Monkey Shines (1988)

USA, 1988
35mm film, colour, 1.85:1
Dolby SR, English

An American horror film directed by George A. Romero.

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.


Director: George A. Romero
Orion Pictures Corporation
Executive Producers: Gerald S. Paonessa, Peter Grunwald
Producer: Charles Evans
Associate Producer: Peter R. McIntosh
Script: George A. Romero
Novel: Michael Stewart
Director of Photography: James A. Contner
Editor: Pasquale Buba
Music: David Shire
Sound Mixer: John Sutton
Costume Designer: Barbara Anderson
Special Make Up Effects: Everett Burrell, Tom Savini
Production Designer: Cletus Anderson
Locations: Carnegie Mellon University, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, USA; Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, USA

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)

Alternative Titles

Der Affe im Menschen – West Germany
Atracción diabólica – Spain
Comando Assassino – Brazil (video)
Ett experiment i skräck – Sweden
Incident de parcours – France
Instinto Fatal – Brazil
Malpia intryga – Poland
Monerías diabólicas – Argentina
Monkey Shines: An Experiment in Fear – advertising title
Monkey Shines: esperimento nel terrore – Italy
Pelon kierre – Finland
Vihan lähettiläs – Finland

Extracts included in
Document of the Dead (1989)



  • Cineaction no.53 (November 2000) pp.31-39 – illustrated article
  • Cinefantastique vol.18 no.4 (May 1988) pp.21, 55 – illustrated article
  • Cinefantastique vol.18 no.5 (July 1988) pp.17, 56 – illustrated article
  • Cinefantastique vol.19 no.1/2 (January 1989) pp.117-118 – review
  • Cinefantastique vol.19 no.3 (March 1989) pp.36-37 – illustrated article
  • City Limits no.438 (22 February 1990) pp.12, 35 – illustrated article, review
  • Empire no.9 (March 1990) p.66 – illustrated review
  • Films and Filming no.424 (February 1990) pp.43-44 – illustrated credits, review
  • The Hollywood Reporter vol.299 no.2 (22 September 1987) p.70 – note
  • The Hollywood Reporter vol.303 no.21 (25 July 1988) pp.3, 12 – credits, review
  • Monthly Film Bulletin vol.57 no.673 (February 1990) pp.45-46 – credits, illustrated review
  • Positif no.337 (March 1989) pp.27-50 – illustrated credits, article, filmography
  • Première March 1989 p.26 – review (by Stella Molitor)
  • Sight & Sound vol.1 no.6 (October 1991) p.68 – note
  • Starburst no.138 (February 1990) pp.22-23 – illustrated review
  • Starburst Yearbook 1990-1991 pp.5-10 – illustrated article
  • Studio January 1989 p.22 – review (by Michel Rebichon)
  • Time Out no.1018 (21 February 1990) p.31 – illustrated review
  • Variety 27 July 1988 p.17 – credits, review


  • The Aurum Film Encyclopedia: Horror by Phil Hardy (ed.) p.435
  • The Cinema of George A. Romero: Knight of the Living Dead by Tony Williams pp.147-161; 275 – article; credits
  • Educational Institutions in Horror Film: A History of Mad Professors, Student Bodies, and Final Exams by Andrew L. Grunzke pp.122
  • Horror and Science Fiction Films IV by Donald C. Willis p.330
  • Horror Films of the 1980s by John Kenneth Muir pp.677-680 – illustrated credits, synopsis, review
  • The Pocket Essential: George A. Romero by Tom Fallows and Curtis Owen pp.80-86 – article