Monkey Shines is certainly one of the more interesting entries into George Romero’s illustrious career and although it wasn’t my cup of tea (I guess the monkey killer subgenre doesn’t quite do it for me), yet it does have its moments and Jason Beghe gives a good performance.
Genre(s): Horror, Suspense/Thriller, Sci-Fi
Scream Factory | R – 113 min. – $24.97 | November 18, 2014
Allan Mann (JASON BEGHE) is a bitter, angry and vengeful man ever since an accident left him paralyzed from the neck down. He’s fed up with himself and everyone around him. All that changes when he’s given Ella, a monkey trained to meet his every need. 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 realizes he must stop the cunning maniacal creature…before she fully takes over his mind!
SPECIAL FEATURES – 4.5/5
Audio Commentary with writer/director George A. Romero
An Experiment in Fear: The Making of Monkey Shines (49:32; HD) is a retrospective featurette and has new interviews with George A. Romero, Jason Beghe, Kate McNeil and Tom Savini amongst others.
Deleted Scenes (4:07; HD) include a few scenes cut and even though they are in rough shape, it is nice to find them here even if they wouldn’t have added anything. Also available is the Alternate Ending (5:12; HD).
Behind the Scenes Footage (13:16; HD) offers a glimpse at original footage.
Also included is a Still Gallery, Trailers and TV Spot (3:57; HD), Vintage “Making of” (5:21; HD) and Vintage Interviews and News Feature (5:44; HD).
VIDEO – 3.5/5
Shout Factory, through their horror subsidiary Scream Factory, releases Monkey Shines onto Blu-ray presented with a 1.78 widescreen aspect ratio and a 1080p high-definition transfer. Although the picture does look good with some bright colors, it’s not the prettiest either with some heavy noise which I kind of expected considering the film is 25+ years old. Even so, good work was done as I didn’t notice any major instances of artifacting or aliasing; it’s a decent enough transfer.
AUDIO – 3.5/5
The movie comes with two tracks, a 5.1 and 2.0 DTS-HD Master Audio track, both of which sound good, though the 5.1 track (which is the default one) does sound fuller and more dynamic providing for clear dialogue levels while the score comes through well enough. As with the picture, it’s not the best sounding lossless track, but still sounds good.
OVERALL – 3.25/5
Overall, Monkey Shines is certainly one of the more interesting entries into George Romero’s illustrious career and although it wasn’t my cup of tea (I guess the monkey killer subgenre doesn’t quite do it for me), yet it does have its moments and Jason Beghe gives a good performance. The Blu-ray released by Shout Factory has video and audio transfers that is the best it ever could be while the bonus material is actually not bad, highlighted by the retrospective documentary.