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!|
But soon, Ella seems to have developed a telepathic link to Mann's emotive rages as he smites his friends and family for reasons both real and imagined. More did it complicates when Alan fell 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 when Ella starts picking them off, one by one.
While not entire his best work, Monkey Shines had created an intriguing entry to the killer animal genre for the means that it is more emotive and tense. The concept of a weakened man forced into a condition that's life-altering took a lot of the story's dramatic connection to the audience. We feel for Alan in his condition, something that was taken away from him was not just anything that can be easily replaced. So 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, he is now reduced to a helpless cripple who's ashamed that he became a burden to everyone he loves or had 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 cared wholesomely for Alan; her decisions were real, due to her having a near-similar intelligence, and 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 vein of Misery. Since this is a helping monkey caring for our lead, it's hard many to reason with her as she's prone to reduce to her animal instinct anytime she felt threatened.
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 is 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 it as we anticipate 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; the whole film could had gone through and through even without that context. Plus the focus between Alan and Ella isn't as steady as many would liked it to be, but nevertheless acceptable.
1 parakeet found killed
1 male and 1 female burned to death
1 female electrocuted in bath tub with a plugged hairdryer
1 male sodium compund injected into his nape
1 female monkey back bitten and crushed to death