Monkey_shines

Review: MONKEY SHINES (1988)

by Meredith Grau

http://lalalandhistory.blogspot.com/

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Best Bad Quote:

“YOU KILLED MY BOGIIIIIIIIEEEEEE!”

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“Monkeyshines,” as we all recall from 8th grade Vocab, are pranks, acts of innocent mischief, and other examples of mildly disobedient behavior. Well, “Monkey Shines”– two words– are something quite different, as it turns out. Essentially, any playfulness insinuated by this phrase take on a much more sinister connotation. Then, there is the more psychological implication of “shine” to consider, the same that was once thoroughly examined by Stephen King and Stanley Kubrick. I guess what I’m trying to say is, this is a movie starring an evil Scatman Crothers Capuchin.

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This film is bold and multi-faceted. It could have had many titles, such as:

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Monkenstein— When Allan Mann (Jason Beghe, the actor who performed the brave penis tuck dance on “Californication”) is hit by a truck, after doing naked stretches of course, he becomes a paraplegic. This sucks. He was super duper in shape, was well on his way to becoming a lawyer, and he had a hot ass girlfriend (Janine Turner). Now, his own granite ass is confined to a wheelchair. He can’t even play with himself… It’s Hell! Thus, his mad scientist friend Geoffrey (John Pankow) blends a brain concoction, which he injects into the furry little Ella in order to make her Allan’s highly intelligent Monkey Assistant/Nurse. She’s got brains in her veins! It’s all cute and cuddly at first, but it soon becomes clear that Geoff has created a monster!

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Jungle Fever 2— It is, of course, hard to hate a monkey who is so adorable, intelligent, and ambidextrous that our evolution from her incredible species appears to be a clear mistake of nature. Humans are the exception that proves the rule “survival of the fittest.” Ella is the sh*t! This monkey also has sex appeal, and she’s not afraid to… mix genres. Not only are she and Allan telepathically linked, s o m e h o w, but she also puts the moves on him— turning the lights down low, playing soft, seductive music, enfolding him in her arms… And he doesn’t fight it. I mean, he physically can’t… But he doesn’t seem to want to anyway. When, oh when, will mankind banish prejudice and embrace the fact that love, in any form, is beautiful?!

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The Monkey Junkie!— Well, things go into overkill, literally, when the hopped up Ella becomes addicted to her miracle brain elixir and only wants more. And MORE! She also starts setting a lot of people on fire, like Allan’s ex who decides to have an affair with Stanley Tucci (#NoLie). But Ella goes out of control when Allan gets the hots for monkey trainer Melanie (Kate McNeil), especially when this nympho-next-door forces the poor, paralyzed dud to perform cunnilingus. (The neck muscles are strong in this one).

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Well, a lot of things happen. The good news is, they are all awesome. The climax… It’s incredible! This movie has everything, from the tender affection shared by dead legs and his indentured Cebidae, to his cartoon mother Pastel Patty, to a life-threatening parakeet attack— on the face. There is also an attempt at motorboat rape (possible?) and the worst onscreen kissing that I have ever witnessed. Yet, because it was directed by Maestro Monkeyshiner himself, George Romero, the film is actually well made, entertaining, comic, and appropriately disturbing. Mostly comic, hence the “An Experiment in Fear” disclaimer.

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But, when you break it all down, this film is really just a coming of age story, wherein we learn this singular and most pivotal truth: a man isn’t a man until he spanks his monkey.

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Rating: 

5 out of 5 Perma-Fried Primates

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