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S E A R C H    D V D B e a v e r
(aka "Ella" or "Monkey Shines: An Experiment in Fear")

 

Directed by George A. Romero
USA 1988

 

From writer / director George A. Romero, the man who unleashed Night of the Living Dead, comes Monkey Shines, a terrific psychological thriller that delivers a disturbing message about messing with Mother Nature. Starring Jason Beghe and Janine Turner, this riveting tale is a white-knuckle triumph that doesn't let up!

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!

Kate McNeil, Joyce Van Patten, Stephen Root, John Pankow, and Stanley Tucci also star in this riveting thriller from the godfather of modern horror George A. Romero, presented on Blu-ray for the first time in the UK with an array of special features.

 

 Posters

 

Theatrical Release: July 29th, 1988

Reviews                                                                                More Reviews                                                              DVD Reviews

 

Review: Eureka - Region 'B' - Blu-ray

Box Cover

CLICK to order from:

Also available from Shout! Factory on Blu-ray in Region 'A'

    

Distribution Eureka - Region 'B' - Blu-ray
Runtime 1:53:18.458
Video

1.85:1 1080P Dual-layered Blu-ray

Disc Size: 45,092,818,118 bytes

Feature: 37,143,678,336 bytes

Video Bitrate: 34.90 Mbps

Codec: MPEG-4 AVC Video

NOTE: The Vertical axis represents the bits transferred per second. The Horizontal is the time in minutes.

Bitrate:

 

Audio

DTS-HD Master Audio English 1726 kbps 5.1 / 48 kHz / 1726 kbps / 16-bit (DTS Core: 5.1 / 48 kHz / 1509 kbps / 16-bit)
LPCM Audio English 2304 kbps 2.0 / 48 kHz / 2304 kbps / 24-bit
LPCM Audio English 2304 kbps 2.0 / 48 kHz / 2304 kbps / 24-bit
Commentary:

Dolby Digital Audio English 192 kbps 2.0 / 48 kHz / 192 kbps / DN -4dB

Subtitles English (SDH), None
Features Release Information:
Studio:
Eureka

 

1.85:1 1080P Dual-layered Blu-ray

Disc Size: 45,092,818,118 bytes

Feature: 37,143,678,336 bytes

Video Bitrate: 34.90 Mbps

Codec: MPEG-4 AVC Video

 

Edition Details:

• Audio Commentary with director George A. Romero
• An Experiment in Fear The Making of Monkey Shines (49:32)- a lengthy retrospective with George A. Romero, stars Jason Beghe and Kate McNeil, executive producer Peter Grunwald, and special effects legends Tom Savini, Greg Nicotero and Everett Burrell. (from previous scream factory blu c/o red shirt pictures)
• Alternate Ending (05:09) and Deleted Scenes (04:07)
• Vintage "Making of..." (05:21)
• Behind-the-scenes footage (13:16)
• Archival Interviews and News Feature (05:44)
• Theatrical Trailer #1 (01:55)
• Theatrical Trailer #2 (01:29)
• TV Spot (0:33)
• PLUS: A limited edition collector s booklet featuring a new essay by Craig Ian Mann; highlights from the film s production notes: and rare archival material [First Print Run Only]


Blu-ray
Release Date: October 8th, 2018
Custom Blu-ray box (see below)

Chapters 10

 

 

Comments:

NOTE: The below Blu-ray captures were taken directly from the Blu-ray disc.

ADDITION: (September 2018) Eureka - Region 'B' - Blu-ray: Eureka! have brought together a nice package here for Romero's often overlooked "Monkey Shines". The 1.85:1 image is housed on a dual-layered Blu-ray with a maxed-out bitrate. The image here isn't anywhere close to reference quality, but it is certainly an improvement over previous SD releases. There is a heavy grain to the film, and certain scenes lack detail. Barring some future restoration, this is probably the best the film is going to look for the time being. Contrast levels are decent, with certain darker scenes not losing detail in the image. Colors are a little muted, though this could be due to the 35mm stock used, or the intended look of the film. There are also occasional instances of damage, though they are pretty sparse.

Eureka gives us the choice of watching "Monkey Shines" with either a 16-bit DTS-HD Master 5.1 track or a 24-bit linear PCM 2.0 track. The separation in the 5.1 is decent but purists would most likely opt for the original 2.0 choice. The score is by David Shire (
All the President's Men, Zodiac, The Conversation, Farewell My Lovely) and features various Peggy Lee songs. There are optional English (SDH) subtitles on this Region-B locked Blu-ray.

Eureka! have loaded this
Blu-ray with plenty of worthwhile extras. First off is a brand-new commentary with Travis Crawford, film journalist, historian and programmer. Travis has also appeared on commentary tracks for some earlier Romero films (Season of the Witch, There's Always Vanilla, and The Crazies). Crawford is well-versed in the material he speaks of, and this is a great track. He speaks of the history of Orion pictures, Romero's career, as well as biographies and info on many of the cast and crew. He gives fair warning that although he does do some screen-specific commentary, he usually gives more of a background to the film in his speaking. Following this, we also get the option of the George A. Romero commentary track, which was recorded for an earlier release. "An Experiment in Fear The Making of Monkey Shines" is a 50-minute retrospective with George A. Romero, stars Jason Beghe and Kate McNeil, executive producer Peter Grunwald, and special effects legends Tom Savini, Greg Nicotero and Everett Burrell. This extra is from the previously released scream factory Blu-ray and was made with Red Shirt pictures. There is also a 5-minute alternate ending and 4-minutes of deleted scenes. A 5-minute vintage "making of" featurette is included here, as is 13-minutes of behind-the-scenes footage, archival interviews and news, 2 theatrical trailers, and a TV Spot. A limited edition collector's booklet is a nice addition here too, featuring a new essay by Craig Ian Mann; highlights from the film s production notes; and rare archival material. This booklet is only included in the first run of printing.

Monkey Shines marks an interesting spot in the career of the late great George A. Romero. As Travis Crawford points out in his excellent commentary, this was somewhat of a hybrid for the director, merging his previous crew (and sometimes cast) with some newer hires forced by the studio. I think that aside from the obvious horror aspects of the film, Romero is able to achieve some very poignant moments that other directors would overlook. The disability-as-horror-setup is certainly questionable, but Romero manages to avoid being offensive, at least to my eyes. Eureka! have done a good job here assembling extras, though the picture is a tad unimpressive. Would still recommend this
Blu-ray to fans of Romero. 

Colin Zavitz


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Box Cover

CLICK to order from:

Also available from Shout! Factory on Blu-ray in Region 'A'

    

Distribution Eureka - Region 'B' - Blu-ray




 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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