan .... additional electric
Vincent Galindez .... second assistant camera (as Vinnie Galindez)
Joseph Grabowski .... electrician (as Jose Grabowski)
Phil Hedley .... generator operator
John Janusek .... best boy grip (as Beef Janusek)
Stan Keitt .... second assistant camera
Rango Kessler .... electrician
Gábor Kövér .... camera operator (as Gabor Kover)
Ed Letteri .... gaffer (as Teddy Jack Letteri)
John S. Moyer .... grip (as Buzz Moyer)
Pinky Rimmel .... key grip
John Roman .... camera trainee
Richard M. Sieg .... dolly grip (as Mr. French Sieg)
Robert E. Stanley .... first assistant camera
Nick Tallo .... grip (as Bomba Tallo)
Frank McGough .... grip (uncredited)
Frank A. Serrao .... grip (uncredited)
Casting Department
Joy Dickson .... casting assistant
Christine Forrest .... local casting (as Chris Romero)
Barbara Harris .... voice casting
Patricia Tallman .... local casting
Costume and Wardrobe Department
Kathy Borland .... wardrobe assistant
Nancy A. Palmatier .... wardrobe supervisor (as Nancy Palmatier)
Editorial Department
John Stuart Bick .... assistant editor (as John Bick)
Ray Boniker .... assistant editor (as Raymond Boniker)
Music Department
William David Brohn .... orchestrator (as William D. Brohn)
Andrew Hermant .... music recording engineer (as Andy Hermant)
Brenda Hoffert .... musical supervisor
Paul Hoffert .... musical supervisor
Stephen Kujala .... musician: flute soloist
Erma E. Levin .... music editor: Noteworthy Inc.
Emil Richards .... musician: percussion soloist
Ric Jurgens .... score assistant engineer (uncredited)
Lori Slomka .... music editor (uncredited)
Transportation Department
Anthony J. Yannone .... transportation captain (as Anthony Yannone)
Frank A. Serrao .... production driver (uncredited)
Other crew
David John Adamson .... production assistant (as David Adamson)
Paul Barlow .... craft service
David Bender .... unit publicist
Monica Bielawski .... production assistant
Sanford Blatt .... technical consultant
Janice Bourquin .... assistant production accountant
Mark Chamlin .... legal services: Loeb and Loeb (as Marc Chamlin)
Christine Forrest .... assistant: Mr. Romero (as Chris Romero)
Katherine Frietsch .... assistant: Mr. Grunwald and Mr. Paonessa
Robin Grey .... production accountant
Christine Handlin .... monkey trainer
Maria H. Hust .... assistant production office coordinator
Ingrid Johanson .... production coordinator
Alice Levee .... owner and trainer: "Boo"
Richard Lorenzana .... production accountant
Susan M. Lorenzana .... assistant production accountant (as Susan Lorenzana)
Steve Macionsky .... production assistant
David Meeks .... monkey trainer
David Meyers .... production assistant
High Millstein .... production assistant
Nancy Musser .... script supervisor
Phill Norman .... title designer: main titles
Chris Noyes .... production assistant
Alison Pascoe .... monkey trainer
Donna Schrager .... location scout
Marge Sperling .... production assistant (as Margie Sperling)
Marge Sperling .... production assistant
Marge Sperling .... set production assistant
Lee Steiner .... legal services: Loeb and Loeb
George Walden .... insurance supplier: Albert G. Ruben & Co.
Frank Welker .... special animal voices
John 'Flash' Williams .... location coordinator (as John Williams)
Judy Zazula .... monkey trainer
Ronald C. Briggs Jr. .... dailies coordinator (uncredited)
George Cameron Romero .... production assistant (uncredited)
Alice Shure .... special thanks
M.J. Willard .... special thanks
Jean Williams .... special thanks (as Dr. Jean Williams)
Karen Wunch .... special thanks
Judy Zazula .... special thanks

Production CompaniesDistributorsSpecial EffectsOther Companies

Additional Details

Also Known As:
"Monkey Shines: An Experiment in Fear" - USA (promotional title)
See more »
113 min | West Germany:105 min (cut version)
Aspect Ratio:
1.85 : 1 See more »
Sound Mix:
Argentina:16 | Australia:M | Canada:13+ (Quebec) | Finland:K-16 | France:-12 | Germany:16 (re-rating) (2012) | Iceland:16 | New Zealand:R16 | Portugal:M/16 | Sweden:15 | UK:18 | USA:R | USA:TV-MA (cable rating) | West Germany:18 (original rating)

Did You Know?

