Wednesday, November 10, 2010

The Blob- a comparison

There is something really funny about a bunch of goo as a threat.  It’s something you really don’t think about from a typical alien attack.  “The Blob” first came out in 1958.  In its most base sense it’s a boy cried wolf story.  The boy in this case is played by a young Steve McQueen and his performance and likeability really make this movie fun.  Funny thing is he’s playing a teenager when he was in his late twenties.

This movie has a huge following.  The town where it was filmed holds annual festivals in its honor.  The theater where people ran screaming from the blob as it attacked them is still there and they watch the movie and during that scene folks will run screaming from the theater.  It’s awesome that this blob brings people together after so many years.

​It really is a pinnacle point of the monster movie era of the fifties.  We have an intro song that you’d think the movie was going to be a comedy.  We have an alien terror that comes down in a meteor. It terrorizes a small town with teenagers in their jaunty jalopies by oozing around the movie theaters and make out spots.  Finally after figuring out its weakness to cold they realize the best thing they can do is contain it.  So they freeze it and ship it to where it will remain frozen permanently.  It ends with a question mark at the end of the “The End” title.  Mix with Steve McQueen’s raw talent at his young age and its cinematic gold.

Then there was a remake in 1988.  I was going into this thinking I was going to be sort of bummed. But actually this movie is REALLY good on its own merits.  It’s different for sure but it really impressed me that a movie made 30 years after the original could make a blob scary.  First off the screenplay I was shocked to discover was written by Frank Darabont,  “The Walking Dead” director as well as director of such movies as “The Shawshank Redemption”, “The Green Mile” and “The Mist”.  So that was looking up.  After the last piece of crap I watched (“Resurrection Mary” for anyone who cares) I was in the mood to watch something that actually was good for a change.

So it’s different.  Kevin Dillon is the main hero and Shawnee Smith is our leading lady. Shawnee Smith, by the way if you don’t know is the woman that plays Amanda in the early “SAW” movies.  Here she plays a teen dream.  So that takes some imagination for me since I am used to her being a psycho.   Anyway I was impressed because for the most part it followed the other movie.  Meteorite crashes, goo gets on a poor saps hand.  Kids take him to a doctor. The goo liquefies the entire bottom half of the poor sap and …..holy shit.

Yeah they cranked up the gore a ton making this movie a trip to watch.  The blob engulfs people and you actually watch as it dissolves them inside the goo.  It’s horrible and yet the effects are so cool it reminds me how I loved movie “The Thing” for basically the same reason.  The blob terrorizes a movie theater and is stopped by freezing much like the original.  But the major difference is this blob is not an alien.

It’s technically a bioweapon developed by our government and is going out of control.  It’s our next step to outwit the Soviets. Ok, that does give it a new twist.  Of course during all this insanity the revered of the town has gone batshit crazy and is spouting verses of hellfire and brimstone even collecting pieces of the frozen blob corpse and putting it in a jar.    Finally the blob is destroyed by liquid nitrogen and exploding.   So all is well and there is no question mark at the end of this one.  Oh no!  The revered is having a tent revival telling people about the coming apocalypse.  When we see someone ask him how soon it’s coming.  He pulls out a jar with his throbbing sample of the still living blob saying it’s on its way.  Ooh he’s evil.

That was good.  It’s a pretty decent remake and pretty worth seeing the two of them if you are in the mood for a cheesy movie about colorful ooze that pulsates around getting larger and killing people.  All in all they are fun movies. The remake is not probably pretty tame by today’s standards but is still more towards the gory side so use discretion if showing to kids  FYI a kid does get eaten by the blob I this version so if that might cause then to freak out then maybe this pick isn’t for them.  The original I think is one even kids should be able to see and enjoy.

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