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‘Monkeybone’ Is An Inexplicable Fever Dream Of A Film  

Jacob Shelton
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Monkeybone is more of a head trip than a movie. It’s one of those films where you’re either in or you’re out, and Monkeybone definitely doesn’t make any great strides to be easy on the eyes. While you’ve probably seen the poster - which shows Brendan Fraser and Chris Kattan both looking rather deranged - you likely have almost no idea what actually happens in this maniacal train wreck of a movie.

What is Monkeybone about? In essence, it’s a story about a creator wrestling with his imagination and his own inhibitions. It’s also about a cartoon monkey named “Monkeybone” who waits until his creator, Stu, falls into a coma so he can takeover Stu’s body and travel to Earth. Does that make sense?

Take a glance at any review of Monkeybone and you’ll see how universally panned it was - but for all its faults, it’s still a fun, strange movie that makes no pretenses about being abnormal.

Stu Gets Stuck In A Carnival Limbo Populated By People’s Nightmares
Stu Gets Stuck In A Carnival L... is listed (or ranked) 1 on the list ‘Monkeybone’ Is An Inexplicable Fever Dream Of A Film
Photo: 20th Century Fox

After he’s hit by a truck carrying Monkeybone merchandise, Stu falls into a coma and finds himself stuck in a limbo filled with carnival rides, strange creatures, and literal nightmares. The only thing he has time to do is ride demented carnival rides, drink martinis out of IV bags, and watch nightmares on television. Referred to as "Down Town," the area looks like something from Pee Wee's Playhouse - if it were a part of a haunted house.

Everyone stuck in this limbo is either another unconscious person or a creepy nightmare creation. Some of these include a set of conjoined demon triplets, a cyclops that walks on his hands, and even Stu’s personal nightmare: an animated version of Monkeybone that follows him around everywhere.

Stu Can Watch His Girlfriend’s Nightmares
Stu Can Watch His Girlfriend’s... is listed (or ranked) 2 on the list ‘Monkeybone’ Is An Inexplicable Fever Dream Of A Film
Photo: 20th Century Fox

During his stay in limbo, Stu is invited to a “Live Feed” where he and the rest of the inhabitants watch a nightmare that his girlfriend, Julie, is having. She dreams she’s engaged to Stu, who’s lying on a hospital bed that’s been set upright. She approaches Stu while wearing a wedding dress.

Before Julie can reach Stu, a dream version of his sister uses a giant pair of scissors to disconnect a tube from his body, and he melts in front of everyone. The whole thing freaks him out so much, he wakes her up by trying to smash into the dream.

Stu Dreams He’s A Bug In Surgery When His Girlfriend Injects Him With Nightmare Juice
Stu Dreams He’s A Bug In Surge... is listed (or ranked) 3 on the list ‘Monkeybone’ Is An Inexplicable Fever Dream Of A Film
Photo: 20th Century Fox

While escaping Death (played by Whoopie Goldberg), Stu literally falls into a horrifying nightmare after his girlfriend injects him with “Nightmare Juice.” Once injected, he dreams he’s in an Eraserhead-meets-Kafka scenario in which he becomes a bug on an operating table. A surgeon stands over him with a giant saw in preparation for carving up his tiny bug body. 

The dream isn’t anything new to Stu; according to Julie, he was plagued by the dream when they first met. He spent months in a sleep institute to get over the Lynchian nightmare, and even though he was “cured,” he’s clearly still haunted by the feeling that a doctor is going to chop him up.

For Most Of The Film, Stu’s Body Is Possessed By His Vulgar Cartoon Creation
For Most Of The Film, Stu’s Bo... is listed (or ranked) 4 on the list ‘Monkeybone’ Is An Inexplicable Fever Dream Of A Film
Photo: 20th Century Fox

When Stu's cartoon creation, Monkeybone, ascends from limbo into the real world, Stu must watch as the R-rated monkey operates his body like a machine and ruins the relationships he's worked tirelessly to cultivate. 

While in Stu’s body, Monkeybone goes out of his way to sleep with his creator's girlfriend, ruin his business relationships, and grow some truly abysmal facial hair.