The Blob (1988) Movie Review
Written By: Angela DiLella
Edited By: Grave Reviews Staff
Director: Chuck Russell
Producers: Jack H. Harris and Elliot Kastner
Writers: Chuck Russell and Frank Darabont
Date Released: August 5, 1988
Kevin Dillon as Brian Flagg
Shawnee Smith as Meg Penny
Donovan Leitch as Paul Taylor
Jeffrey DeMunn as Sheriff Herb Geller
Rating = 2.5/5 Graves
***May contain some spoilers***
A mysterious goo ball crashes to earth and figures out that it likes the taste of the locals.
The Blob digests by touch, and there are plenty of melting and half-gooified victims left all over the place, at every stage from “slightly burned” to “skeletons in blood-and-tissue aspic.” The effects crew didn’t rely on the same trick every time; they succeeded in making something that would make viewers want to push away their popcorn.
The Grave Review
This remake seeks to update the original Blob film. It keeps the ever-hungry and ever-growing ball of goo rampaging in a small American town, but changes its origins so that it’s an experimental military weapons experiment rather than a random extraterrestrial, and dumps expectations early by doing away with the character that would have been the epitome of a fifties sci-fi/horror hero, as well as the disbelieving local adults and authority figures. Some of these updates seem extraneous and occasionally feel like little more than padding, but the film doesn’t get muddled for it. It has a pretty basic, A-to-Z plot.
The Blob (1988) has a standard cast as well. For the most part, everyone is at the same baseline of skill in their acting, with no one seriously out-acting anyone else or dragging anything down. The only actor that was noticeable for his underacting was Joe Seneca, who played the leader of the military scientists. He just is not convincing as an amoral scientist who doesn’t care about the locals or his own men, just the success of his experiment, even as he is giving orders that should be chilling. Even when he’s condemning people to death left and right, he just can’t sell his role.
Some of the updates to the story, especially that of the military involvement as the real big bads, feel like they’ve been shoehorned in (or worse, unintentionally funny at times). Getting rid of the characters that would have been safe/heroes in the original or another similar movie of the original’s era signify that this is a different kind of Blob movie, but also sets up then gets rid of many likable characters early on, which is a gamble that doesn’t pay off too well by the time you get to the climax. Obviously, you’re concerned about the locals who are trapped and trying to save themselves from digestion, but not the way you would have been concerned about the characters who were built up in the beginning then dispatched almost immediately when things started heating up.
But the updated effects are unquestionably a boon! Although the original movie from the fifties had good effects for the time, the remake goes the next step further. We get to see up close and personally what the Blob can do, and it often looks convincing. One of the top scenes has the Blob reaching out of a sink to pull someone into it and I honestly still can’t figure out how they made the grabbing look so convincing. The gore effects are haunting and even when you can guess what’s about to happen, seeing the actual effects of the Blob on the body are always shocking. This is a great film for fans of practical effect gore—even if the story doesn’t do it for you, it’s fun to watch it and try to figure how the crew did what they did.
For the foregoing reasons, Grave Reviews gives The Blob (1988) two and a half graves out of five graves.
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