Blue Monkey (aka Insect) is a 1987 Canadian riff on Aliens, set in rural Hill Valley Hospital — a facility built within the bones of an old mental asylum and housing a state-of-the-art laser-beam center. Yeah, the setting is a little wild. Unfortunately, the film itself isn’t quite as ridiculous. An elderly man named Fred (Sandy Webster) is hurt by a flower at a local greenhouse. He immediately goes into a form of shock and is rushed to the hospital. Soon after arriving, Dr. Glass (Susan Anspach) and Dr. Walsh (Rachel Carson) remark that they aren’t quite sure what is wrong with him. Then something emerges from his mouth, a long, white larvae, slime-covered and disturbing. They capture it and keep it for observation.
Then Fred’s bones start to liquefy into his circulatory system.
Then … the larvae hatches and escapes confinement.
Soon the military is quarantining the entire hospital, trapping the doctors as well as patients and visitors inside with the enormous insect. (No, there are no monkeys to be found here.) It oozes blood, eats flesh and can’t seem to stop growing … or trying to reproduce. It’s up to Detective Jim Bishop (Steve Railsback) to help everyone survive the invasion.
Little in Blue Monkey is exceptional for the genre. The best elements of it are the unintentional touches. The doctors, for instance, have a complete lack of urgency when delivering lines like “His bones are liquefying and flooding his circulatory system,” which you think would seem alarming to two professional caregivers. Then, when the patient flatlines and they try to defibrillate him, popping him like a blood pustule? They sure move on quickly. It’s hysterical.
When it all devolves into characters crawling through old tunnels (explained as where “dangerous patients were kept during the old days”), though, it becomes a drag. The music is constant canned creepy warbling and the actual bug very cheap-looking. Occasional gore is the only thing that lightens up the proceedings. The monster never feels dangerous. Characters constantly glimpse it and just walk away.
As a curiosity, sure, it may be worth picking up Blue Monkey. There are not many people around my age who grew up familiar with its catchy VHS box art in rental stores during the 1990s. However, it doesn’t lean far enough into the camp to be so bad it’s good. Unfortunately, it’s just bad.
The new Kino Lorber release features a new HD transfer as well as trailers.