Classic Review – The Blob (1988)

The Blob 1988

Shawnee Smith endears herself to the male audience in The Blob

The Blob

Directed by Chuck Russell

Starring Shawnee Smith, Jeffrey DeMunn, Kevin Dillon, Donovan Leitch Jr.

Review by Jordan

A strange, gooey blob crash lands on Earth from another planet seeking to consume everyone in it’s path in The Blob, an 80’s remake of the 1958 Steve McQueen classic boasting a character-driven sense of fun outdone only by it’s impressively grotesque special effects.

Rebellious teen Brian (A weirdly young Kevin Dillon) reluctantly teams up with high school cheerleader Meg (Shawnee Smith) to clear their names after the two of them witness their friend die at the hands (it’s an expression, I realise blobs don’t have hands) of the slimy, acidic extra terrestrial, which grows with every body it devours and boasts a surprising level of cunning and patience. After a while, and when its apparent the Sherriff’s department, led by the level headed Herb (the underrated Jeffrey DeMunn), can offer no help apart from putting every caller indefinitely on hold, a fleet of Government scientists brandishing rifles arrive to maintain the contamination and offer the townsfolk safety, but as Brian knows, when a monster bred from science-fiction is on the loose, the Government are the last people you can trust, and he and Meg must save the town and uncover the truth themselves.

Though unintimidating in theory, and perhaps scarier in the radioactive ’50’s before the nature of the horror film changed dramatically two decades later, the blob itself makes for an imposing villain, killing without mercy, motive or care for it’s targets age or gender. Suffice to say, women and children are not safe; especially those kids that sneak out to watch scary movies. It’s never more than an entry in a sub-genre defined by its lack of logic and ambition, but this movie’s desire to thoroughly entertain is matched by it’s execution, and as a result it should defy most viewers expectations.

Directed by Chuck Russell from a screenplay co-written by industry veteran Frank Darabont, the pair’s follow up to A Nightmare on Elm Street 3: Dream Warriors, released a year earlier, proved that titles destined for irrelevancy (in this case a 2nd sequel and belated remake) can indeed flourish if tackled by creative talent who understand the genre and fan base. Really, this version of The Blob is a sequence of similar deaths and conspirator cliché’s played out for feature length, but because the deaths frequently occur at unexpected times and to unexpected people, and the script remains tight and focussed, like the titular creature a surprisingly good film emerges from the strange craft in the woods.

4 motorcycle sewer chases out of 5

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8 responses to “Classic Review – The Blob (1988)

  1. Love this film. Saw it at the cinema and it blew me away, such fun! Appalingly, theres no blu ray disc edition over here in the UK. Its nuts. I managed to get the soundtrack a few years ago though!

  2. The Blob! Yes! I’ve been meaning to watch this one! Thanks for the review Jordan! 🙂 I think there’s going to be a remake, can’t wait for that one! But I guess the original is always better!

    • Well this one is a remake anyway, so there’s no reason another remake can’t be just as good ha. What makes this one special is that the most surprising people die.
      Jordan

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