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MONKEY SHINES (1988) – Episode 235 – Decades of Horror 1980s

“You killed my Bogie! Not with your hands. You had your little demon do it for you.” Her “Bogie” and his “little demon?” That’s a new one. Never heard them called that before. Join your faithful Grue Crew – Chad Hunt, Bill Mulligan, Crystal Cleveland, and Jeff Mohr – as they go talk-about with Monkey Shines (1988), one of George Romero’s studio efforts.

Decades of Horror 1980s
Episode 235 – Monkey Shines (1988)

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A quadriplegic man has a trained monkey help him with his paralysis until the little monkey begins to develop feelings, and rage, against its new master. 

George A. Romero writes and directs Monkey Shines, an adaptation of Michael Stewart’s 1983 British novel of the same title. Despite the monkey with the clapping cymbals on the poster, this movie has nothing to do with Stephin King. An excellent cast (Jason Beghe, John Pankow, Kate McNeil, Joyce Van Patten, Christine Forrest, Stephen Root, Janine Turner, and Stanley Tucci) and detailed storytelling that crosses all the t’s and almost dots all the i’s, might just make this work. And beware if you have a phobia regarding monkeys with sharp objects! You’ve been warned.

At the time of this writing, Monkey Shines is available to stream from Tubi, Pluto TV, and multiple PPV sources. 

Every two weeks, Gruesome Magazine’s Decades of Horror 1980s podcast will cover another horror film from the 1980s. The next episode’s film, chosen by Chad, will be The Incubus (1981) from the novel by Ray Russell [Mr. Sardonicaus (1961) and X: The Man with the X-Ray Eyes (1963)] and starring John Cassavetes.

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Jeff Mohr
Jeff lives smack dab in the middle of the cornfields of Iowa and is a long-time horror fan. His first remembered encounters with the genre were The Wizard of Oz, Tarzan gorilla chases, and watching the first broadcast of The Twilight Zone episode, "An Occurrence at Owl Creek Bridge." While he now qualifies as an old fart, he strives to be an Old Boy. Paraphrasing Robert Bloch, he has the heart of a small boy. He keeps it in a jar on his desk. Jeff has written for and SQ Horror Magazine. He currently writes for Gruesome Magazine and is a co-host of the Decades of Horror podcasts - The Classic Era, 1970s, and 1980s - and the Gruesome Magazine Podcast.