Home Movies by Decade Movies - 1980s Monkey Shines (1988)

Monkey Shines (1988)

In this underrated horror film, college student Allan Mann (Jason Beghe), a disciplined athlete, becomes a quadriplegic after being hit by a truck while out running (with bricks in his rucksack).

He is outfitted with a motorised wheelchair which he steers with his mouth, and the lean, lively body that was once his pride becomes his prison. His life is shattered and he falls into a deep depression.

Allan receives a monkey named Ella from his scientist friend Geoffrey Fisher (John Pankow) who is leading an experiment to supercharge simian intelligence by injecting monkeys with human brain cells.

Ella has been trained to assist the handicapped with everyday tasks, but the student soon finds out that the monkey has other talents – among them, acting out his darkest impulses.

Ella’s empathy grows out of control as she forms a complex – almost telepathic – psychological bond with Allan and begins acting out his homicidal fantasies in exacting detail.

A fascinating and frightening psychological thriller, confidently written and directed by Romero, and adapted from a novel by Michael Stewart. Known in some markets as An Experiment In Fear.


Allan Mann
Jason Beghe
Geoffrey Fisher
John Pankow
Melanie Parker
Kate McNeil
Dorothy Mann
Joyce Van Patten
Maryanne Hodges
Christine Forrest
Dean Burbage
Stephen Root
Dr John Wiseman
Stanley Tucci
Linda Aikman
Janine Turner
Doc Williams
William Newman
Esther Fry
Tudi Wiggins
Charlie Cunningham
Tom Quinn

George A Romero