Monkey Shines (1988) is an American sci-fi drama horror movie that is also known as Monkey Shines: An Experiment in Fear (1988). Director and writer George A. Romero (Night of the Living Dead (1968), Dawn of the Dead (1978), Land of the Dead (2005), The Crazies (2010)) based the movie on Michael Stewart‘s novel of the same name. The movie contains thrills, suspense, a twist ending, sexual content with no nudity, a lot of monkey violence, bad language, tension and a science experiment gone deadly wrong.
Allan Mann (Jason Beghe - The Next Three Days (2010), Thelma & Louise (1991), G.I. Jane (1997), Chicago P.D. (2014)) was hit by a truck and became quadriplegic. Allan had a severely hard time adjusting to his new condition to the point where he was suicidal. Allan’s friend Geoffrey (John Pankow - Mad About You (1992), To Live and Die in L.A. (1985), Bride Wars (2009)) is a scientist. Geoffrey has been experimenting with injecting human brain tissues into monkeys and decide to give Allan a monkey named, Ella to help him. Allan’s life with the help of Ella (Boo) was easier at first, and things could not have been better. It did not take long for Ella to show rage, anger and for her sinister side to be revealed. Ella became jealous after Allan began dating Melanie Parker (Kate McNeil - As the World Turns (1956), The House on Sorority Row (1983), Sudden Death (1995)) who is a specialist in quadriplegia.
Allan received the good news that his disability might be reversible, but it just might be too late to save a few of his love ones from Ella’s deadly killing spree. I was in total aww as I watched Ella grotesquely murder the people she did, and I was still in awe of the final scene of her and Allan together. I could not believe my eyes, and I was in total dismay. Ella was one dangerous monkey that was not messed with but still felt she had excess baggage to get rid of. Some of the death scenes included setting a romantic hideaway on fire, electrocution in the bathtub, injection with Sodium pentobarbitone and lighting someone on fire. The final scene is a must see and was totally unexpected of Allan and Ella - It is not what you think - watch the movie to see. The main character discovers that his dream became reality when he woke up and watch the movie. I gave this movie a six because Ella gave the best performance on screen. The other actors did not deliver as well as Ella and at times appeared lost and unbelievable. The sets, special effects, lighting effects, sound, and makeup, was okay but could have been better. The screenplay was written beautifully and executed fabulously.
About Monkey Shines (1988)
Starring: Stephen Root, David Early, Rik Billock, Christine Forrest, Jason Beghe, Stanley Tucci, William Newman, Patricia Tallman, Tom Quinn, Kate McNeil, Anthony Dileo Jr., Tina Romero, Boo, Janine Turner, Tudi Wiggins, Chuck Baker, Michael Naft, Mitchell Baseman, Lia Savini, Melanie Verlin, Dan Fallon, Alice Shure, Leslie Dane Shapiro, Christina Galesi, John Pankow, Kate English, Heidi Hinzman, Robert Hendren, Eric Morgan Stuart, Joyce Van Patten
Director: George A. Romero