Blue Monkey (1987)
'Blue Monkey' has somehow drifted under the radar for many years, I have never come across this film before until I saw the poster on twitter, and immediately had to find a copy and see it…
"Blue Monkey", I said to myself pondering the B-movie possibilities to such an absurd premise, instantly reminded me of Ivan Reitman's 'Evolution' (2001) with the Blue-Ape-creatures.
I knew nothing about this film going into it, a blind viewing if you will of a film made in the golden age of cheese and gore.
I was pleasantly surprised to see Steve Railsback's name in the credits, I was still questioning how I had never heard of this film. Steve Railsback being one of my all time favourite actors, at first I thought he must just be in a couple of scenes or a cameo appearance, but no, I was more shocked to find him as the film's main lead.
Well there is one possibility as why I have never heard of this B-movie mess, the film goes by two titles ONE 'Blue Monkey' and TWO 'Insect', which as I found out latter is the more appropriate title, as one expecting a blue-monkey will be sadly disappointed, there is no blue monkey. The title is totally misleading and is only a reference to what a cancer patient child says she might find in the dark tunnels of the hospital's basement.
The plot is beyond ridiculous, yet somehow still comes across as ambitious, there appears to be way too much crammed into this film, with nothing helping to support the material.
Ok… Well this is what happens: an old man is bitten by a tropical plant, which kills him, he is then rushed to hospital where a huge maggot pushes its way out of his mouth, the maggot hatches or something and other people somehow get infected, some children expose the insect to a growth stimulant, the hospital send off samples to the CDC and then the thing escapes and starts killing people and building a nest. The CDC show up and quarantine the hospital, now the bug is much bigger and has a huge nest which gets destroyed by the protagonists, the monster then starts to hunt them down and go on a rampage within the hospital, meanwhile a couple of drunken old women find a cure, they end up somehow trapping the monster and kill it with high powered lasers.
The plot is crazy loaded with way too much information and things are just happening randomly without any explanation, I will admit it does keep you interested even if it is because of the ludicrous situations and events that take place.
The film tries to incorporate elements from both 'Aliens' (1986) and 'The Thing' (1982) but fails miserably, and from the moment the maggot pops out of that old guy's mouth it becomes clear what type of movie this is trying to be.
The music and themes try to mimic 'The Thing' and the plot, style and monster all try to mimic 'Aliens'.
The characters are laughably bad; we are greeted with a miss-match of randomly generated goofy personalities, cannabis-smoking-stoner-nurses, strange analytical pregnant couple, healthy cancer patient children, drunken old people, and some crazy bug guy who seems to know everything about the monster without any prior knowledge.
The only people who seem to be sane are Steve Railsback's cop character and the female doctor played by Gwynyth Walsh.
The film takes itself way too seriously, which brings out the comedy even more than it should, it’s a shame the filmmakers were not self-aware of the turkey they were developing because it would have been nice to have seen some much-needed meta or self-reflective humour, that the 80's were famous for.
The monster is laughably bad, mostly kept to the shadows until the last twenty minutes or so, just looks like a giant, rigid, painted black Praying Mantis.
However, there is some gore, which did surprise me, though it looks more like the monster is trying to juggle heads…
Overall 'Blue Monkey' is a jumbled mess of throwaway ideas, a film with a misleading title, which brings nothing original to the table.
It's not even applicable to the so bad it's good category, even Steve Railsback could not save this film from sinking.
Though with that said, it is in the category of 'you must see it to believe it, so there is some watch-ability to the film.
Unfortunately, this is no classic ready to be re-discovered, but you really do have to see this turd-factory to believe it… I give 'Blue Monkey' a 1 out of 5 stars.
They should have named it Blue Turkey...
Watch the film and make up your own mind, its surprisingly more fun than other Z-grade trash, though be warned it tries to be clever and takes itself way too seriously, which is not what you want in this type of film.