Greetings, and welcome back to Horror Business. We have one awesome episode in store for you guys because we’re talking two George Romero films: 1988’s Monkey Shines and 1993’s The Dark Half.
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We start by talking about what we’ve done involving horror recently. We talk about the season finale of The Last Of Us, the films M3GAN, Puss In Boots: The Last Wish, and Liam talks about the show Owl House.
Up first is Monkey Shines. Justin talks about how the poster of this movie used to frighten him quite badly as a child and Liam talks about writing it off until seeing it as an adult and realizing it was a Romero film. We briefly discuss our unfamiliarity with the politics of the film’s depiction of the quadriplegic community.
We discuss the film’s depiction of a man who has been rendered less than a child and robbed of his dignity and using this as a source of horror in addition to the killer monkey.
We talk about how Ella the monkey’s obsession with Allen is also used as a source of horror, and Allen’s inability to control his own thoughts. We talk about the film’s very “80s” idea of science gone wrong subplot. Liam points out that even though the central premise is ridiculous the movie still works.
We talk about the performances of the characters, and how they make the film more believable as a man being worn down not just by his condition but also by the influence of the monkey.
Justin talks about how the film’s excessive subplots weigh it down and how the film’s depiction of sexuality is somewhat stunted and stilted. We talk about the ending of the film and how it somewhat nullifies Allen’s struggles throughout the film.
Up next is The Dark Half. Justin gives a brief history on the story of Stephen King’s pseudonym “Richard Bachman” being exposed back in the mid-80’s and The Dark Half being his reaction to being outed as Bachman.
Liam talks about what he sees as the weakest aspect of the film, which is the casting of Timothy Hutton as both Thad Beaumont and George Stark.
Justin talks about how the film loses an important idea the novel presents, which is that George Stark is largely just another character that Thad Beaumont has created. We talk about how Hutton is quite effective as Thad Beaumont but lackluster as George Stark.
We briefly talk about the history of Castle Rock in the work of Stephen King, and how Michael Rooker is uncharacteristically out of place in this film. We discuss how the film does away with some of the more interesting elements of the book in favor of being flashier film.
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