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'Monkey' Business

September 27, 1987|Leonard Klady

Hold everything! Where's the blue monkey in Spectrafilm's "Blue Monkey?"

Actor Steve Railsback told us the original title was "Green Monkey." But: "While we were making it, there was a report that the AIDS virus might have originated from African green monkeys and the producers decided to change the name."

Okay, so where's the blue monkey? The horrifying creature in the movie we saw is a weird, gigantic insect .

Screenwriter George Goldsmith's explanation: About three years ago, producer Sandy Howard asked him to write a thriller on the premise of an alien quarantined in a hospital. The first draft featured a teacher serving as a civilian observer on a space-shuttle mission who brings back a deadly larva. Which grows into something resembling a monkey that's mistaken for a hospital lab animal. Or something like that.

But because of the Challenger tragedy, it was decided to eliminate the shuttle link in the movie. Now, the alien evolves from a plant imported from a remote Indian Ocean island and resembles . . . an insect.

And: It was going to be retitled "Morphosis," but would vid renters get it? So "Blue Monkey" stuck.

"There was a lot of brainstorming about changing it, but my brain wasn't involved," Goldsmith said. "I just assumed the title would change because you've got to have quite an imagination to make an insect look like a monkey."

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