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Blast from the Past Movie Review – “The Blob” (1988)

August 5, 2012

It’s my birthday today! Yes, I’m 24 years old, you know what that means? One more year until I can legally rent a car, and five more years until everything turns to shit. Until then, I’m going to review “The Blob”. Directed by Chuck Russell (“The Mask”), from a screenplay adapted by Frank Darabont (“The Green Mile”), “The Blob” is a remake of the 1958 classic which starred Steve McQueen. Both versions are relitvely the same in story, as well as structure, where the two differ however, has always made me lean towards the remake as the superior film. The ’58 film was a classic 50’s sci-fi horror film that perfectly reflected on the times of the Red Scare; an unimaginable & undetectable evil invading our homes, consuming us, and devouring us. The ’88 film took a similar approach, but upped the anty, making it graphically violent, shocking, and infused with some amusing dark humor.

A ‘meteorite’ crashes near the town of Arborville, California; an elderly bum discovers it, within the sphere lies a jelly-like substance, and attaches itself to his hand. Three high school students, Brian (Kevin Dillion), Meg (Shawnee Smith), and Paul (Donovan Leitch), encounter the man and take him to a hospital. After Brian leaves, Paul witnesses the lower half of the transient melting from exposure to the Blob. As he calls for help, the Blob drops on top of him. Meg arrives to see Paul being devoured by the growing Blob and while trying to free him his arm is torn from his body, Meg is thrown against a wall and knocked unconscious and the Blob oozes out of the hospital. What happens next is a night nobody in the town of Arborville will ever forget.

I enjoy 80s slasher films, especially ones that seem to self lampoon itself, and “The Blob” brilliant does that here. There’s a terrfiic sequences, which emulates the original film, where the Blob attacks a movie theater. Meg’s younger sibling and friend sneak into an R rated horror film, a slasher, and it is the most cliche looking slasher film you can ever imagine, fitting seeing that this is not Chuck Russell’s first entry in the slasher genre. Russell gave us the brilliant threequel to the “Nightmare on Elm Street” series, “Dream Warriors”, still to this day is hailed as the best film in the entire cannon. Like I’ve stated before, the gore has been upped big time, some of it is more laughable than others, but it’s all good cheeky fun. 

The movie as a whole does tend to be a little shoddy in certain areas, but it does make the extra effort to make mild improvements over it’s original source material. The ending is without a doubt a terrific metaphor for American goverment/protection. How far we as a country will go to mend our mistakes or even use our mistakes to better ourselves, more importantly the ends don’t justify the means, and the film really asks us a simple question, how well can you trust your own goverment? Maybe I’m being to literally, and I what I should be discussing is the Frankenstein complex of it all; the creator(s) and the creation in a final stance up against one another, blah blah blah. I’d like to think that Darabont is smarter than that, after all, he’s given us “The Walking Dead”.

Not only was “The Blob” released in 1988, but it was released the day I was born, August 5th, 1988. Perhaps it would’ve been best fit to review this film on it’s 25th anniversary, but what the hell, I was feeling a little frisky, plus it was on TV last week and it’s just completely ironic that I learned this movie came out the exact date I was born. I feel like I have a great connection than this movie than most horror films…then again, I’m probably over romanticizing it.

GRADE: B+

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