A medieval reenactment troupe find it increasingly difficult to keep their family-like group together, with pressure from local law enforcement, interest from entertainment agents and a growing sense of delusion from their leader.
Two horror tales based on short stories by Edgar Allan Poe directed by two famous horror directors, George A. Romero and Dario Argento. A greedy wife kills her husband, but not completely. A sleazy reporter adopts a strange black cat.
When Allan becomes a quadriplegic he loses all hope for living until he meets Ella - a monkey trained to fetch and carry for him around the house, obeying him in all things. But Ella is part of another experiment, and when she starts responding to Allan's underlying rage and frustration she has the ability to carry out her master's darkest wishes.Written by
David Carroll <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Earlier versions of Monkey Shines allegedly contained a bizarre brain surgery scene, as well as several abusive scenes involving the small monkey, Ellie. Although the scenes were all staged and no animals were harmed in the making of the movie, the filmmakers decided it would be better to simply leave them out to avoid conflicts. See more »
Allan Mann (Jason Beghe) becomes paralyzed from the neck down after a car hits him. He falls into a deep depression until a scientist friend (John Pankow) gets him a trained monkey named Ella (Boo) to help him. Allan also begins to fall in love with Ella's trainer (Kate McNeil)...but Ella begins to get very attached to Allan--TOO attached.
This was supposed to be director/writer George Romero's comeback film. He said the studio loved it and was going to put a big promotional push behind it. But, for whatever reason, when this came out in the summer of 1988 the studio just dumped it. There was next to no ads for it or coming attractions. Romero remains bitter about it to this day. It's too bad this film was just ignored. It's no masterpiece but it isn't bad.
The movie does have problems--it's far too long (almost two hours), the ending goes on forever and some of the plot is really hard to believe (I thought the psychic link between Allan and Ella was really stupid). Also the POV by the monkey was annoying and overused and there's a REAL embarrassing sex scene between Beghe and McNeil. Still I do like this movie.
As I said it's too long but I was never really bored. Beghe is excellent in a very difficult role; Pankow nicely underplays the scientist and McNeil is fresh and appealing. Also Boo (who plays Ella) is a good "actor". I realize she was just trained for her role but the expressions on her face and body movement was incredible. The plot is also quite interesting--until the end when it just strains credibility.
So not a bad film or a good one but worth catching. I give it a 7.
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