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John’s Horror Corner: The Blob (1988), this slimy, gory sci-horror about an acidic alien ooze is an 80s practical effects favorite!

June 9, 2017

MY CALL:  This gory remake is buckets of goopy, gooey, slimy fun. If you love 80s horror and practical effects, this is a major win! An 80s staple!  MORE MOVIES LIKE The Blob:  Well, The Stuff (1985) is the closest match by far, and a highly recommended favorite of mine. The Curse (1987) follows suit with infectious meteors, The Raft (segment from Creepshow 2; 1987) is satisfyingly close, The Lonesome Death of Jordy Verrill (segment from Creepshow; 1982) takes a botanical approach, and Street Trash (1987) demonstrates the dangers of drinking alcoholic beverages you didn’t order yourself. Even Life (2017) comes sort of close in theme and, although quite smutty, Bio Slime (2010) might serve some audiences well.

Everything was fine in our sleepy little northern California town until a homeless man witnessed a meteor fall from the sky.  Upon further investigation, he finds the meteorite contains some pink, bubbling, alien goo.  The mucous-dripping, pulsating, organ-like mass propels itself onto the man’s hand and…well…you know.

High schoolers Meg (Shawnee Smith; Saw 1-3 & 6, The Grudge 3) and Paul (Donovan Leitch Jr.; Cutting Class) find their first date interrupted when they hit the now-parasitized hobo with their car and take him to the hospital along with Brian (Kevin Dillon; No Escape, Entourage), a wildly mulleted juvenile delinquent.

That homeless guy gets it bad. After digesting his hand, the alien slime melts his innards.  You see, this organism is composed of a highly corrosive acid (think Alien), and as it digests you, it grows (more like Calvin in Life).  But Paul gets it the worst with a scene worthy of the movie poster.  He is enshrouded in a slimy digestive veil of death as the weight of the gook pulls the skin off his melting face and Meg pulls his arm, reaching out for help, gorily asunder from his disintegrating body.  Deeeelish!

The local Sheriff (Jeffrey DeMunn; The Mist, The Walking Dead) and diner waitress (Candy Clark; Amityville 3-D, Zodiac, Cat’s Eye) fall into the blob’s path and Bill Moseley (The Texas Chainsaw Massacre 2, House of 1000 Corpses, Texas Chainsaw 3-D, Smothered) and Art LaFleur (Trancers 1-2, House Hunting) have cameos as well.  Much to our satisfaction, this horror movie cares about its characters and uses them well.

Director Chuck Russell (A Nightmare on Elm Street 3: Dream Warriors, The Scorpion King) does a fine, gory job honoring the 1958 classic with this sci-fi/horror remake. I’m quite fond of how Russell plays to classic tropes by sparing the virgin in lieu of the more promiscuous Vicki (i.e., Erika Eleniak; E. T., Bordello of Blood, Dracula 3000), yet violates expectations as nice guy Paul dies somewhat early leaving our young criminal antihero to save the day.

When our extraterrestrial bioplasm gets Vicki, it digests her from the inside out, collapsing her husk of a drained face as slimy tentacles emerge from her orifices before the rest of the amorphous mass emerges to engulf her date.  It’s a great scene!  This film seems to have a lot of great, gore-tastic scenes.

The diner sink, the phonebooth scene, the movie theater and sewer and church scenes… everywhere the blob goes, so follows a memorable, gory scene.  Where ever there is a crack or doorway to be found, likewise there is an opening through which this living ooze may erupt towards its victims like an offal-guts slinky.  There are so many excellent special effects pieces to be found.  This has loads of bloody gobbled-gook, a myriad of tentacles, and at one point it pours across the ceiling a la The Thing (1982).

If you have discovered a love for 80s horror and somehow haven’t seen this yet, just buy this. REALLY.  It’s an excellent piece of 80s horror cinema.  It even has a good ending!

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12 Comments leave one →
  1. June 9, 2017 11:45 am

    The 1988 version of the Blob is awesome! Those effects are brilliant!

    • John Leavengood permalink
      June 9, 2017 11:09 pm

      This era had the best remakes. The 1978 Invasion of the Body Snatchers, 1982’s The Thing, 1986’s The Fly…and I’m tempted to add The Stuff (1985) as another take on a Blob remake.

      • June 10, 2017 10:13 am

        Yes, The Thing and the Fly were awesome, The Stuff was quite good as well. The practical effects in these movies always look better than the CGI stuff we often get today.

    • John Leavengood permalink
      June 10, 2017 10:37 am

      It’s so funny how overwhelmingly obvious good practical effects are to US, yet big budget films will simply never do it. I guess it comes down to the fact that, despite the expense, the CGI is all done post-production and that affords a lot of flexibility. (Total guess)

      • June 10, 2017 1:13 pm

        I think you are totally right, sadly CGI gore never looks effective, it always stands out a mile. Practical effects are better lit and the actors reactions are more realistic – because they can see it I guess – and it makes a horror film much better.

    • John Leavengood permalink
      June 10, 2017 1:16 pm

      Having heard the stories about filming delays due to FX piece preparation in the Freddy movies and considering the scale of these newer films, I get it. I don’t like it, but I get it. And you are spot on with the actor reactions!

      • June 10, 2017 1:20 pm

        I guess time constraints are a major factor at times, yes. The actors response to what happens is key IMOP, you just don’t get that with CGI. In fact, the effects in the Blob are far superior to any CGI, and unlike CGI, practical effects often stand the test of time and still look good even decades later.

      • John Leavengood permalink
        June 10, 2017 4:44 pm

        Funny since the CGI is quite expensive! lol

      • June 11, 2017 10:35 am

        Yeah LOL 🙂

  2. June 12, 2017 7:05 pm

    Ah, The Blob. Just saying the words makes me smile, reading yours is even better. Thanks my friend, another awesome review.

    • John Leavengood permalink
      June 12, 2017 7:33 pm

      Thanks. Amazing how some of these films hold up.

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  1. John’s Horror Corner INDEX: a list of all my horror reviews by movie release date | Movies, Films & Flix

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