You know one film that has always been around just tempting me to watch it is the 1988 remake of The Blob. I guess I never actually took the plunge because I didn’t think it looked that great. This goes back to seeing it in the video stores as a kid. Sure the artwork was cool, but a blob? Really? Yeah it wasn’t selling me on it, but now that I am older and wiser I finally decided to catch this one as part of my Chuck Russell dissection over at AITH.
As the end credits rolled I was rather surprised by just how much fun and inventive the film was. Sure it borrowed from other superior films such as The Thing, but they went the right way about it. They ticked most of the right boxes, but I just couldn’t help but feel they perhaps played it too safe. The story is a simple one; something falls from the sky one night and slowly begins to invade people. The only ones clued into these events are the teenagers, and of course no one listens to them. But then the military arrives and it seems whatever landed is a real threat, and the town could be wiped out if they don’t act fast.
Firstly I’ll go with what I think worked, the film took the time to set the scene (it also played against it but I’ll get to that), introduced the main players and gave us some likeable leads. It kept the mystery of the ‘blob’ alive for a great deal of its running time, revealing just enough to keep interest going. The performances were actually all rather solid, with Shawnee Smith and Johnny Drama … sorry I mean Kevin Dillon carrying the film well. They both made for charismatic leads, and they took their one-note characters to the next level. The direction was solid as well, with Chuck Russell having a lot of fun here, and making the second half a lot more adventurous to watch. The FX was really well done, the blob itself looked disgusting and the scenes of gore were actually handled so well, for the most part it holds up rather strong.
On the dull side I felt the first 20 or so minutes were a bit slow and it just took way too long to get going. The beginning of the film should have really grabbed me, and held my attention, but it really lost me. For a moment I wanted to turn it off and fast forward it, something I don’t think Mr Russell would want his audience doing. I felt there was so much potential with all the seeds they had planted but no risks were really taken. I’d have liked to have seen more from the blob, and seen more of its destructive ways. The semi twist also seemed to be a safe one, and became all too obvious early on.
In all The Blob is a fun ride, and everyone did really well. I am glad I finally got to watch it and I will likely revisit it again down the line. It feels like one of the better remakes, with a distinct 80’s feel to it. Look out for one of the most epic mullets ever, which some how is the most memorable element of the film.
| Purchase on DVD Region 1 |