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JulyDiaz

Episode 96 — Monkey Shines

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I am still convinced that ventriloquist dummies are pure evil.

Oh, they are. They fucking are.

Come on now, guys. There is no way this guy is evil.

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Monkey Shines Blue ray drops next month with deleted scenes, alternate ending and commentary from, a presumably sober, George Romero. Should be interesting to see how close Paul's cut brain theory subplot is.

https://www.shoutfactory.com/film/film-horror/monkey-shines

 

On the topic of that possible brain surgery cut plot: that photo of Allan undergoing brain surgery is not only "out there", it is the featured still from the movie on the "detail" level view of the title on Netflix. Yes, a shot that does not appear in the film is shown as a representative highlight from the film.

 

And one minor crazy thing that was omitted: when Geoffrey chases away the anti-vivisectionists who are vandalizing the outside of his lab, do they not see and hear him drive into the parking lot, park his shitbox 30 feet away from them, get out and close the car door TWICE? They are really fucking oblivious for people who are presumably trying not to get caught.

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Anyone else have a hard time pinning down how Allen felt towards Ella? Like, I seriously couldn't tell if he loved her, or was afraid of her...or both I guess? But there was one scene where that dick husband from Object of My Affection like angrily picks up Ella and drags her out of the room and Allen is just like...sitting there. I felt like if this monkey was important to him and he was on her side that he would have been like yelling "Hey you fuck! You put her down! You can't treat her like that you fucking scum!" Or whatever.

 

...maybe by that point she was super evil, (I'm just having such a hard time remembering the order of this movie even though I watched it like 3 days ago. It's like a blur in my mind.) but even then he could have said "get that thing away from me! it's evil!" but he was just sitting there watching.

 

He just felt so fucking indifferent towards the thing until the end that it left me very confused.

 

I felt like they built a touching bond near the beginning of the movie and that was ruined by his friend injecting Ella with more brain stuff. After that second injection is when Allen started fearing her. I thought it was actually pretty tragic because Allen and Ella seemed to have a good relationship for the first part of the movie.

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Would it be So Upsetting for me to admit that I kind of agreed with June?

 

Not so much that it was harmful to only credit one monkey instead of six (and certainly not with her agreement that using animals for medical research is bad, provided it's done humanely), but I think she had a real point in saying that calling an animal an "actor" does anthropomorphize animals (especially higher order animals like monkey and apes) in a way that's harmful to their welfare? No less than Dame Jane Goodall made that exact same point on John Oliver this past weekend.

 

I heard Goodall speak when I was in college, and she is as disgusted by the practice as June is, and she made a special point of mentioning that the orang-utan in Every Which Way But Loose's sequel Any Which Way You Can (not the same ape) DIED two weeks after they finished filming.

 

TL;DR: June might have let her passion overcome her eloquence, but she wasn't completely wrong.

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But is that kind of personification on film sets, when done in a professional setting by responsible people who love animals, any worse than when people personify their pets as their best friends or their children? When socialites carry their dogs in their purses, when little old ladies put clothes on them, or when people use pets as a replacement for a recently dead loved one? We do all sorts of things to animals that are terrible (from puppy mills to buying diamond-studded collars for them when there are humans who cannot afford to buy any new clothes), it seems like training them to perform in movies is a lot less egregious than many of those. Of course, the kind of abuse that goes on in a lot of places like Sea World or circuses is awful and reprehensible, but there doesn't seem to be any of that in movies like Monkey Shines. Maybe their was in Every Which Way Buy Loose? I don't know.

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In regards to the bathroom butt drawing - it's a Picasso! I believe it's called "Femme," it's made up of like four lines, and you can probably get a print of it for $100. Or just, you know, draw a butt and frame it.

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But is that kind of personification on film sets, when done in a professional setting by responsible people who love animals, any worse than when people personify their pets as their best friends or their children? When socialites carry their dogs in their purses, when little old ladies put clothes on them, or when people use pets as a replacement for a recently dead loved one? We do all sorts of things to animals that are terrible (from puppy mills to buying diamond-studded collars for them when there are humans who cannot afford to buy any new clothes), it seems like training them to perform in movies is a lot less egregious than many of those. Of course, the kind of abuse that goes on in a lot of places like Sea World or circuses is awful and reprehensible, but there doesn't seem to be any of that in movies like Monkey Shines. Maybe their was in Every Which Way Buy Loose? I don't know.

