Movie Reviews 157 – The Blob (1988)

The BlobAs a kid, the original movie The Blob was something I’d read about and seen in pictures in many magazines, but could never actually catch it on TV. (Remember kiddies, back in the 70’s there was no movie media for the home. Either you saw a movie in the theater, were lucky enough to see it at a repertory movie theater, or caught in on TV later on.) It wasn’t until the late 80’s that I’d finally get to see it as a late night TV movie. The original was notable for many reasons, not the least of which was the fact that it starred a very young Steve McQueen (as a teenager no less), and the fact that it was a low budget movie in colour, quite an achievement for a 1958 movie.

What mesmerized me was the real star in my eyes, the titular morass mass of throbbing alien goo that slithered and rolled around town, slowly growing with each new victim it devoured as it came into contact with them. The Blob itself! As simple as it would seem from a special effects point of view, getting that globule to seem alive must have been quite a challenge. But it worked, and “The Blob” was a hit with the cult crowd.

When the remake was released, I was far from enthusiastic to seeing it. As it turned out, it took me 25 years to finally have it work it’s way to the top of my watch list. The nice thing about that is I no longer had reservations, or care really, as to how it stood up to the original. I just wanted some fun.

And while I enjoyed it enough, I can’t say it made that much of a favorable impression either. The blob effects were fine and obviously superior to the original, but at the same time there was nothing really original that they did with it. You would think that after 25 years the writers could have come up with some really cool and unique Blob situations for this new movie. But it’s pretty much the same old Blob.

It starts as a small piece of goo arriving in a meteorite and starts with one unfortunate victim. When the first victim is brought into the hospital and is put into a room without supervision, the blob eventually devours the guy, but slowly. Like the original, it’s a bunch of kids that witness the Blob attack and of course nobody believes them, especially the ‘bad apple’ of the bunch (Kevin Dillon, or as I like to call him, the wacko kid from Platoon).

The Blob 1958I won’t spoil more other than to say that the Achilles heel of the Blob turns out to be the same as in the original movie and the outcome is pretty much the same.  It is probably one of the most literal movie remakes in that it not only features pretty much the same characters, but many scenes are directly lifted off the original. I guess it could work fine for those who’ve never seen the original, but you have to wonder if this movie was even necessary.

So if you’re familiar with the original, I’d say, don’t bother with this version. If you haven’t seen it, this one is just as good and nearly identical to the first.

I wonder if they’ll remake the sequel, “Beware! The Blob” as well? Nah, who would do a thing like that?

 

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