Ash has a bachelor's in English Lit. She loves analyzing fiction and obsessing over books, film, and television.
2001's Monkeybone was a dark fantasy comedy directed by Henry Selick (the guy who did The Nightmare Before Christmas, James and the Giant Peach, and Coraline). Being more than ten years old, it is now considered something of a cult classic, and I'd have to agree.
I remember loving this film when it came out.
The film's fantasy world of Down Town is a riot of color, a nightmare of bizarre creatures and literal figments of the imagination. It's the kind of world I look at and think, "Damn. Wish I'd thought of this!"
I decided to watch Monkeybone again recently after having not seen it in several years, and just like the last time, I laughed out loud, and I laughed so hard. I think I needed that laugh, and damn, it felt good.
So getting to the point already. Here are what I consider the funniest moments of Monkeybone.
Stu's Sister Doesn't Give a Crap About Him
Stu is played up as this sad and lonely guy who suffers from intense nightmares and has nothing and no one except his girlfriend.
Nothing drives this home more than Stu's don't-give-a-crap sister, Kimmy (Megan Mullally), who smokes in the middle of the hospital and urges the doctors to "pull the plug," all while pretending to care but secretly just wanting her brother to croak so she can have his cash.
That Weird Cockroach Man
The main character, Stu Miley (Brendan Fraser), is invited to a nightmare viewing at a party thrown by Hypnos, the god of sleeping and dreams. He attempts to sit down without looking and almost squishes the guy in the picture above.
His response to nearly being sat on made me burst out laughing.
"Fire in the hole!"
Death (Whoopi Goldberg) getting so mad that she blows her head off and has to get a new one screwed on. I laughed when her assistant dropped one of the heads and it shattered. Then he looked around to see if Death saw or heard . . . but she couldn't have seen or heard because she has no head.
I always liked that whole "replacement head" thing in dark fantasy.
The same thing was done in Return to Oz, which I always thought was really cool.
"The clothes are alive!"
When Herb (Dave Foley) gets a face-full of nightmare juice, he has a nightmare that clothing is alive and is trying to kill everyone. He wildly strips out of his suit and runs naked through the middle of the party, screaming for everyone to take off their clothing.
"People, take off your clothes!"
"Go! Just go!"
Rose McGowan was wonderful as Kitty, a sweet, beautiful, and very lonely catgirl who develops something of a crush on Stu while he is trapped in his coma. Wishing to help Stu return to his life, she helps him escape his jail cell by attacking and eating the jailer, who happens to be a mouse.
Her guttural bellows, grows, and cat screeches rising alongside the mouse's helpless squeaks make the scene equal parts horrifying and hilarious.
Night of the Living Organ Donor
When Death agrees to send Stu back to the real world to stop Monkeybone (John Turturro), she sends him back in the corpse of an organ donor (Chris Kattan), a gymnast who broke his neck.
As doctors are gleefully removing expensive organs, Stu suddenly pops up in the body and leaps off the table. What's hilarious about this is that the doctors don't even care that a dead man has just come back to life. All they care about are the expensive organs that are being carried away.
One of the doctors shouts, "Those are our organs! You get back on that slab!"
Stu tapes himself up with duct tape and manages to escape, leading the doctors on a crazy chase as he drops organs and they scramble to collect them.
Those are my favorite hilarious moments, but really, I loved the entire film. I laughed. I smiled. I bought the t-shirt.
The best thing about rewatching this old film was realizing how much I love dark fantasy. I think I'm going to try writing some. It won't be as spectacular as Monkeybone, but . . .
I can try.
© 2018 Ash
Miebakagh Fiberesima from Port Harcourt, Rivers State, NIGERIA. on August 12, 2018:
Hi ,Disastrousgrape, I like funny things too. But I will keep a watch when films are showing in cinemas in my area. Perhaps, someday I can laugh as you. Thank you.