It’s gooey, it’s pink, it’s evil, it’s “The Blob”. This 1988 practical effect wonder is a remake to the 1958 science fiction classic of the very same name. In the 30 years since the previous iteration, cinema within sci-fi and horror evolved byways of production budget and visual effects, making this version a much more gruesome film.
The premise is simple; a meteor landing in the remote northern California town of Arborville, in which a parasitic-like slime substance emerges and begins to wreak havoc on the civilians. It’s a familiar plot to the classic monster movies of the 50’s, but goes into new territories that leave horror fans yearning for more. From the beginning of the film, we get establishing shots of the town with no one outside. I found myself asking if this was a tease of what is to come, with the blob consuming everything in sight as it gave off an unsettling tone. Adding to this is a score that is a mix of synthesizer chords and an eerie choir feel that sounds both religious and out of this world. During the more climactic scenes, the score evolves into a faster-paced sound, but holds true to the 80’s feel of horror films.
Once we see the townspeople in the movie’s tone kicks into high gear. Kevin Dillion’s leather jacket-wearing, mullet-esque styled Brian Flagg is just the tip of the iceberg of elements that date this film, but that’s what makes it work. The characters themselves are far from enthralling, however, that’s not what this movie is aiming for. Yes, there are generic scumbag characters that all get what they deserve, a familiar and equally lazy love story, and of course some cheesy yet hilarious moments. There’s even a meta moment where a mother tells her child he can’t see a horror film as she refers to it as trash.
There’s no denying that the blob is the star of this creature feature. You can toss aside the generic characters and for the most part predictable narrative as the blob steals the show. The blob is a visual marvel that still holds up to this day. What begins as a small semi-translucent substance transforms into a pinkish-hue behemoth as it consumes more and more life forms. On contact it’s vicious in an instant; having some type of acidic quality to it. After the first encounter, viewers will be eagerly awaiting its next appearance on screen.
“The Blob” is 80’s brutality at its finest with its top-tier gore effects. If you’ve ever seen a montage of classic horror film deaths, chances are you’ve seen at least one from “The Blob”. The use of practical effects has proven time and time again that they offer the most authentic moments in horror. Special effects are only used when composing the blob or characters onto a location. Oftentimes the unmatched composition of the blob to the background footage stands out, but it does give some charm to the flick.
Will this movie change your way of viewing cinema? Probably not, but its rich usage of practical effects and creative kills will tickle any horror fan’s fancy. If you haven’t seen this film and enjoy some 80’s cheesiness, I highly recommend “The Blob” for a monster movie addition to your Halloween screening.