Funky Monkey

  • funky monkey modine
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  • Directed By: Harry Basil
  • Written By: Lance Kinsey, Gene Quintano
  • Release Date: May 10, 2005
  • Domestic Distributor: Warner Bros
  • Cast: Matthew Modine, Roma Downey, Seth Adkins

Box Office Info:
Budget: $30 million Financed by: ApolloMedia
Domestic Gross: $0 Overseas Gross: $0

“The story was just so retarded, so crazy, that I thought this could be a really fun children’s movie, and then disaster ensued.”
— Actor Matthew Modine

The German tax shelter fund ApolloMedia financed Funky Monkey for north of $30 million.  ApolloMedia in the early 2000s seemed hellbent on producing some of the worst movies with a legitimate budget — a sampling of their output: Superbabies: Baby Geniuses 2, Extreme Ops and Fear Dot Com.  The scum company Franchise Pictures, which was run by Elie Samaha, notorious for inflating the budgets of his productions on paper, so his financing partners end up shouldering most of the costs — acquired US rights to this trainwreck.  A fitting match, as Franchise (who did partner with ApolloMedia on numerous occasions) also specialized in garbage — like Battlefield Earth and Ballistic: Ecks Vs Sever.  Franchise was housed at Warner Bros, which distributed their movies in the US.

This barely seen kids pic went into production with a $25 million budget in France, but the production was a mess and according to Modine, the director was fired and replaced by a producer, the monkey was fired(!) after being violent on set and replaced by a French alcoholic man in a monkey suit and then Warner Bros shut down the production after viewing what was shot.  Rewrites and reshoots ensued and the production was moved to the states in San Diego.  The budget apparently went north of $30 million after reshoots, despite not a penny of it looking like it is on screen.

Somehow Funky Monkey was slated for a theatrical release on May 16 2003, but Warner Bros removed it from their calendar at the end of March.  It was quietly dumped straight to video in May 2005.  It was also released in a few overseas markets straight to video.


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