SYNOPSIS | REVIEW | PRODUCTION NOTES | TRIVIA | PRESS | QUOTES | KIM NEWMAN ARCHIVE | MEDIA

Monkey Shines (1988)

Country of Origin: USA
Year of Production: 1988
Running Times: 113 mins
Format: colour: DeLuxe     35mm
Ratio: 1.85:1
Sound: Dolby SR

CREDITS

PRODUCTION
Production Company: Orion Pictures Corporation
Executive Producers: Gerald S. Paonessa, Peter Grunwald
Producer: Charles Evans
Associate Producer: Peter R. McIntosh
Production Manager: Chaim Sprei

SCRIPT
Script: George A. Romero
Novel: Michael Stewart

DIRECTION
Director: George A. Romero
1st Assistant Director: Nick Mastrandrea
2nd Assistant Directors: Charles Evans Jr, Grace Prinzi

PHOTOGRAPHY
Director of Photography: James A. Contner
Camera Operator: Gábor Kövér
Grips: John S. Moyer, Nick Tallo

EDITING AND POST-PRODUCTION
Editor: Pasquale Buba

MUSIC
Music: David Shire
Songs: Peggy Lee, Hubie Wheeler (There'll Be Another Spring); Richard Whitting, Raymond B. Egan, Gus Kahn (Ain't We Got Fun); Alan Brandt, Bob Haymes (That's All); Billy Hill (The Glory Of Love)
Songs Performed By: Peggy Lee (There'll Be Another Spring; Ain't We Got Fun; That's All; The Glory Of Love)
Music Editor: Lori Slomka

SOUND
Sound Mixer: John Sutton
Sound Editor: Elliott Koretz

MAKE UP AND COSTUMES
Costume Designer: Barbara Anderson

SPECIAL MAKE UP EFFECTS
Special Make Up Effects: Everett Burrell, Tom Savini

DESIGN AND SET CONSTRUCTION
Production Designer: Cletus Anderson
Art Director: James C. Feng, J. Mark Harrington
Set Decorator: Diana Stoughton
Set Dressers: Jim Schneider, Judy Stagg, Susan Hudak
Property Master: Gary Kosko

MISCELLANEOUS
Monkey Trainers: Alison Pascoe, Judy Zazula

LOCATIONS
Locations: Carnegie Mellon University, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, USA; Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, USA

STUNTS
Stunts: David Meeks, Tom Savini, Patricia Tallman, Judy Zazula

CASTING
Casting: Dianne Crittenden

CAST
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, Mitchell Baseman, Lia Savini (children playing)
Tom Dileo, Melanie Verlin (vandals)
Dan Fallon (Allan's friend)
Alice Shure, Leslie Dane Shapiro, Christina Galesi (nurses)
Frank Welker (animal voices)

PLOT SUMMARY

When Allen is paralyzed after a traffic accident, he is given Ella, a specially trained monkey, to help him in his daily routines. But Ella has become homicidal and is responding in the most horrific way to Jason's growing despair and anger.

CAPSULE REVIEW

What was Romero thinking? A terrible idea is badly handled in this entirely dreadful nonsense. Terrible performances don't do much to help but with a script as awful as this, there's little any actor could do to save face. Romero does what he can with some impressive camerawork but how he could have thought this woeful idea would work on screen beggars belief. One for die-hard Romero completists only.

AVAILABILITY

Australia
Theatrical Distributors: Hoyts Distribution
Video Distributors: RCA/Columbia-Hoyts Home Video

Brazil
Video Distributors: Globo Vídeo

USA
Theatrical Distributors: Orion Pictures Corporation
Video Distributors: MGM; Orion Home Video
Laserdisc Distributor: Image Entertainment (ID 6258 OR)
DVD Distributor: MGM Home Entertainment (907865)

CENSORSHIP HISTORY

Argentina
Rating: 16

Australia
Rating: M

France
Rating: -12

Sweden
Rating: 15

UK
Rating: 18

USA
Rating: R

West Germany
Rating: 18

AWARDS

1988
Catalonian International Film Festival, Sitges, Spain

Best Actress (Kate McNeil) - winner
Best Director (George A. Romero) - winner
Best Screenplay (George A. Romero) – winner (tied with Hugh Leonard for Da (1988))
Prize of the Catalan Screenwriter's Critic and Writer's Association (George A. Romero) - winner

1989
Fantasporto, Portugal

Critics' Award (George A. Romero) - winner
International Fantasy Film Award Best Film (George A. Romero) - winner

TIMELINE

1988
July

29: USA – theatrical release

December
2: Sweden – theatrical release

1989
January

25: France – theatrical release

February
Day Unknown: Portugal – shown at the Fantasporto Film Festival

1999
October

19: USA - DVD release (MGM Home Entertainment (907865))

POSTER TAGS

See no evil, hear no evil, speak no evil...

Once there was a man whose prison was a chair. The man had a monkey, they made the strangest pair. The monkey ruled the man, it climbed inside his head. And now as fate would have it, one of them is dead.

ALTERNATIVE TITLES

Der Affe im Menschen - West German title
Atracción diabólica - Spanish title
Comando Assassino - Brazilian video title
Ella
Ett experiment i skräck
- Swedish title
Incident de parcours - French title
Instinto Fatal - Brazilian title
Malpia intryga - Polish title
Monerías diabólicas - Argentinian title
Monkey Shines: An Experiment in Fear – advertising title
Monkey Shines: esperimento nel terrore - Italian title
Pelon kierre - Finnish title
Vihan lähettiläs - Finnish title

LINKS

FOOTAGE INCLUDED IN
Document of the Dead (1989)

REFERENCES

MAGAZINES

Cineaction no.53 (November 2000) pp.31-39 (Canada)
illustrated article

Cinefantastique vol.18 no.4 (May 1988) pp.21, 55 (USA)
illustrated article

Cinefantastique vol.18 no.5 (July 1988) pp.17, 56 (USA)
illustrated article

Cinefantastique vol.19 no.1/2 (January 1989) pp.117-118 (USA)
review

Cinefantastique vol.19 no.3 (March 1989) pp.36-37 (USA)
illustrated article

City Limits no.438 (22 February 1990) pp.12, 35 (UK)
illustrated article, review

Empire no.9 (March 1990) p.66 (UK)
illustrated review

Films and Filming no.424 (February 1990) pp.43-44 (UK)
illustrated credits, review

Hollywood Reporter vol.299 no.2 (22 September 1987) p.70 (USA)
note

Hollywood Reporter vol.303 no.21 (25 July 1988) pp.3, 12 (USA)
credits, review

Monthly Film Bulletin vol.57 no.673 (February 1990) pp.45-46 (UK)
credits, illustrated review

Positif no.337 (March 1989) pp.27-50 (France)
illustrated credits, article, filmography

Première March 1989 p.26 (France)
review (by Stella Molitor)

Sight and Sound vol.1 no.6 (October 1991) p.68 (UK)
note

Starburst no.138 (February 1990) pp.22-23 (UK)
illustrated review

Starburst Yearbook 1990 / 1991 pp.5-10 (UK)
illustrated article

Studio January 1989 p.22 (France)
review (by Michel Rebichon)

Time Out no.1018 (21 February 1990) p.31 (UK)
illustrated review

Variety 27 July 1988 p.17 (USA)
credits, review

KEYWORDS

book into film, monkeys, quadriplegics, scientists, wheelchairs

 


Last Updated: 1 January, 2009

 


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