I’m not going to lie. The original is much better.
The original is fun ’50’ sci-fi with that added zing of Cold War paranoia. The remake is not.
The Blob remake is the same old story: a small town, some good-lookin’ teenagers and a hobo in the woods who makes a discovery that changes his life for the worse.
I know Kevin Dillon with a mullet on a motorcycle should satisfy my eighties cheese cravings, but if I want mullets and motorcycles? I’m rockin’ out to The Lost Boys, thank you very much.
Kevin Dillon is the bad boy in town. He’s the kind of kids the parents bitch and moan about being “serious trouble” although mainly he just seems to drink and ride his motorcycle in a fashion that violates the town’s noise ordinance. Paul is a local high school football player who has a crush on Meg, a popular cheerleader, and the night he chooses to take her out on a date is the night The Blob falls to Earth in a meteor.
The unlucky town is introduced to The Blob via the aforementioned poor hobo, who gets Strawberry Jell-O on his hand and wanders out into the road and literally intersects with Paul, Meg and Brian (mulleted Kevin Dillon).
Since matters are that two of them are fine upstanding citizens and one just wants to make growly noises on his motorcycle (and also may have been coerced into going to the hospital with them), Mr. Hobo is piled into the back of Paul’s car and offloaded at the town hospital, which houses the most unsympathetic nursing staff ever. It’s not long until Paul realizes that something very bad is happening to Mr. Now Neglected Hobo, but it’s too late for him.
Paul is horrified and calls the sheriff’s department, but The Blob has other plans. I will give the movie credit for picking off an unlikely victim early in the first act. It’s surprising and a change of pace from the usual.
Brian and Meg attempt to warn the town’s police force and their parents but their pleas fall on deaf ears. Can you blame anyone, really? The Blob looks like a cross between gelatin and that oozy, pink stuff from Ghostbusters II. While the police are laughing at the kids and generally doing diddly squat aside from making plans to visit the diner and then do a whole lot more of nothing, The Blob manages to claim four more victims. One guy gets sucked down a drain (not as awesome as you’d think); one girl gets eaten from the inside out; a waitress is devoured in a telephone box. The last guy? Well, he deserves it.
The man pictured above is mixing drinks in a plastic cup with an electric handmixer. He’s turned his trunk into a mobile seduction kit, complete with class rings to give girls and Binaca, carefully sheathed in its own special holder. Plus, he gets in the car and tries his own little special brand of date rape. It’s not saddening when he gets in the car and finds something more than he expected in his date’s bra.
This is where the movie starts to get out of sorts, because they abandon the original premise of MONSTER! FROM THE DEEPEST, DARKEST DEPTHS OF OUTER SPACE AND TIME! to attribute The Blob to a government project gone seventy shades of wrong. From here, The Blob drags so much, you think you might have to pick it up and heft it along yourself. Even the climactic sewer sequence, in which Meg and her brothers must escape the ravenous Blob, feels too long and too hokey.
The Blob itself reminds me of old school Harryhausen effects, which feels silly for a movie made in 1988.
By the last act, the police have figured out something’s wrong. The government has showed up to quarantine most of the citizens and the men in white suits are trying to prevent The Blob from eating the entire town (and then… the entire country) but to no avail. Of course, it’s the backwoods townfolk that solve the riddle of how to succesfully contain The Blob, but not before a fair amount of people get killed and half the town is destroyed. In the ensuing melee of fire, guns and bubblegum-pink ooze, the town’s Catholic priest goes bonkers. He saves a piece of The Blob and intimates that he’s waiting for a “sign” from God to unleash it upon the masses.
The Blob isn’t bad. It’s decent, I suppose. With decent gore scenes and some genuine, well-thought out moments, The Blob is a bit above mediocre in the long run. It’s too slow at times and the worst part is, the first half is better than the last half. Not really the note you want to go out on, is it?
The movie’s most notable nowadays, I think, for featuring Kevin Dillon (yeah, he of Entourage fame) and Shawnee Smith (Meg), who is now well-known for playing Amanda in the Saw series of films.
If you have a Saturday night with nothing to do and some popcorn and beer, then The Blob would probably be a good, fun, forgotten flick of the ’80’s to laugh both with and at. Otherwise? You’d probably be better off saying no thanks.