Monkeybone (2001) from Johnny Web (Uncle Scoopy; Greg Wroblewski)

One thing to be said for the creators of this film. You can't fail them for lack of imagination. 

Brendan Fraser plays a cartoonist of the world's most twisted comic strip. Monkeybone is the sidekick of his comic alter ego, and is an actual cartoon monkey, but is also the personification of his penis (as in "spanking the monkey" and "boner", get it?) 


Dave Foley is naked from behind, with possibly a quick peek at Mr Happy.

no female nudity.

 Fraser gets in a near-fatal car crash, and lapses into a deep coma. During this coma he is a prisoner of his own nightmares. Since he is a guy with a twisted imagination, that's some pretty weird stuff in there, ala The Nightmare Before Christmas, which was directed by the same guy. Steven King is in there, played by Steven King, and Edgar Allan Poe is in there, played by Edgar Allan Poe IV. Monkeybone is in there as well, freed from figment status and accorded equal corporal status with his creator in the nightmare world. It seems that as Fraser is about to come out of his coma, Monkeybone figures out a way to steal Fraser's pass back to reality, and when the hulking Fraser body wakes up, Monkeybone's spirit is inside, while Fraser's spirit remains trapped in Comaland, or whatever that thing is called, and he's hanging around with The Grim Reaper, Death (Whoopi Goldberg), Steven King, and a bunch of refugees from Toontown.

I guess you have figured out by now that Fraser needs to figure out how to get his body back. 


DVD info from Amazon.

  • Widescreen anamorphic, 1.85:1

  • Full-length director commentary

  • extended and deleted scenes

  • technical explanations of how the live action is blended with animation

This was a mammoth failure at the box office, worse than Battlefield Earth. The total domestic gross was only $5 million dollars, despite the fact that the studio lavished $75 million dollars on it and opened it in 1700 theaters.

The problem isn't that it's a bad film. It's OK. The problem is that it has no audience. The slapstick humor is aimed at the 7-12 crowd, but it is also filled with graphic sex jokes, male nudity, and other things that would make you squirm if you watched it with your kids. Is it a kids picture? No, not really. Is it an adult picture? No, not really, except for two fairly small groups of adults 

  • those that never miss the Stooges on TBS. 
  • those that still have their comics

I guess that means I should be embarrassed to admit that I enjoyed parts of it, just as I occasionally like to catch a Stooges or two if Curly is on the docket, but I found other parts so juvenile that I probably would have changed the station on it when I was 10. It doesn't score well with any demo group at IMDb.

By the way, I thought John Turturro did an excellent job as the voice of Monkeybone. 

The Critics Vote

  • General consensus: two stars. Ebert 1.5/4, Berardinelli 3/4, Apollo 56.

  • Rotten Tomatoes summary. 17% positive overall, but a much more impressive 28% from the top critics.

The People Vote ...

  • With their votes ... IMDB summary: IMDb voters score it 5.2, Apollo users 70/100. 
  • With their dollars ... it was a monstrous disappointment. It grossed only $5 million, despite 1700 screens and a massive $75 million budget.
IMDb guideline: 7.5 usually indicates a level of excellence, about like three and a half stars from the critics. 6.0 usually indicates lukewarm watchability, about like two and a half stars from the critics. The fives are generally not worthwhile unless they are really your kind of material, about like two stars from the critics. Films under five are generally awful even if you like that kind of film, equivalent to about one and a half stars from the critics or less, depending on just how far below five the rating is.

My own guideline: A means the movie is so good it will appeal to you even if you hate the genre. B means the movie is not good enough to win you over if you hate the genre, but is good enough to do so if you have an open mind about this type of film. C means it will only appeal to genre addicts, and has no crossover appeal. D means you'll hate it even if you like the genre. E means that you'll hate it even if you love the genre. F means that the film is not only unappealing across-the-board, but technically inept as well.

Based on this description, this film is a C+. Imaginative, weird, big-budget comic book film with no mainstream appeal.

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