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Jan 03

The Blob

POSTER - THE BLOB (1988)Genre: Horror / Sci-Fi
Year: 1988
Country: USA

Director: Chuck Russell
Starring: Kevin Dillon, Shawnee Smith, Donovan Leitch, Jeffrey DeMunn, Candy Clark

 

Scream now, while there’s still room to breathe

 

Arborville, California was a quiet small american town, until a meteorite crashes right outside of the city. An old weird guy finds the remaining pieces and notice that something is hidden inside of it. When he gets closer to it, a liquid jelly like thing attaches itself to his hand and starts to digest it. He is found by three young adults named Meg, Paul and Brian (who goes by the nickname Flagg). They take him to the hospital so he can get help.

While waiting for help at the hospital, the blob eats up more of the poor guy before he gets help and when it is done with him it starts to look for more food. After it also gets a hold of Paul, Meg tries to find Flagg again in the city to convince him to help her warn the city. They not only have to fight together against this hungry creature, but also the military who are putting the whole city under quarantine and also hiding the truth behind the origin of this killer blob.

This is a decent sized budget remake ($19 mill) of the 1958 sci-fi movie with the same title, done in a period where remaking older sci-fi movies produced hot numbers at the box office after the success of David Cronenberg’s version of The Fly. Director Chuck Russell (Nightmare on Elm Street 3, The Mask) and screenwriter Frank Darabont (Shawshank Redemption, The Green Mile) had been working on this for a few years before getting the greenlight to resurrect our favorite jello.

They took the best bits from the original and adjusted the remaining parts into a much more entertaining and fun movie. The blob here gets plenty of screen time and looks very menacing, which also helps in building some suspense. Some of the scenes where we see the human remains inside of the blob is quite nasty and it is not afraid to splash some blood either. And the few comedy scenes that have been added are in fact funny! There are a few scenes where the effects, especially at the end, aren’t that effecting and that hurts the movie a little. I also don’t think it was able to show the hysteria of the people during the ending, a part that I believe was done better in the original.

Kevin Dillon, these days best known for his role as Johnny “Drama” Chase on Entourage, plays Brian Flagg who is our main hero. Flagg is a bad ass outsider of the little town who enjoys riding his motorcycle and drinking beer. Although he has a bad reputation, he is a guy with a good heart. Dillon is awesome as Flagg, he should have had a better career than he went on to have, but thanks to Entourage he did get some well deserved fame in the end. His love interest is the lovely Shawnee Smith as Meg Penny. She is also an underused actress who have given good performances here and also in The Stand. Later on she went on to have some fame in the Saw movies, so I guess both her and Dillon are late bloomers in Hollywood. The actors in the minor roles also do a good job and the only one I didn’t care much for was Joe Seneca (The Verdict, The Evil That Men Do) as Dr. Meddows. I think that was a miscast and would rather like to see a more evil fella in that role.

Surprisingly, to me at least, The Blob didn’t perform well at the box office and was considered to be a flop. I loved it as a kid and still think it is highly enjoyable to this day. It’s a great popcorn movie that can be enjoyed with a few friends over and it is one of the rare occasions where I applaud a remake. Since the first one had a fun concept, but wasn’t all that great and hasn’t aged well, then the decision to redo it was acceptable to me. The Blob is a remake done correctly and it’s a very enjoyable movie.

 

 ★★★★☆ 

 

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