Monkey Shines – An Experiment in Fear! – Blu-ray Review
Continuing with the 80s classic that Eureka Entertainment is releasing, my latest review is for George A. Romero’s twisted thriller, Monkey Shines a movie that I’ve only seen three times and this review was the third time, it’s a movie that I sadly didn’t get to see on the big screen.
The last time I saw Monkey Shines is was on VHS, yes those big clunky things that used to have tape running through them! So to see the film again in Blu-ray format was something that I’d been looking forward to since the announcement from Eureka that they were releasing a Dual Format (Blu-ray & DVD) this coming October.
Many of you will no doubt know George A. Romero for the Night of the Living Dead and the other “dead” movies and it was a sad loss when the godfather of modern horror died, but Monkey Shines is very different from those brilliant horror movies and this one certainly delivers a disturbing message about messing with Mother Nature, almost like the idea we got from the first reboot for the Planet of the Apes movies.
Starring Jason Beghe and Janine Turner, Monkey Shines is indeed an experiment in fear and it may, just possibly, give you a ear of monkeys! Allan Mann (Jason Beghe) has changed since his accident left him paralysed from the neck down and has become a bitter, angry and vengeful man. He’s fed up with himself and everyone around him, could life be any different for him now, but everything changes when he’s given Ella, a monkey trained to meet his every need.
All seems great, but when Ella begins anticipating Allan’s thoughts, strange and deadly things start happening. And as she stalks and wreaks havoc on Allan’s fair-weather girlfriend (Janine Turner), incompetent doctor and meddling mother, Allan realises he must stop the creature before it has the chance to take over his life and his mind completely.
Based on the novel by Michael Stewart, Monkey Shines is a movie that is disturbing in parts, especially with the scenes with Ella, such as trying to take the fingers off the doctor when he comes to visit and the overall presence that the Ella has on screen that foreboding feeling of what evil, manipulative, thing it is going to do next, a true show of Romero’s use of direction with the psychological side of Monkey Shines.
This is a strange movie for George A. Romero and not one that you would expect from him, but funnily enough, it’s a film that makes a refreshing change, it does get more intense as the film progresses.
Monkey Shines is a great addition to the Eureka Classics collection with its 5.1 audio and 1080p presentation it sounds and looks good, so much better than I remember, it also comes with some nice special features to take you behind the scenes of the movie.
· Limited Edition O Card slipcase [First Print Run Only]
· 1080p presentation of the film on Blu-ray
· DTS-HD MA 5.1 and 2.0 audio options
· Optional English SDH subtitles
· New and exclusive feature length audio commentary by Travis Crawford
· Audio Commentary with director George A. Romero
· An Experiment in Fear – The Making of Monkey Shines – a lengthy retrospective with George A. Romero, stars Jason Beghe and Kate McNeil, executive producer Peter Grunwald, and special effects legends Tom Savini, Greg Nicotero and Everett Burrell.
· Alternate Ending and Deleted Scenes
· Behind-the-scenes footage, original EPK featurette, vintage interviews and news reports
· Trailers and TV spots
· PLUS: A limited edition collector’s booklet featuring a new essay by Craig Ian Mann; highlights from the film’s production notes: and rare archival material [First Print Run Only]
Monkey Shines starring Kate McNeil, Joyce Van Patten, Stephen Root, John Pankow and Stanley Tucci and directed by George A. Romero is presented on Blu-ray for the first time in the UK in a Dual Format (Blu-ray & DVD) edition on the 8th October.
There's no monkeying about with this one!
Not the usual George A. Romero movie, but Monkey Shines is certainly one that fits in well in the Eureka Classics collection.