I wasn't surprised that The Blob was a special effects spectacular because I had been told so countless times. I also wasn't surprised that the 1988 remake would surpass in many ways its predecessor because again, I had been told this countless times. However, I WAS deeply surprised that no one bothered to mention the little fact that Shawnee Smith was in this.
Well, Shawnee Smith AND that guy who played Babe Ruth in the Sandlot.
Mostly the Babe Ruth guy, but Shawnee Smith? You mean her career didn't start out in Saw? Yes, yes I know I'm sadly misinformed but I blame all of you who didn't tell me sooner. I also blame whoever decided that that haircut was a good choice for Kevin Dillon. Christ, the number of times I kept asking myself who on earth that woman in the leather jacket was!
Sticking mainly to the story of the original, 1988's The Blob puts emphasis on improving what most of us found comical in the 1958 classic--the gelatinous ball of jello. Personally I got a great kick out of that jello ball--but for a ball of jello that absorbs human beings, it was in retrospect quite tame. In 1988 however, things have changed and the Blob finally becomes what we had all been hoping for: a giant sack of blood and guts. A Christmas tree of intestines!
It actually looked and felt repulsive which is perhaps what I loved most about this. It turned something slightly comical into something absolutely terrifying, while at the same time offering up an explanation for the blob's existence. In other words 1988's The Blob is the true meaning of a great remake. Taking something to be improved upon, making it better AND adding a little dash of originality.
Watching The Blob is like wanting to know how babies are made and then being shown a birthing video. When Steve McQueen and his lady friend were screaming about the blob and the blob was lazily rolling on top of people and "eating" them, we came to wonder "Hmm but what does that actually look like?". Then we were shown "the birthing video" and suddenly we regretted ever wanting to know. Seriously, have you ever been more disgusted and terrified then when you saw this?
And yes I was seriously debating whether or not to trick you and put a baby coming out of a vagina there. Consider yourselves lucky.
But really? It's quite possibly the best special effects and makeup I have ever seen in my life. The extent to which that blob was detailed--especially when it tended to spread out and look like an actual ball of guts and repulsiveness was astounding.
The live moving, action shots however well ehhh we'll just gloss over that for the time being.
Yet another fine point of recognition was how even though the blob typically kills through absorption--this blob killed with a surprising amount of versatility! People weren't just oozed on... people were fucking pulled down sink drains,
snapped in half,
and completely pulverized.
It was like a legitimate party for my eyes and face. Also notable however is the film's courage. Instead of showing the death of a poor defenseless cat (there were a few cats I should add) a little boy was eaten instead. Few films I think would try out that little experiment. It was especially shocking and at the same time immensely rewarding, as that little shit annoyed the crap out of me.
And then clearly The Blob cannot be talked about without mentioning Shawnee Smith. As I said before, she really surprised me. I was truly inspired when she grabbed that machine gun and started screaming things on top of that truck!
"Who was this person?" I thought to myself. Surely not the ever stoic and painfully dry host of Season 1 of Scream Queens. Well hot diggity dog it IS Shawnee! Yeah...you think I'm kidding but I'm serious, I really got a kick out of her performance and I'm a little surprised that it isn't talked about more. In fact, I think she just inspired a future post that I will make about chicks with guns.
Kevin Dillon on the other hand is ehh a little too ugly for me to care about.
But I did love how the lover boy football player was so rapidly taken care of. A true deviation from the original, where letterman jackets were in their prime. Once again 1988's Blob turns conventions on their heads while still managing to pay decent respect to the film that it owes its origins to. These kinds of remakes are very rare and it's time people started realizing what RESPECT is, fool.
I was shocked before I had even seen this that there was talk to remake a film that was already a remake. But you have no idea how completely appalled I am now. I imagine the driving force is to improve upon the live action blob that I glossed over. With the sudden out pour and peacock strutting that CGI is producing it is no wonder that someone wants to get a moving blob to look believable. I would also imagine that the government conspiracy theme is a driving force since a lot of people tend to hate the government--think The Crazies remake as well. Yes, I think the untrustworthy nature of the government is our country's latest big "fear", and therefore the latest new prototype of villain. But that doesn't mean you have to remake The Blob again. No siree......blob......!
Speaking of versatility I'm awarding this blob the Versatile Blobber award!
Sorry, I just couldn't resist.