Spanking the Monkey Movie Review 1994

Information and Film Reviews for Spanking the Monkey the Movie

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"What'd ya do on your summer vacation?" Ray Aibelli (Davies) has an interesting answer in this dark comedy about family dysfunction, sexual politics, incest and masturbation, topics which guarantee it a special place on the video shelf. Returning from his freshman year at M.I.T., Ray learns he must give up a prestigious internship to care for his bedridden mother (Watson) while Dad goes on an extended "business" trip. Much sexual and emotional confusion follows. Mom, it seems, is rather attractive, controlling, and in need of hands-on assistance. Black comedy is understated and sensitive, focusing attention on the story and characters rather than the delicate subject matter, but you'll be aware of the delicate subject matter, nonetheless. Sharp directorial debut by Russell features fine performances by mostly unknown cast, elevating low-budget feel. See it with a relative.


Image Entertainment, 20525 Nordhoff St., Ste 200, Chatsworth, CA 91311, Phone: (818)407-9100, Email:, URL:

Available on VHS
Running time 99 minutes.

Cast and Crew

Black Comedy, Monster Moms, Coming of Age, Incest
David O. Russell
Jeremy Davies, Alberta Watson, Benjamin Hendrickson, Carla Gallo, Matthew Puckett
Mike Mayers
David O. Russell
Dean Silvers, Stanley F. Buchtal, Fine Line Features


Ind. Spirit 1995: First Feature, First Screenplay; Sundance 1994: Aud. Award.

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