Wednesday, October 11, 2017

Halloween Reboot #2 The Blob

"The Blob" hit theaters in 1958. It was remade 30 years later. The original stars Steve McQueen in his I think his first movie role and is looked at now as a take on the horror of communism. A big red menace gobbling everything up and cannot be stopped, you know just like those pesky Commies back in the late 50’s. It was a B movie if there ever was one, albeit a fun B movie about killer space goo.

1988 rolls around and The Blob has been remade. It is still a pile of unstoppable goo, but is it a better B movie than the original?


We are introduced to a sleepy town of Arborville, California a ski town during the off season. A few high school kids are introduced: the jock, the cheerleader, the nogoodnik, the small town sheriff, the uppity sheriff deputy, the local holy man, uppity nurse, sex crazy teen and all the other typical character tropes. The story centers on the cheerleader Meg and the nogoodnik Brian.

After the various character introductions a meteorite comes crashing to Earth. It is  discovered by a hobo who decides to poke at it with a stick. This leads to a small ball of snot attaching itself to his arm. The hobo eventually gets to the hospital where the ball of snot devours/dissolves most of him and the football jock before slipping away to slime more people. Of course Meg sees all this  and nobody else does and of course nobody believers her either. You know that old chestnut.

Now the blob continues to grow and devour people through dissolving them. More and more townsfolk get gobbled up and still the town is clueless. Well that is until the blob invades the local movie theater and drops from the ceiling on the crowd. No people can see the problem and the town begins to panic. Good thing that a special science branch of the military or a militarized branch of the CDC arrives. They are after the meteorite for science. When in actuality they are after the blob because…… it was a bioweapon. A bioweapon they shot into space to keep the planet safe. See the military knows what this is but not how to stop it. Space was the safest place for it, because why not right?

Your sweet top  and my totally rad hair will do what these scientists can't!

So….. the blob is out of control grabbing and melting everyone it can. The military cannot stop it. Meg and Brian discover the only weakness this killer amoeba has is cold. The townsfolk barricade themselves in a church and fend off the slime monster with fire extinguishers. Eventually, Brian remembers that the machine shop he works at (sometimes) has a truck hauling a trailer of liquid nitrogen for the local ski resort’s snow making machine. This of course leads to the big showdown where the blob meets the liquid nitrogen truck and Meg with a M-16. Well you can guess what probably happen next, especially if you have seen Terminator 2.

While not a complete masterpiece this is a pretty damn fun movie!

First the blob effects are all practical and that is always appreciated. Sure there is some sketchy green screen-ish stuff going on with the blob moving about, but the actually slime monster and the victims are all real effects. Sure this was 1988 and the computer effects were few and far between. Plus they were pretty drek when they were actually used too. If this was made today it would be all CGI and probably look fine, but it wouldn’t be nearly as impressive. There are some great bits of slimy death going on in this movie that are even more impressive when you realize this was all pre-computer animation.

Speaking of deaths there is a nice body count here. Even better is  the offing of what looks like what should have been a major player in the first reel. Always nice to see a horror movie where nobody is truly safe (exception being “last girl” ). It was also a surprise to see a kid get gobbled up by the blob. Kids getting killed on screen is a rarity and was a surprise when it happened. I’m not condoning kid killing but I am always surprised when/ if it happens in movies.

The premise is silly but fun. The acting is pretty weak, but what does one expect with a B-movie.

Speaking of the actors, this movie is full of “Hey it is that guy!”  Actors like Paul McCrane, Art LaFleur, Erika Eleniak, and Clayton Landley. Even better is you really listen to the character Moss Woodley speak you’ll hear the voice of Jet Black from Cowboy Bebop. Then there is Shawnee Smith who plays Meg and will later star in several of the Saw films. You have the lesser Dillon brother who went on to do……that Entourage show. Finally you have Jeffery DeMunn who was Dale on the Walking Dead and has been in various other projects from Frank Darabont who also wrote the screenplay for this movie. Sure there are not a lot of heavy hitters in the film, but it was still it is a veritable cast of the blue collar Hollywood types.


"The Blob" 1988 is probably not on anybody’s must watch list. The same can be said for the 1958 version. I think the acting is comparable in the two movies. The plot is silly for both film too. I will say that the 1988 version is much more gooey, gross and just a lot more fun than the original. Both of this are very cult/niche movies. I did enjoy both , but based on the better effects and gore I am giving "The Blob" 1988 the edge.

"The Blob" remake, it is better than the original film.
Holy crap two remakes so far and both are better than the original. I didn’t see this coming.

Next up I’m sitting down to watch the 2005 reboot of "The Amityville Horror."

Oh boy this is gonna be tough to watch....

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