6.2/10
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66 user 61 critic

Monkey Shines (1988)

TV-14 | | Drama, Horror, Sci-Fi | 29 July 1988 (USA)
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)

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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:

See no evil, hear no evil, speak no evil... See more »


Certificate:

TV-14 | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

29 July 1988 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Ella See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$7,000,000 (estimated)

Gross USA:

$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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Did You Know?

Trivia

One of the very few films depicting a quadriplegic having sex. 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 Kicking and Screaming (1995) See more »

Soundtracks

Ain't We Got Fun
Written by Richard A. Whiting (as Richard Whitting), Ray Egan (as Raymond B. Egan) and Gus Kahn
Performed by Peggy Lee
Courtesy of Capitol Records, Inc.
Under license from Capitol Special Markets
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

 
not your typical horror flick
19 September 2003 | by SleelSee all my reviews

If you're looking for body count, blood, or bogeymen, this film is not for you. It is more of a psychological thriller than a horror film, though it was billed as horror, likely because of the pseudo-science gimmick that provides the basis for the conflict in the plot.

While the film tends to wander a bit (i.e. a sub-plot involving the research head that gets dropped 3/4 of the way through) it stays fairly well focused on the main character and his problems. Aside from the lead, the most effective acting was done by the monkey(s), but the "real" actors do a pretty good job of carrying their own. It gives you a little insight into what it's like to be quadriplegic. For a late 80's movie, the style of filming was well done, there is very little cheese, and the special effects didn't overreach.

The premise seems a bit farfetched to our currently more sophisticated and informed sense of what's possible on the genetic engineering front. After all, this movie was made 15 years ago. If Romero had gone with either a supernatural cause or a plain animal jealousy angle, it might be less dated, but then again it might have been a little less believable to begin with.

Not very horrific, not startling or scary, but worth seeing if you don't mind a slightly slow-paced thriller. I gave it a higher than average score (6 out of 10) just because it didn't make me say "oh, please!" too many times unlike other movies from that time--particularly horror films--are prone to do. For example, the pivotal moment is fully supported by plausible input earlier in the film, it's not one of those miraculous developments pulled out of nowhere in the last few seconds before the climax.


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