THE BLOB - Golden Oldies Finally On DVD
For Hicksflicks.com, Friday, Nov. 8, 2019
EDITOR’S NOTE: The original ‘Blob’ was such a low-budget, goofy, campy monster movie that I’m sure no one involved ever expected it to ever be remade. But it was, in 1988, and now that version has a new Blu-ray upgrade in release. My review was published in the Deseret News on Aug. 7, 1988.
The first question that comes to mind about a new high-tech remake of “The Blob” is, “Why?”
Since I hadn’t seen the original 1958 version since I was a lad of 12 or 13 (and that was a looooong time ago) I watched it again the other night, and Steve McQueen or no Steve McQueen (he’s actually billed as Steven), it was awful.
But it was that kind of campy, low-budget awful that makes it kind of fun.
It was sort of like “Attack of the Killer Tomatoes.” With Jell-O.
And since the appeal of that first film was campy low-budget tackiness, how can a multimillion-dollar special-effects-laden remake achieve the same charm … if that’s the word?
Well, it can’t.
So instead it goes for straight humor and extremely gooey gore.
Shawnee Smith, Kevin Dillon, 'The Blob' (1988)
There’s an odd trend at work here, set by earlier high-tech remakes of such 1950s B-movie fare as “Invasion of the Body Snatchers,” “The Thing from Another World,” “Invaders from Mars” and “The Fly.”
All of those were pretty good for various reasons but if “The Blob” resembles any of them it’s John Carpenter’s “The Thing” — especially when the Blob itself sprouts tentacles to attack its victims.
The storyline is amazingly faithful to the original “Blob,” with a meteor from outer space landing outside a small town, discovered by a lonesome old man. The Blob gloms onto his arm, and some teens take him to a hospital.
There the gooey mass eats away at the old man and attacks one of the teens, then, as it begins to grow, it moves across town, munching on locals.
There’s a re-creation of the famous movie-theater scene — where a phony slasher spoof is shown, “The Garden Tool Massacre” — and the grocery store scene, and ultimately the Blob is destroyed in the same manner as the first film.
But in this day and age you can’t have a horror movie without blaming the mayhem on the government, so some scenes and plot elements purloined from “E.T. The Extra-Terrestrial” and “Close Encounters of the Third Kind” have been added, a sinister aspect that is a bit weak.
Obviously people who are grossed out by gore aren’t going to be able to get into “The Blob,” and it’s certainly not the best of the ’50s remake trend. But it is surprisingly entertaining and often funny, it its own horrible way.
Besides, how can you hate a movie that has one of its victims literally pulled down a sink drain or that lists in its credits such technicians as five Blob Wranglers.
“The Blob” is rated R for violence, profanity, and vulgarity.