The Blob (1988)
Film: The Blob
Director: Chuck Russell
Writer: Chuck Russell and Frank Darabont
Starring: Shawnee Smith, Kevin Dillon and Donvon Leitch Jr.
This was a film that I have a lot of nostalgia for. My dad had recorded the film on VHS. My sister and I used to watch this film all the time and we loved it. I will admit, I was a little nervous watching it with a more critical eye if it would hold up or not. The official synopsis for the film is remake of the 1958 sci-fi horror classic about a deadly blob from another planet which consumes everything in its path. Teenagers attempt without success to warn the townspeople, who refuse to take them seriously.
I have to say this is a rare film that is better than the original. What I like about it is that it is not a shot for shot remake and is really its own film. It does have elements from the original though. We do get a couple, Meg Penny (Shawnee Smith) and Paul Taylor (Donovan Leitch Jr.) hitting the old man who first encounters the blob. The difference here is that there is another guy, Brian Flagg (Kevin Dillon) who is actually the hero.
Something else that happens from the original is a diner. That and no one believing Meg or Brian about what they saw. He actually doesn’t even at first as he does leave before the old man is killed. This film though delivers a much better story. There is a government agency that gets involved and the characters are much more developed. There is actually much better writing here as well and a lot of callbacks to things from earlier in the film.
This film is paced much better as well. It doesn’t take long for the meteorite crash and for the blob to start eating people. I also feeling like the town is developed much better as well and we actually get some chances to see the creature as it moves across it. There is a backstory that is introduced that I didn’t care for. It explains things and I don’t buy it being possible for the time this film was made. That is probably my biggest gripe on the film. I also thought the the epilogue for the film was a little bit off too. It doesn’t really fit the character or the film overall.
The acting is comparable and not the greatest, but still pretty good. There are some cheesy lines in the film that made me cringe. Dillon I thought was pretty solid as the ‘bad boy’ who is really more misunderstood. I kind of felt bad for him as he really has no one looking out for him. Smith is solid as the heroine in the film. I can definitely see how roles like this help to establish as a screen queen during the 1990’s. Leitch was fine as the boyfriend, but he isn’t in the film all that long. There is actually a lot of solid actors in this film with smaller roles. Shout-outs to Jeffrey DeMunn, Candy Clark and Paul McCrane especially.
I think that this film benefits quite a bit for when it was made. They made the blob look a lot better, more realistic and can do a lot more when it comes to eating people. Quite a bit of it was done with practical effects, which I thought was good. Some of the techniques used though don’t hold up. I have to give the effects as being mostly positive.
As for the score of the film, I thought it was fitting for what they needed. It didn’t really stand out to me, but I also didn’t have any issues with it. Since it never took me out of any scenes it fit the film well.
With that said, I would recommend this film. This one can be watched by itself or you could even watch it to compare it with the original. The acting is good, but not the greatest; it does have some issues with some of the dialogue. This film does come with a deeper backstory, which I didn’t care for. The effects of the the blob look a lot better and do a lot more which adds to the entertainment factor. Not all of them hold us as well as time goes on unfortunately. I say that you should give this film a viewing as I feel this is much better than the original and a really good film overall.
My Rating: 9 out of 10