Raiders Of The Lost Ark (1981)
The Monkey: The Nazi monkey
Why So Cool? If there is a cooler scene involving a monkey than the one here, we’ve yet to see it. We’re referring of course, to the moment in which the Nazi monkey raises its paw and squeaks something that sounds suspiciously like “Heil Hitler”. The scene reportedly took more than fifty takes to get right, but boy was it worth it…
If He Was Our Friend: We’d have to drum the Hitler salute out of him. It probably wouldn’t go down too well on the bus.
Trading Places (1983)
The Monkey: The Gorilla
Why So Cool? Having spent a long, uncomfortable train journey cooped up in a cage, one has to admire this gorilla’s sense of opportunity when some unexpected company joins him in the form of the luckless Paul Gleeson. The ensuing antics are amusing, if more than a little unsettling…
If He Was Our Friend: We’d make sure he had some female simian company, wary of the fact that when it comes to mating, he’s not very choosy…
Dunston Checks In (1996)
The Monkey: Dunston
Why So Cool? Dunston has an appetite for the finer things in life, as demonstrated by his stay in the five-star Majestic Hotel. We can’t help but admire an ape with such impeccable taste! Obviously, this sort of lifestyle doesn’t come cheap, so we’ll overlook the fact that he makes his money as a jewel thief…
If He Was Our Friend: We’d have to start working two jobs in order to keep him in the fashion to which he’s accustomed. Oh Dunston, you don’t want to go to the Ivy again, do you? Urgh… we’ll get our wallet.
Planet Of The Apes (2001)
The Monkey: Ari
Why So Cool? Not only is she both kind and understanding to Marky-Mark’s marooned human, but she’s also kind of hot. If we were pushed to kiss any monkey on this list, she’d be our first choice every time. Don’t judge us.
If She Was Our Friend: We wouldn’t want things to get complicated. Unless she made the first move, of course…
Ace Ventura: Pet Detective (1994)
The Monkey: Spike
Why So Cool? As a clownish, rubber-faced oddball, the natural pet of choice for Ace Ventura was always going to be an excitable little monkey. Capering around at breakneck speed, he can occasionally pick up the slack when Ace himself exhausts himself with his own buffoonery. He gets top marks for loyalty too, sticking with Ace through the execrable sequel When Nature Calls …
If He Was Our Friend: We think he’d wear us out pretty swiftly. Although not as quickly as being friends with Ace would...
Monkey Trouble (2004)
The Monkey: Dodger
Why So Cool? What is it with monkeys and stealing? This cheeky little so and so is another simian kleptomaniac, compulsively stealing anything he can get his hands on and landing poor Thora Birch with the blame. In fairness to him, he was brought up this way by nasty Harvey Keitel, but even so… show some self-control young man!
If He Was Our Friend: We’d send him out on the rob. Hey, there’s no point wasting his talent is there?
28 Days Later (2002)
The Monkey: Rage monkeys
Why So Cool? If any on-screen chimps have struck a blow for animal rights, it’s this mob. Having been tested upon by a group of scientists, the infected monkeys are sprung from their cages by some do-good activists, only to turn the entirety of Britain into a zombie-populated hell-hole. Payback’s a bitch.
If They Were Our Friends: We’d ask them very nicely not to bite us. That’s not what friends do, now is it?
Bedtime For Bonzo (1951)
The Monkey: Bonzo
Why So Cool? Bonzo scores big cool points for making future president Ronald Reagan look a bit of a tit in this family comedy. Reagan plays a scientist attempting to teach human morals to the eponymous chimp, posing as the hairy fella’s father and hiring an actress to play his mother. It would be a role that Reagan would struggle to shake off throughout his political career…
If He Was Our Friend: We’d give him a banana, a tyre swing and tell him to get on with it. He’d enjoy it more than a lesson on ethics!
Funky Monkey (2004)
The Monkey: Clements
Why So Cool? “He’s one high tech super chimp!” Ah, the tagline says it all, doesn’t it? Matthew Modine swallows his pride to play a spy who teams up with Clements the chimp in this woeful family adventure. Clements is a super-chimp you see, with all kinds of special sleuthing skills. The film is every bit as atrocious as it sounds, but there’s no arguing that a spy-chimp is a pretty cool notion…
If He Was Our Friend: We’d set about busting corruption and bringing down criminals together! Or we’d just snoop on the neighbours. One or the other.
The Monkey: Amy
Why So Cool? Another bright spark of the simian variety, Amy is a specially trained gorilla who has learned enough sign language to communicate with her human handlers. Brilliantly, she’s also wired up to a fancy, computerised thingamajig that converts her hand movements into a human voice. She’s an ape who can actually, properly talk… now that’s cool.
If She Was Our Friend: We’d sit up for hours, setting the world to rights, swapping stories and arguing over which is better: bananas or peanuts?