Monkey Shines (1988)
What’s It About: Allan Mann was a very athletic man who seemed to have it all. Nice home with a great girlfriend until he became paralyzed from the neck down after being hit by a truck. With the help from his scientist friend, Geoffrey, who has been experimenting with injecting capuchin monkeys with human brain tissue to see if that would make them smarter, Allan gets one of the monkeys to assist him around the house. Ella, the monkey is a bit too smart and also jealous and a bit of a murderer.
Here are some of my observations as I watched the film:
- So close to T&A from the chick and then we see Allan do a few stretches buck-naked on the floor! Why?! Is that suppose to convey that he’s more athletic than a clothed guy?
- Allan fought a truck and the truck won. Bad shot of Allan hit by a vehicle. He went straight up in the air like he was on a trampoline. Almost looked too graceful.
- That is one horrible fake beard on Allan.
- I’ve seen a bunch of grotesque sights in films in my time but nothing as ghastly as a quadriplegic trying to kill himself by sucking in a plastic dry cleaning bag over his head. Ouch.
- Best line in the movie delivered by Allan’s best friend Geoffrey: “Well, well, well, how do we diagnose this one Wiseman [Allan’s doctor]? Clinical Asshole Syndrome? Clinical Rat, Clinical Snake-in-the-Grass Syndrome?” [turns to Linda, Allan’s ex-girlfriend who left Allan for Wiseman] “And you, you Clinical C-nt!”
- Hey look it’s Milton from Office Space!
- Ella the monkey is too cute for a horror flick. They will have to go really dark to make her a villain.
- On man, I thought we were going to see Ella kill that parakeet for almost pecking out Allan’s eyes. Moments later Ella simply reaches in the bird cage and then leaves the carcass in the nurse’s slipper. Weak.
- “It deserved to die.” [referring to the parakeet] Nice way to talk to your nurse buddy. You know the one who takes care of you, cleans you and feeds you. She even puts you in that awesome bath/shower swing.
- Allan and Ella have a sort of mind-meld. They should join the Jaeger squad to fight Kaiju.
- It’s not the sex scene with a quadriplegic that bothers me but the fact that a mere few feet away is about 2 dozen monkeys yelping and hollering. Very Tarzanian.
- Allan’s mother looks just like Mrs. Doubtfire.
- Allan’s motorized wheelchair is so weak that its stopped by a telephone cord.
- I wonder if Ella is the Nazi monkey in Raiders of the Lost Ark.
- Ella kills Allan’s mother by throwing a radio into her bath tub but how would a monkey know that would electrocute her without her seeing it happen before? I think using a phone or stabbing someone are simple enough concepts for a primitive creature to learn or guess but electricity and conductivity not too much.
- This movie is very similar to Misery with the over-bearing caretaker who loves the invalid a tad too much that he/she will kill to protect and keep the other.
- DUDE!!! Allan viciously bites into Ella’s neck and thrashes her back & forth a dozen times until she dies. Awesome.
- A jump scare! Doctor cuts into Allan’s back and Ella springs out like Alien. Of course just a nightmare.
- So basically Allan’s doctor, ex-girlfriend, mother and best friend all die under strange circumstances and no police ever question Allan at all in this film.
Is It Actually Scary: Had some neat little scares. Nothing terrifying. Although if you have a fear of little monkeys than consider yourself forewarned!
How Much Gore: Not too much blood really. More of a psychological thriller involving a monkey. Most kills are done off screen.
Best Scene: Allan killing Ella with his teeth was one I’ll remember for a long time. Its his last chance to save himself and those he cares about and he manages to get Ella close enough where he can bite and chomp down on her neck and using his neck thrashes violently back and forth causing Ella to either break her neck or die from the neck wound. Its an unique scene for sure.
Worst Scene: The sex scene was unnecessary in that they didn’t have to do it with all the caged animals in the background hollering and screaming. If they screwed anywhere else I’d have zero issues with it.
Any Nudity: Allan stretching in the first few minutes of the film bare-ass nekkid. And we see some boobie from Kate McNeil during the awkward sex scene. And Ella is naked the whole damn time we see her!!
Overall: This film is no masterpiece but for once, [so far] this month I saw a movie that I enjoyed. It was at the very least, unlike the previous 4 or so, interesting and a fun watch. I was never bored or confused. It had an original story of a killer capuchin monkey with human intelligence who loved the paralyzed guy and had a mind-meld with him. The pacing was great and the dialogue was good. I was engaged for the 2 hours I watched it and had a lot of fun with it. I would recommend it to anyone looking for a decent 80s thriller.
Score: 8 Naked Stretches (out of 10)