Thursday, April 10, 2014

1980s Gross: The Blob (1988)

If you like melting skin and gooey bodies, this is for you.  Today's film is The Blob, the 1988 Remake that is.  On the surface, it is a pretty straight adaptation.  You have the same set-up, the same basic creature and the same tale of a menace ignored by authority figures due to the information coming from 'those darn teens.'  However, this is far more than just a straight beat-for-beat Remake.  This is best described as 'A Remake made by a 13 year-old boy that happens to have a Studio behind him.'  All of you SNL fans will recall a Digital Short 'explaining' that Game of Thrones was made as a Co-Production of George R.R. Martin and a horny 13 year-old boy (which explains all of the Nudity and Sex).  That is somewhat the case here.  The Story is quite similar, but you get all sorts of melting bodies and gore.  If you want another comparison, 1988's The Blob is to 1958's The Blob as 1986's The Fly is to 1958's The Fly.  Cronenberg's Remake shocked Audiences in a similar way to this film did.  It is gruesome at times!  If you are a fan of the Original, you want to know if this is worth your time.  If you are not familiar with either Version, you want to know if it is a good Film- Remake or not.  To find out either/both answer(s), read on...
The Story starts out similar enough.  The Town is a Ski Resort Town, but it is off-season.  Our hero is a Football Player who is courting...Shawnee Smith.  I keep running into you at random moments.  Weird.

Fun Fact: They didn't shoot in the same Town as the Original, since it actually had snow there.  The Plot mandated that it not.  Irony!
The Sheriff has it in for the local 'Rebel' (Kevin Dillon of Entourage fame).

Jeffrey DeMunn is said Sheriff.  He tends to get cast in every Frank Darabont project (even now) and Frank wrote this film.  Coincidence?

Yes.  A weird one though.
Yet again, a Homeless Man aka Can Man is the first victim.  This Blob, however, is a lot more...vascular.  Ew.
Did I mention that this film is gory yet?  Well, it is REALLY gory at times.  Don't eat Past during this one, folks.

In the Original, the Bum was just dead and vanished.  In this one, he is melting like Fondue!
In a nice twist, the Football Player gets the Psycho treatment and is killed off quite early.  Mmm...Taffy.
This makes room for Shawnee and Dillon to be an item.  It ends up being less than a day from when her old boyfriend dies when the movie ends.  Kind of bitchy to hook up again so quickly.

Oh and The Blob kills more people.  It is still...very gross.
For the Theater scene, they swap out Dementia (I should probably watch that some day) for a Friday the 13th Parody.  Thanks for giving me this super Meta shot.  It is still not the most Meta one yet though.  That is this one.
Bill Moseley?!?  Thanks, being here to die.

From the looks of things, he just found out about Silent Night, Deadly Night 3.
Much like the Original, they freeze the Blob.  Unlike that film, they blow up a big ice truck (which is a bit of Chekhov's Gun here)...and then just stop.  No Antarctica this time?  Aw.
Instead, we get a weird 'It's Not Over' Ending bit with the scarred Priest (burned by the Blob) leaving with a piece of the creature to do...nothing with.

Wait- he doesn't make the kids in Children of the Corn 4 and/or 7, does he?  The End?
It is gross, crass and over-the-top.  In a word, it is kind of fun.  The Social Message of the Original is gone, for the most part.  In its place, people melting, people burning and people melting again!  This film is chock full of gore and crazy visuals.  The digital effects don't hold up as well- naturally-, but nothing is really, really fake-looking.  The key here is to embrace the craziness of the whole thing.  The movie is full of people being absorbed/melted by the creature.  It is big, ugly and out, I guess.  Its motivation is never clear.  What I will say is a bit silly is the attempt to mix in some Political messaging.  It really adds nothing.  The less said about it, the better.  In summary, this is the real 'balls to the wall' Version of the Story that some of you will love.  Some Purists will still pine for the Original.  As for me, they are different enough that I can enjoy them both for different reasons.  I will leave you with a look at how the film Credits loved 'Can Man' so much that they Credited him TWICE...
Up next, a Forgotten Sequel that has taken me four years to finally come across.  With almost nothing in common, it is sure to, a blast.  Stay tuned...
As a bonus, here is E.R. Alumni Paul McCrane meeting another gruesome fate that he is known for: a Blob-induced 'scorpion.'


  1. Love this movie, lot's of 80's gooey messy monsters...and gory gory times from a fun era. I miss movies like this one, just out to gross you out.

  2. One of the absolute best horror remakes ever. Fuck the original and its stupid sequel. This is the real deal! :)

    Oh btw, it's not "Dementia 13" that's playing in the theater, it's "Dementia":

    1. To be fair, I was only off by one number (Dementia 13 instead of Dementia 1).

      For the record, I like the Original as a film and the Sequel as a cinematic curiosity. How did that one happen?

      The key to me is that all of them have a unique feel, so it is not like the one-for-one Remakes we get these days. Well, that and the 'Remakes' like 'House of Wax.'