Wednesday, March 25, 2015

Blast from the Past - The Blob (1988)

I've been a bit out of it the last week or so.  Had a nasty cold.  Better now, thanks.  :-)

For those regular readers to my blog, you know I love the 80's.  There seemed to be more monster and horror movies made that decade than, well, ever.  Sure, Asylum studios churns out a crappy movie every month nowadays, but that hardly counts.  Tonight's movie came from 1988, when I was 18 years old, and even more of a geek than I am today!  I know, that's hard to believe, isn't it?

The Blob (1988) is about, well, a blob.  A crashed chunk of rock from space lands in the backwoods around some dinky little town somewhere, oozing some pink slime out of it.  Sure, I know what you're thinking.  Pink slime?  I've seen that movie.  That's right, it's a remake of the Steve McQueen movie "The Blob" made back in 1958.  In both the 1958 movie and the 1988 one, some poor schleb of a hobo gets slimed, and is eaten alive, and the only witnesses are a couple of teenagers.  Of course, nobody believes the teenagers when they run around town telling everyone that a slime ate a guy.  Until, of course, the slime grows big enough to devour a whole crapload of people in a movie theater.  Back in 1988, everyone was a conspiracy theorist, and the government was to blame for every damn thing that happened, everywhere, at any time, so the 1988 version involves a government super-bug that mutated and grew out of control, and a containment team sent to isolate the town and retrieve the bug.  It's a bit of an understatement to say they aren't entirely successful...

The Blob (1988) stars Shawnee Smith, who was pretty hot back in the day, and plays a high-school cheerleader whose boyfriend gets eaten.  Kevin Dillon plays a rebel without a clue who runs into the old hobo first infected with the slime, or blob, as they call it.  You guys may have no clue who these people are.  Kevin Dillon is apparently known for the Entourage lately (which I didn't watch because there's no monsters in it) and Shawnee Smith has been in the Saw series (which I didn't watch because I prefer monster movies to torture porn).  The Blob also has Art LeFleur (from the Trancers series) as the cheerleader's dad and Jeffrey DeMunn (who was born in my hometown, and you may remember from The Mist a few years back) as the Sheriff.  Joe Seneca plays a government scientist who will stop at nothing to retrieve his science experiment, and sadly passed away almost twenty years ago.  The Blob was probably his last good monster movie.  These acting veterans, who were even veterans back in the 80's, do an excellent job bringing life to their roles.  Erika Eleniak even makes a short appearance in one of her first real movie roles.

The special effects are decent enough,  I'm not sure if it's a mix of CGI or some other kind of special effects, to be honest.  For all I know, they got a sentient glob of goo from outer space to flow around on command.  I really can't tell.  There's only one scene where things really look kind of fake, where the rebel and the cheerleader are running down a short hallway in the diner and the blob is flowing after them along the ceiling.  It just looked, I don't know, kind of wrong, somehow.  Maybe the lighting wasn't right, because it didn't quite look like the blob was very close to them.  Anyway, it was a short scene.

I like the Blob for several reasons.  The first is that the action is almost non-stop.  There's a nice long scene at the beginning of the movie where it looks like the Blob has already eaten the entire town.  There's shots of empty streets, running fountains, a lone cat wandering around, all on a seemingly nice sunny day.  Then the camera cuts to the high school, and you see the entire town in the bleachers around the football field, supporting the home team.  About 5 minutes after the movie opens, the action starts, and the Blob doesn't stop devouring people until the end.  Another funny little thing I like in this movie is all the side-plots that get wrapped up quite well.  Some survive, some get eaten, but there's no loose ends.  Aside from the few good people who gets eaten, there's a whole host of bad people that you want to get eaten, and as it turns out, they all do.  Yep, all of them.  It's a fun watch.  The Blob is playing on Encore Suspense, if you want to catch it.

Watching this movie tonight, I thought to myself, you know what?  The Blob is ripe for another remake, or a sequel.  There's a nice little opening at the end where they leave a sequel as a possibility, and I had a script all written out in my head!  And then, I checked, and you know what?  There's a movie called The Blob coming out in 2016.  Damn.  Well, I guess great minds think alike.

That's all for tonight's blast from the past.  Next time I see something good, you guys will be the first to know!  Until then.

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