I go back to the comment about Hollywood animal wranglers that came up during Mortal Kombat. Paul brought up the snake trainer who worked on an episode of Human Giant which consisted of hitting the snake with a stick.

 

When get you to more intelligent animals, like monkeys/apes, and dolphins and whales (the latter as heartbreakingly illustrated in Blackfish) for entertainment, I do find that So Upsetting. If a Capuchin monkey (or a seeing eye dog) is being trained in order to do a job, that's great. But Boo 1-6 were being treated only for our entertainment, that just seems wrong to me.

 

I can acknowledge there are going to be differences of opinion, and I will also admit that June went a little over the top, but I really did think she had a point.

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"i saw a dummy. It gave me the wig. There really wasn't a story there."

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Come on now, guys. There is no way this guy is evil.

il_570xN.115520741.jpg

 

Yeah, thanks, KajusX. See, what you have there is a wide awake nightmare.

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In regards to the bathroom butt drawing - it's a Picasso! I believe it's called "Femme," it's made up of like four lines, and you can probably get a print of it for $100. Or just, you know, draw a butt and frame it.

 

I tried that once, it turned into the ass of Danny DeVito

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My thoughts exactly. See page 1 of this post!

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"i saw a dummy. It gave me the wig. There really wasn't a story there."

 

I was totally thinking of the ventriloquist episode too! I loved that one.

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Although it's revealed later that she's a pretty normal person and she was really just over-compensating, did the mother's hyper-positivity in the first parts of the film remind anyone else of the aunt from Sleepaway Camp?

 

YES. The first thing out of my mouth when the mom showed up at the welcome home party was "it's the crazy aunt-wife-sister lady from Sleepaway Camp." (was that whole family tree ever figured out?...)

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The most upsetting scene in the movie for me is during the welcome home party when Northern Exposure goes into Alan's bedroom, picks up her nightie like she's discovered another woman's clothes, and then smells it. Smells it. Why. WHY. wHy.

 

Why were the syringes of poison the only way of killing Ella at the end of the film? The monkey is tiny and weighs like, five pounds. Just crush the monkey. Were they worried about getting their hands dirty?

 

Anyone else disturbed by the REAL dead bird that the monkey hid, Godfather horse's head style, in the nurse's slipper? I anticipated a stiff stuffed bird like people use to decorate hats or wreaths. I would have preferred that kind of cheap prop. This thing flopped. It was a REAL dead bird. It was creepy as hell.

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i had june's same thought about the monkeys when i watched a scary scene in cujo. "But dogs aren't that bad!"

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The part of Cujo was played by two children in a dog costume. I trained those kids, and I'm really proud of it. However, the film was based on a true story about a dog that was a total prick in real life.

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If you are making an HDTGM soundboard, please grab Paul's "meanwhile" at 48:05 in this episode. His voiced cracked on the word and put it up into a register usually available only to tiny people and Minnie Riperton. It sounds like he squeezed a Leprechaun. I want it for my ringtone.

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If you are making an HDTGM soundboard, please grab Paul's "meanwhile" at 48:05 in this episode. His voiced cracked on the word and put it up into a register usually available only to tiny people and Minnie Riperton. It sounds like he squeezed a Leprechaun. I want it for my ringtone.

Tiny people like "Honey, I Shrunk the Kids" tiny, or tiny like "Tiptoes" tiny?

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Tiny people like "Honey, I Shrunk the Kids" tiny, or tiny like "Tiptoes" tiny?

Not little people. Tiny people. Like HISTK tiny people. Although, maybe a baby...

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as I might have mentioned in this and other threads, I work at a video store and we tend to get the new releases about a week before they hit the shelves... so I was very pleased to find this when I was batching stuff in today:

 

 

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IT EXISTS! and you better believe I'm gonna be the first person to rent that shit.

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This movie sounds fantastic. Is it on Netflix or on Demand anywhere? I know Paul said in the Mini ep but I forget! Lol

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