Directed by Chuck Russell, The Blob 1988 is a remake of the 1958 film of the same name. The film was released by Tristar Pictures with a budget of $10 million. Unfortunately, the film received mixed reviews at the box office and only made $8.2 million and was deemed a flop for the studio but later became of a cult classic amongst fans.
The Blob is a story about a meteorite that crashes into a small town in America and after first contact with one of the locals, it slowly begins to absorb everything and everyone in its path. I was aware of this film and its predecessor but hadn’t watched either one of them before now but I have to say, I was really surprised this film was released in 1988? I know and understand it has a bit of 1950’s vibe but the visual style of the film is so far ahead of its time; it looks like something from the late ’90s in my opinion and a great achievement to everyone involved in its production.
The film reminds me of some of the great films and TV shows I have enjoyed, Twin Peaks, Wayward Pines, The Twilight Zone and more recently Stranger Things. You know when any meteor crash lands nearby, you have to poke it with a stick, right!!? I mentioned first contact earlier when describing the film but only because the homeless man reminded me of Zephram Cochrane of Star Trek fame and then I had a crossover episode happening in my brain.
I guess I should talk about some of the characters in the film but I must admit, there was only three I actually cared for. Brian Flagg Kevin Dillon plays the misunderstood and rebellious delinquent teenager brilliantly and some of his one-liners actually made me laugh “Feels like fucking Hansel and Gretel in here, I should have brought some Breadcrumbs” The homeless man takes second place and finally, his dog is my favourite character by far. That little dog growling at the meteor is some of the best acting in the film and he/she definitely should have won best supporting actor in my opinion. I guess I need to mention Paul McCrane as Deputy Billy Briggs, if anything came from another planet, it’s undoubtedly that moustache!
Tony Gardner worked on the special effects for the film, unexpectantly finding himself in charge of a crew of thirty-three. I was actually expecting a lot of early CGI effects for some reason but the use of practical effects in this film is pretty outstanding. I think the best scene for me is in the telephone booth as Fran Hewitt Candy Clark is trying to call Sheriff Herb Geller Jeffrey DeMunn. Fran finds herself surrounded by the Blob and the Sheriff’s face appears in the glass of the booth before it implodes. I will admit that left me feeling quite claustrophobic and unsettled. You can really get the sense that the effects team really got the chance to try something new in this film and some of the scenes still look amazing today and some, unfortunately, do not. That pretty much sums up my view about the film as a whole.
I really enjoyed watching The Blob but I didn’t love it. I did love the science-fiction element of the film as the meteorite turns out to manufactured by the government. I guess this is a sign of the times and a real reflection on humanity’s lack of trust of those in power. Funny thing is, I decided to write about this film before we entered a global pandemic and there are some many theories about why and how we find ourselves in this situation. I appreciated the horror of the film and the Blob itself is pretty brutal and unforgiving. And finally, the comedy, which really lets the film down in my opinion. I can see how people appreciate it though and I can only imagine that watching this when it was released was pretty spectacular. Chuck Russell went on to direct The Mask which made all the money and you can see early glimpses of his brilliance in this film. Also, I have a feeling this isn’t the last time we will see the Blob on the big screen.
Frank Darabont and watch Minority Report but his writing went uncredited on the film so it didn’t feel right. Next, I noticed that the cinematography was done by Mark Irwin, who worked on Scanners, and Class of 1999. I have watched one of those films and I’m really curious about the other so I have to say, I’m torn on which one to choose? So I’m asking you for your help! I have created a poll on my Facebook page, so if you would like to vote which film I should watch next, click on the link below.