Monkey Shines

Released 1988


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Movie Summary

George A. Romero
Monkey Shines was a 1988 film that was directed by George A. Romero. The film was adapted from a novel of the same name. Athlete Alan Mann (Jason Beghe) has a terrible car accident that leaves him a quadriplegic. Alan doesn't adjust very well to his new life and becomes suicidal and very distant from his family and friends. One of his friends, Jeff (John Pankow), is a scientist and has been doing research on monkeys and injecting human brain tissue into monkeys in order to give them human qualities. When Jeff hears of how depressed Alan has become, he sends one of his monkeys named Ella (voiced by Frank Welker) to help him out. Ella can speak just like any human, and she forms a relationship with Alan. They become friends and share many deep conversations. The pair's unlikely friendship turns evil when Ella becomes telepathic and voices what Alan is thinking at all times. His thoughts aren't always nice either.moreless


Metacritic Score

  • 88

    Chicago Tribune Dave Kehr

    One of Romero's most complex and challenging creations. The film shifts effortlessly between playfulness and outrage, between a distanced irony and an awful, immediate horror.

  • 75

    The Globe and Mail (Toronto) Rick Groen

    This is Romero at his best - a set-piece of sustained chills all precisely shot and rhythmically cut, good enough to make us forgive (if not forget) the cast that is merely compete...

  • 63

    Chicago Sun-Times Roger Ebert

    Romero loses momentum in the closing passages because he has too many loose ends to keep track of. Somewhere within this movie's two hours or so is hidden an absolutely spellbindin...

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Creatures, Cult, Horror Masters