Back by Unpopular Demand
by Rich Bruso
February 2004

Wow, miss a month and see what it gets you. As you probably noticed, last month I didn't have a movie review for your reading pleasure. My email account was flooded with thousands of messages, ranging from concerns for my health to threats against my person. Well, maybe not thousands, maybe just hundreds. Would you believe dozens? Okay, there was only one email. And the only concern it expressed was whether I was satisfied with the size of my...oh, never mind.

On to the movie review. As I was browsing the shelves at the local bad movie boutique, I was torn between two titles: One, a classic, the other, an unknown. Feeling that I owed something to my loyal readers, currently estimated at 3 including the unfortunate souls chained in my basement, I decided to take the plunge and review both.

First, the unknown. Though it is named Blue Monkey, I noticed a distinct lack of monkeys, blue or otherwise. Checking the all-knowing, I found that the movie was released under several other titles, including Green Monkey, Insect, and Invasion of the Bodysuckers. Uh-oh. In general, if a movie has been released under more than one title and none of them are foreign, it's a sign the distributors are trying to trick people into watching. Bad distributors! In fact, there is one reference to a blue monkey. In one dark scene, several kids are talking about what they might find. A sound clip is then badly spliced in during which one kid says, "Maybe we'll find a blue monkey."

The rest of the movie seems like a bad rip-off of a third rate remake of Alien. Set in a sleepy county hospital that happens to have a multi-million dollar laser research lab, the story centers on an all-female medical staff, a plant that reproduces via maggot-like creatures, various exploding dead people, and a mysterious, lumpy creature, awful to behold, who is trying to seduce one of the female doctors. Wait, that's no monster, it's a police officer, who looks like he might be an Arquette. Actually, it's Steve Railsback, who played Charles Manson in Helter Skelter, then went on to a career of starring in movies like Blue Monkey and Barb Wire. Let's give this man a hand.

Far less annoying, but not really better, is the second movie of my double feature, Chopper Chicks in Zombietown. A much more straightforward movie, this one lives up to its name, in that there are indeed women riding motorcycles in a town full of zombies. Congratulations to Troma, the folks behind this movie. There is definitely an Arquette in this movie, as well Billy Bob Thornton and Martha Quinn of MTV vee-jay fame.

This movie has it all: Martha Quinn, happy bouncy music whenever the zombies are cavorting around, an Arquette, a bus full of blind students, and the required ladies on motorbikes. Oooh, and there's a midget mortician! I think there was an underlying message about the importance of being true to yourself mixed in too, but that might have been a hallucination, brought on by too much avocado dip. Reba McEntire's hair has its solo debut in this movie also, perched atop one of the chopper chicks.

So, the town's morticians have been killing people off and converting them to zombies to work as slaves in the local mine. No, really, that's the plot. As expected, the Harley-riding heroines come riding in, mess the place up a bit, and then turn their attentions to saving the town from the zombies. None of this is a surprise to anyone who has watched made-for-TV movies before, except possibly the part about the midget mortician.

The movie ends about as you would expect, at the 86-minute mark, but not before leaving an indelible stain upon my memory equating midgets, zombies, and blind kids with creepy little desert towns. Wait a minute, I live in a desert town! What's that over there?! Ahhh, a zombie!! No, wait, it's just Phil. The question is, which is scarier?

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