The Blob

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I saw the remake of The Blob in the movie theatre in the summer of 1988 and reviewed it for my weekly school newspaper, The Rutgers Review. Unfortunately, I don’t have any exciting stories to tell about my moviegoing experience because I don’t remember anything about the movie.

Wait, that’s not true! Del Close, who plays the crazy preacher, co-wrote a DC comic with John Ostrander called Wasteland. John Ostrander happens to be my favorite comic writer of all time. He wrote The Suicide Squad and Grimjack, a wonderful comic nobody today has ever heard of. This gives you, the reader, two pieces of important information. 1. I was predisposed to like The Blob. 2. I was a comic nerd decades before it became fashionable.

I don’t recall if I enjoyed The Blob on my first viewing because I can’t find my original review and my memories of it are sketchy. Since I had no desire to revisit this movie, I’m assuming I didn’t think much of it. I do recall being surprised when football dude bites the dust. I also remember the scene when football guy and his friend go into the drugstore to buy rubbers – does anyone say rubbers anymore? Fun fact: that’s what we used to call condoms in New Jersey back in the 1980’s. And that’s about all I do remember.

The thing that struck me most on rewatching The Blob was Kevin Dillon’s magnificent mane of hair, which I’m not sure qualifies as a mullet. Maybe it left such a strong impression on me because I’m slowly losing my own hair. I also thought Shawnee Smith was very good. She almost takes out the Blob herself before getting her foot stuck in – what? What the hell was that? A foot-trapper?

The scene where the girl passes out in the car was really unpleasant to watch. In general, the tone of The Blob is way off. The word I would use is squicky. This might have been a decent PG-13 movie, but it just doesn’t work as an R-rated movie. The gory parts of The Blob are gross, yes, but not in a good way. They’re just gross. These are the kind of effects you’d see in a body horror movie like Dave Cronenberg’s remake of The Fly.

This just isn’t a very good movie. It’s been forgotten for a reason. Most of the effects are laughably cheesy, which clashes with the ultra-gross scenes when the Blob eats people. The screenplay is full of holes. Why would the U.S. government fire bacteria into outer space when they can simulate outer space conditions in a bunker in Roswell, New Mexico? Why would sewer guy in the white containment-suit have a rocket launcher strapped to his back?

The characters are clichés. We have the local yokel cop, the cheerleader, the jock, the burnout (an 80’s phrase!) with a heart of gold – incidentally, I didn’t think Kevin Dillon’s character had a heart of gold. I thought he was a dickhead (another 80’s phrase!).

That being said, I liked both the leads. It’s not their fault they got stuck in The Blob. The screenplay has a couple of surprise deaths and thus isn’t totally predictable. I do enjoy watching horror movies where it feels like anyone can die. I was also happy that they weren’t madly kissing at the end of the movie. After seeing this movie, I didn’t feel like kissing – I felt vaguely queasy.

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3 thoughts on “The Blob”

  1. I agree that the Blob was extremely cheesy and easy to forget. Nothing about it stands out. It’s an uncontrollable force (not really a monster) that was a government experiment gone wrong that dealt with stereotypical characters. I knew how the movie would unfold in the first twenty minutes. And I wasn’t wrong. I will say that I was pleasantly surprised with how gross some of the scenes were. In most 80’s movies, the effects are cheesy and able to tell they’re effects. But, in this film, they almost looked somewhat real at times. Plus, you’re not wrong about Dillon’s gorgeous, luscious mane.

  2. Kevin Dillon’s hair was a highlight for me as well. I agree that this just isn’t that good of a movie. The characters are cliché and the plot was full of holes. I kept asking myself “why” throughout my viewing, especially why are we following these characters in particular and why should we care about any of this. It was certainly an entertaining experience, but for all the wrong reasons.

  3. George,
    I agree the Blob was cheesy. I had never seen it till we had to watch it for class and I am glad I never did till now. I might make my son watch just for the experience of a cheesy horror movie. I know that sounds cruel. Dillon did have a gorgeous mane of hair and think that was his appeal in the movie. There were so many cliches in the movie and yes I remember as a kid hearing condoms being called rubbers but no one today says it. The movie screamed a typical 80’s movie.

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