Decades aheda of Bite (2015), Stung (2015), The Thaw (2009), The Bay (2012), and other such movies where a bug bite leads to all manner of chaos and mayhem, there was Blue Monkey (1987). I know what you’re thinking. What do monkeys have to do with bug bites? Well nothin’ it turns out.
But that’s okay cuz, spoilers, there ain’t monkey one, blue or otherwise, to be found anywhere in this movie. In fact, the movie was also released under the titles Green Monkey (the first draft—changed because of green monkeys and AIDS) and Insect (okay now we’re gettin’ somwheres).
So yeah, bug bites. See, there’s this dotty old gardener, Marwella, and she’s procured herself a new exotic plant for her greenhouse. Her ol’ handyman buddy Fred stops by to do some toolboxy fixy handyman stuff and seems to prick his finger on the plant (turns out that he was, in fact, bitten by something). He collapses soon after, and Marwella calls the paramedics.
Fred gets trundled off to the hospital where he’s put under the care of doctors Rachel Carson and Judith Glass who proceed to do some scalpely labby doctor stuff. Wait, Rachel Carson? As in Silent Spring? Holll up! Are we drifting into some kind of envirosociopolitical point makin’ here?
Anyway, much to the docs’ mutual astonishments, Fred has already developed gangrene where he was nipped. Shortly after, in a scene recalled by Harry Potter And The Chamber Of Secrets, Fred heaves forth a larva/pupa/slug lookin’ thang. First they try to X-ray it. Naturally that doesn’t work, so they cut into it revealing the what should have been titular insect.
Complications ensue. Fred now suffers from a disease carried by the insect bite, and this has spread to both Marwella and the paramedic who brought Fred in. Meanwhile, a plucky group of hospitalized but energetic and mischievous kids are up and about exploring the hospital. It’s established early on that this is on ongoing source of minor consternation for the staff.
Well, they come upon our little insect pal which is currently unattended as the nurse assigned that task has gone off for some he’n & she’n with one of the orderlies. Our intrepid band of scamps decide A) the lil critter should be fed, and B) it should be fed the powdery blue shit that’s a-settin’ on a nearby shelf. An argument over who gets to feed it ensues, and a whoppin’ dose of what is actually, oopsies, growth hormone, gets dumped on our very soon-to-be Bug Eyed Monster.
Said BEM of course gets the jump on the returning couple, and off we go. Unfortunately, The Big Bad takes up residence in the hospital’s utility tunnels where it 86’s the janitor and begins constructing a nest. At this point, director William Fruet starts rippin’ page after page outta the Alien playbook though, to be fair, that started a bit earlier with an unintentionally hilarious Alien/The Thing hybrid scene involving Fred, a defibrillator, and and chest cavity explosion.
The final act involves explosions, sparks, flames, super destructive surgical lasers (not sure why those are as overpowered as they are but whatever), the military, some kind of disease prevention organization, drunk old women (yeah, it’s a plot resolution device involving alcohol and the spreading contagion), more explosions, and the gratuitous but ever-popular leave-room-for-a-sequel ending.
Be on the lookout for some familiar faces: Susan Anspach, Stephen “discount Tommy Lee Jones” Railsback, Joe Flaherty & Robin Duke from SCTV, and the ever unlikable John Vernon.
Alas no monkeys.