What a sweet little nugget of goodness this was. One of those movies I've heard of just never seen. Doing some research, it seems like this is an under appreciated gem of a film (weird considering that George Romero directed it so you would think there would be greater fanfare). Well kids, I can definitely say that indeed, this is a fine little slab of horror/thriller mania.
Monkey Shines opens up with a young man being hit by a truck as he's jogging around his hood. He's rushed to the hospital and emergency spinal chord surgery is performed. Nothing can be done and he's resigned to come to grips with the fact that he will be a quadriplegic for the rest of his life. On top of that, his own girlfriend dumps him. Talk about kicking a man squarely in the nuts when he's down!
Quadriplegic man's buddy is a researcher, studying monkeys and injecting them with human brains cells to make them smarter (uh oh, this can't be good). One day he and his hot foxy blonde assistant come over to his buddy's mother's house (seriously, not only does your woman leave you and your're a quadriplegic ,you also have to move back in with mom at the ripe old age of 30 something? Holy fuck!). Anywhos, they bring over one of the cute little monkeys and the monkey shows of its skills: fetching things, turning things off and on around the house and the man becomes ecstatic as he's grown tired of the nurse being his slave.
Quady forges a special bond with the little monkey as its there at all hours to take care of him, never putting up a fuss or leaving him for a doctor. Did I mention that? So we come to find out that the doctor that performed surgery on him botched it ON PURPOSE so he would be stuck in a wheel chair for the rest of his life AND shortly thereafter he made a move for his old main squeeze. I'd be hollerin' 1-8-7 with my gat! Bitch-ass muthafucka!
So anyways, little monkey brains starts waking up in the middle of the night, roaming the neighborhood. Because of their special 'connection', quadriplegic sees what the monkey sees when he's asleep and dreaming. Little Davy Jones goes into the house that his ex and her doc pal are shacking up in and sets it on fire, killing them both. Que lastima!
Quadriplegic man begins to suspect something is up and his friend finally spills the beans about the experimental monkey that he's lied to him about the whole time, saying the behavior and over-protective antics of the monkey were normal (jesus did this guy get the raw end of the stick and a shaft with no lube or what?). The buddy makes a stand in the house with the monkey and tries to kill it with a poison injection only the monkey steals it like a hot banana and injects him instead!
I'm surprised this flick doesn't garner much more fanfare. An insanely intense affair all around, Monkey Shines delivers the goods. I was trying to figure why Tom Savini was involved at all as there was little blood and no gore throughout the movie. Well quady finally gets the surgery he needs done (right this time) and as he's in la la land after going under, he envisions himself on the cutting room table and little funky monkey pops out of his back a la Aliens style. Spectacular!
Cortez the Killer