70 user 34 critic

Spanking the Monkey (1994)

Unrated | | Comedy, Drama | 15 July 1994 (USA)
1:58 | Trailer
A med student is forced by his traveling salesman dad to cancel a top summer internship and look after his hot mom, who's bedridden with a broken leg. Applying lotion to her legs arouses him.


David O. Russell
3 wins & 5 nominations. See more awards »





Cast overview, first billed only:
Jeremy Davies ... Ray / son
Alberta Watson ... Susan / wife
Benjamin Hendrickson ... Tom / husband
Elizabeth Newett Elizabeth Newett ... Bus Woman
Carla Gallo ... Toni / Ray's girlfriend
Liberty Jean Liberty Jean ... Motel Woman #1
Archer Martin Archer Martin ... Motel Woman #2
Matthew Puckett ... Nicky
Zak Orth ... Curtis
Josh Philip Weinstein ... Joel
Judah Domke ... Don
Nancy Fields Nancy Fields ... Dr. Wilson
Judette Jones Judette Jones ... Aunt Helen
Carmine Paolini Carmine Paolini ... Mailman
Neil Connie Wallace Neil Connie Wallace ... Walter Hooten


About to stay a summer internship, promising young medical student at MIT, Raymond's mother, Susan, breaks her leg. Housebound and immobile, his father, Tom, makes Raymond stay home and take care of her. Susan's a troubled woman, and along with Raymond's own emotional strains, it leads them to intimate physical contact, which Raymond finds uneasy. He soon meets a high school girl, Toni, but his ability to handle starting a relationship with her is difficult, due to the emotionally troubling recent events in his life. Written by Reid Gagle

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


A gripping comedy about letting go. See more »


Comedy | Drama


Unrated | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »

Did You Know?


Film debut of Zak Orth. See more »


Boom mic clearly visible when Mr Aibelli first phones Ray from the hotel room. See more »


Ray Aibelli: [Helen keeps interrupting Ray and his mother talk] Helen, can you do me a favor?
Ray Aibelli: Shut your big fat mouth for once!
Ray Aibelli: [she walks off the house] Helen. Helen, wait. I'm sorry! Ok? Please, don't go. Give me one sec... Helen? I'm sorry. I swear to God, I didn't mean to.
Aunt Helen: [crying] You said I had a fat mouth!
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Referenced in In Bad Taste (2000) See more »


Composed by Mark Sandman
Performed by Morphine
Copyright 1993 Head With Wings Music/Pubco (BMI)
See more »

User Reviews

not sure what to think
12 January 2002 | by khelekSee all my reviews

I must admit, I wasn't sure what to expect from a movie with such an, well, interesting title.

I can definitely tell you what this movie is not: it is *not* a movie shown in Health class teaching young males healthier and safer alternatives to pre-marital intercourse.

Now that that's out of the way, what *is* it? Shocking is one word. It doesn't seem to be afraid of depicting taboo subjects that other movies might sugar-coat or avoid. There were parts of the movie that I felt uncomfortable watching, and I couldn't imagine watching it with someone else. Come to think of it, I couldn't imagine letting anyone else *know* I watched it....

This movie is also sad. Not in an OL' YELLER sort of way, nor the way you could describe Keanu Reeves' acting. No, here you have a glimpse at the summer of the main character who seemed to have everything going for him until he's forced home by his over-bearing, traveling father to take care of his temporarily invalid mother, who seems to have her own set of issues. I couldn't help but feel *really* sorry for this kid. He just can't seem to catch a break.

And lastly, it's a dark drama. I'm not sure why they tried to market it as "outrageously funny", but it's not. And I didn't get the feeling that they tried to make it funny and failed horribly, I just don't think it was meant to be funny. So, if you're looking for a "laugh-out-loud" funny movie about a taboo subject, this isn't for you. Rent BETTER OFF DEAD instead.

I thought by the time I got to this point, I'd be able to say whether I liked it or not. I can't. It was an interesting movie and I would watch it again, provided it was free and no one else was around. And I don't feel like I wasted my time or my money. So yeah, I did kind of like it. If you want to know what it's all about, and you have a strong stomach, you should watch it once. Or if you feel like you have the worst life in the world, you should rent it, just so you can see someone worse off than you. Otherwise, you may just want to pass.

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Release Date:

15 July 1994 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Spanking the Monkey See more »

Filming Locations:

Pawling, New York, USA


Box Office


$200,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend USA:

$35,396, 17 July 1994

Gross USA:


Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

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Company Credits

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Technical Specs


Sound Mix:




Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See full technical specs »

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