starring: Jason Beghe, John Pankow and Kate McNeil
To Say Happy Birthday for one George A. Romero, I'm going to tackle this little monster of a unique thriller about a man, his monkey and the danger he got into unwillingly.
|Happy 72th birthday, Mr. Romero!|
Soon, Ella appears to be developing a telepathic link to Mann's emotive rages as he smites his friends and family for reasons both real and imagined. This becomes more complicated when Alan falls in love with Melanie, a specialist in quadriplegia and helper monkeys, sparking Ella's jealous rage. When Alan is informed that his condition is irreversible, it all went for worse as Ella starts picking off those Alan deems responsible or worthy of his anger, one by one.
While not entire his best work, George A. Romero created an intriguing entry to the killer animal genre with Monkey Shines for the means that it focuses more on the emotive side of its human characters instead of the animal attacks, attempting to bond a lot of the story's dramatic connection with the audience as we feel for Alan and his condition. His emotions, whether it's empathy for himself or the fact that he's completely depressed, is arguably understandable as he was the bread winner for everyone he knows, now reduced to a helpless cripple who's ashamed that he became a burden to everyone he loves or loved, which soon boils up into blind rage.
Now, the monkey concept in this flick is new for its time and quite clever. Starting first as a lab-rat for an experiment, Ella was the only creature that actually care wholesomely for Alan as her decisions are real due to her having a near-human intelligence. It was all for her master and she finds sympathy from the very man who she serves so when Melanie came in, it's psychotic jealousy was unleashed and no one was safe, not even Alan in the climactic vein of Misery.
Perhaps trading zombies for monkeys wasn't the best idea for many but Monkey Shines still proved to be a worthy flick to watch. While predictable at some point and the idea can be too absurd for many, it's still an imaginative piece that has enough thrills and suspense to keep anyone in their seats in anticipation. You can tell something's bound for worse, but rather than showing the terror immediately, it brews our anticipation for it.
The murders are nowhere special, but the attacks are pretty nice to watch and handled well. So goes to the acting, mostly with Jason Beghe who had to rely a lot on facial acting since he is supposed to be a crippled individual. Some points of the film were a little unnecessary, such as the idea of telepathic linking of Ella and Alan as the idea felt underdeveloped and he whole film could had gone through without that context.
1 parakeet found killed
1 male and 1 female burned to death
1 female electrocuted in bath tub with a plugged hairdryer
1 male gets sodium compound injected into his nape
1 female monkey had her back bitten and crushed to death