Jan 13, 2009

The Blob (1988)

The 80s were the definitive period for monster films, or even creature films for that matter. Calling something a monster must follow suit to certain descriptive qualities. I wouldn't call "The blob" a monster, more of an experiment gone awry. Think of Slimer from Ghostbusters though a bit more sadistic and prone to murdering children. This brings me to another point of the 80s - there were no rules. Kill anyone, the audience won't care. The lack of selfish sensibilities really adds a "real feel" to this film. I don't appreciate selective mindless killers. The formula doesn't equate at all correctly.

This remake plainly decided to upgrade the 1958 classic with rebellious youth, timid sex, and a silver platter of potent special effects. In terms of metaphors, the film is a pan filled with surgical tools. Now which tool to use in order to play a precise and specific death is its choice. In some ways, the special effects in The Blob are completely beyond words. The slime effects and acidic touch to the melting skin "wows" me repeatedly. I don't think I'll ever get over how ahead of the time this film was. Well, it was until fault lay blame on Kevin Dillon's mullet. I feel ethically responsible enough on behalf as reviewer to tell you that the effects in this film is an unholy conjoining of Street Trash and John Carpenter's The Thing. This alone should tell you all you need to know.

Starring a young Shawnee Smith, who still had a dependable agent, the youth cast in this film is introduced without a moments hesitation only to serve as mindless cattle as soon as the "blob" hits the fan. I found myself shocked by the sheer quantity of deaths in this film. In material covering killer slime, a departure was much needed to save from the tedious hassle of an unnoticeable body count and the lack of laced humor. If The Blob had attempted to strictly follow the suit of a horror or even a horror drama, the result would have been questionable and laughable. The Blob is laughable, but in a relative way. Watching a citizen dive for safety only to be smashed and absorbed by a tendril is deserving of its own popcorn bowl.

For any fans of killer slime, check out William Essex's novel simply titled Slime.

With a last minute convergence of horror and drama (comedy's still there, folks), The Blob takes an intelligent turn towards political commentary with the discovery that this creature was a man made experiment to gain the upper-hand on those damn Russkies. But that's always the case, isn't it? In the 80s, a "who-dun-it?" governmental conspiracy plot twist was racy, fresh, and believable. In today's cinema, this happens as a common occurrence. I don't even think twice. Sometimes, I really do wonder about transpiring events like this. What if the Mothman was an experiment in organic satellites? It's questions like these make me embrace the unknown tightly with a feverish glint in my eyes.

The Blob is a superior monster attack! flick. With many laugh-a-minute segments and that preserved nostalgic kick, The Blob makes me want to turn up the volume, scoot closer, and descend into the world of the past with cinema that wasn't observant over motifs that were considered politically incorrect. To be blunt, watching an 8 year old being devoured grotesquely by an acidic killing machine, in graphic detail mind you, to be a masterful moment in any form of cinema. Its balls like these that make me appreciate horror. I wouldn't expect anything else from the man who brought us The Mask and Nightmare on Elm Street 3: Dream Warriors.

In memory of Charles Edward Parrish.



thebonebreaker said...

Excellent Review mAQ!

While I enjoy the original better, this one is still a fun film :-)

Anonymous said...

shawnee smith was at her absolute peak in this one, (around 18), its just a shame we didn`t get to see her completely naked at some point in the film.

jervaise brooke hamster said...

I just read something on IMDB that brought a tear to my eye, filming began on the 12th of january 1988, at that time Heather still had 3 weeks to live, i wonder if they completed principal photography before the 1st of february (on IMDB it just has "???" with regards to when filming was actually completed). The next time i watch "The Blob" i`ll just assume that it was finished before Feb 1st then it will seem like i`m bringing Heather back to life for those last 3 weeks of her life. By the way, its nice to bring Heather back to life in the same way when i watch Wes Cravens 1987 cult item "The Serpent and the Rainbow" (because it reminds me of that idea i had about taking the witch doctors to the cemetary i Los Angeles where Heather is buried to smash open her grave and getting them to cast a spell that would bring her back to life so that incredible little blonde sexpot could be my sex slave forever) the problem though is that the film was actually released in north america on the very day of Heathers funeral so that always spoils my enjoyment of it a little bit.