One of the very few films depicting a quadriplegic having sex.See more »
Errors made by characters (possibly deliberate errors by the filmmakers): 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 »
Dean Burbage:Our approaches are quite different. Unfortunately for you, I happen to be the head of the department.
Geoffrey Fisher:Why don't you fire me then?
Dean Burbage:I don't want to fire you Geoffrey. I just want you to produce.
Geoffrey Fisher:You can't fire me can you? You know that if anyone around here is going to strike gold, it's going to be me.
See more »
There'll Be Another SpringSee more »


Do disabled people in real life ever use monkeys for help around the house?
See more »
3 out of 4 people found the following review useful.
One of Romero's most underrated and finest horror films - "Monkey Shines", 13 January 2009
Author: dee.reid from United States

It seems that every once and a while, a neat little horror film comes along that eschews genre conventions and is able to tap into a new vein to provide its scares. Writer-director George A. Romero, of "Night of the Living Dead" (1968) and "Dawn of the Dead" (1978) infamy, brings forth "Monkey Shines," an adaptation of the novel by Michael Stewart.

Romero has always been a director who goes for the throat in delivering the shocks in his horror pictures. But in the savage gore and mayhem, he has never lost sight of the human characters, their drama, and their plight. In "Monkey Shines," Romero seems to have been domesticated somewhat - dare I say, "tamed" - in that characters and drama are most essential to the core of the film, and that horror is really the last thing on his mind.

"Monkey Shines" begins with the Good Day Gone Bad, Really Bad: Allan Mann (Jason Beghe), is a highly physical law student who goes for a jog early one morning after spending the night with his girlfriend Linda (Janine Turner). To avoid a dog on the sidewalk, he unknowingly runs into the path of an oncoming truck. He wakes up several weeks later in the hospital, now a quadriplegic, paralyzed, unable to use his body anywhere below the neck.

Confined to a wheelchair he moves around by working a lever with his mouth and having to rely on live-in nurse Maryanne (Christine Forrest), his doting, overbearing mother Dorothy (Joyce Van Patten) and having to deal with his pompous surgeon Dr. Wiseman (Stanley Tucci) who begins having an affair with Linda, Allan gives up and tries to commit suicide. Luckily, Allan's mad-scientist friend Geoffrey (John Pankow) may have a solution: Ella, an extremely intelligent capuchin monkey who is being trained by animal specialist Melanie Parker (Kate McNiel) to be a sort of help-primate for paraplegics and quadriplegics, much like a seeing-eye dog is used for blind people.

At first, a great weight seems lifted off Allan's shoulders; Ella's the perfect helper - she can answer the phone, play cassette tapes in the radio, and even help Allan turn the pages of his books when he reads. She even raises her hand in class for her turn to be called on. A deep bond develops between the two that's right out of any made-for-TV movie about hope and determination to beat the odds. Of course, and this is where the horror elements begin to kick in, what Allan doesn't know is that Ella is really Geoffrey's guinea pig in an experiment to create super-intelligent primates: he's been secretly injecting her with human brain tissue, which explains her super-intelligence in helping to make Allan's life a little bit easier. Even more horrifically, Allan has been having incredibly realistic nightmares in which he has acquired a monkey's-eye view of the world, and Ella is subconsciously acting out his deeply-suppressed anger, frustration, hatred, and rage for those around him. And it soon begins a battle of wits to see who is really controlling who, which also sees if Charles Darwin was really right all those years ago.

"Monkey Shines" develops so nicely during its first hour that it's easy to forget that first and foremost, it's a horror film and not just any horror film, a George A. Romero-directed horror film. Romero shows remarkable restraint in combining both the human story with the horror story, that both elements are given enough screen time to thoroughly develop and not seem so tacked-on to each other. That atmosphere and tension of the film's horror-themed second half is pretty intense, even if things can be forgiven for the haunted house-style climax.

This is easily the best-acted film Romero has ever directed, though obviously it's not his best; that honor goes to "Dawn of the Dead." All of the characters turn in fine and realistic performances, including John Pankow as Allan's drug-addled mad-scientist friend who truly has his friend's best interests at heart, even if they're morally gray in the end. But there is one performer who is highly deserving of much praise, and that is Jason Beghe. Jason Beghe delivers a strong, controlled central performance that in my opinion, was criminally overlooked by a great many awards organizations. His performance is one of the most convincing and sympathetic portrayals of a physically handicapped protagonist I've ever seen in the movies. Essentially a prisoner in his own body, he hits every emotive note perfectly, and we believe and can see where and why his anger and rage at his condition is one of the most believable performances in the history of Romero's long and distinguished career as a filmmaker.

"Monkey Shines" is an overlooked career highlight from a highly distinguished director, George A. Romero. Even more so, Jason Beghe's criminally underrated performance makes the film even more worthy of more significant praise.

This is one horror film that isn't monkeying around in the end. It is really scary.


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Discuss this movie with other users on IMDb message board for Monkey Shines (1988)
Recent Posts (updated daily)User
John Pankow was really good in this. brautigan-126-784250
Funniest scene(s) in the movie Sonicboom87
Janine Turner's naked butt jcoleman200439
That nurse should have been fired. Frisky_Kitty2025
What Killed Geoff? CaptainClaudius9
similar movie... fuzzybunny566
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