body horror

[Movie Review] The Blob (1988) ★★★☆☆

Paul devoured by the Blob while Meg tries to save him in The Blob 1988

The Blob is a typical eighties practical effects horror movie with a valiant heroin.


The Blob is a remake of the 1958 science fiction horror film of the same name. While the 1958 film had a lot of comical notes, this remake has much more emphasis on the horror aspects. With great practical effects an amoebe-like organism from outer space devours everything that crosses its path. It delivers a fun typical eighties science fiction body horror turned into a conspiracy theory film. 


Plot

When a meteor crashes in the woods near Arborville, an elderly man discovers the meteor but when it opens a slimy substance attaches itself to his hand. He is found by three high school students, Brian, Meg and Paul who take him to the hospital. There this Blob devours the man and goes on a rampage through the town. When Meg and Paul try to warn everybody they’re not taken seriously. But as a military operation puts the whole town under quarantine, there seems to be more to the Blob than just an alien organism. 


Why you should watch it

The film follows the original story in big lines, but has also added some big changes. The Blob, now fully equipped with practical effects, is much more scary than its older brother. In the 1958 film the Blob just hops and bobs around, devouring everybody and everything. When the people are fully absorbed, it’s not that gruesome to watch and then they just disappear. 

Not in this remake though. The people are gruesomely devoured and absorbed and it’s a horrible sight for extra horror effect. The acid-like substance dissolves the body, while limbs that are outside the Blob are falling off. The practical effects create a great gross and gory sight and is a good addition to the original story, turning the science fiction into body horror. These practical effects are very well-made and make sure that every death is different from the others, being imaginative and creative to maximum gory gross effect. 

The structure of the story can feel a little bit messy, for it jumps from person to person, and it takes a while to realize that Meg is the real hero and is the main character who is supported by Brian, who as the bad boy becomes a hero as well. This results also in some unexpected deaths, people who you might see as the main characters due to their screen time, end up with a sometimes barely noticeable demise. 

The biggest change is the origin of the Blob. While in the 1958 film the Blob is an alien and the high school students rally up everybody to fight it, making it a town effort with an epic ending, in this 1988 film the government is involved with a sinister experiment. Turning the film in a conspiracy theory movie. This makes the Blob also more vicious and aware of its surrounding, killing instead of mere devouring. But it also makes it less comical.

There are some fun odes and references to the original film, like the stick the old man uses to prick the meteor, the movie theatre, and the hospital scene, while some new surprises are added to make it a fresh experience. 

Luckily there’s Meg who is brave, has resolve and takes the lead to fight the Blob. She’s the real hero of the story, but she can’t prevent some horrible deaths. Two heroes you might not have expected save the day and that’s totally in line with the original story. 


My favorite part

Even back in the eighties women served as role models. Although Meg is a cheerleader she’s a good girl, just like final girls who survive the killer. But she does more than mere surviving. She’s assertive, smart, determined and brave and takes the fight to the Blob, while rescuing her little brother. It’s nice to see that a young woman is the real hero, takes up a fire extinguisher to fight the Blob and then a machine gun to attack it, firing at will. And to finish him off she lets the snow maker full with canisters of liquid nitrogen explode. What a blast!

Although it’s a joint effort of Meg and Brian, she had to pull him in to be as brave as she is and she turns him into a hero. So here’s to Meg, a hero who saved the day and acts as an example for girls to empower themselves. 


Ratings:

Rating: ★★★☆☆

Gruesome factor: ★★★☆☆

Entertainment factor: ★★★★☆


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Cast and crew

The Blob is a remake of the 1958 film of the same name directed by Irvin Yeaworth. This film is directed and written by Chuck Russell and cowritten by Frank Darabont. It stars Shawnee Smith (Meg), Kevin Dillon (Brian), Donovan Leitch (Paul), Jeffrey DeMunn (sheriff Herb), Candy Clark (Fran) and Joe Deneca (Dr. Meddows).

Duration: 95 minutes. Music: Michael Hoenig, J. Peter Robinson. Cinematography: Mark Irwin. Edited by: Tod Feuerman. Produced by: Jack H. Harris, Elliot Kastner. Production company: Palisades California Inc. Distributed by: TriStar Pictures. 


Check the trailer below