Ok, time to get back to the bulk of movies that I received for Christmas. I mentioned this before, but I had the urge to watch today’s movie for quite a while but since I didn’t own this movie, I decided to buy both it, as well as the other 2 Blob movies. I remember watching this movie late night on cable dozens of times back in the day and enjoying it every time. So yeh, I had absolutely no problem with buying today’s movie, The Blob (1988).
The plot: During a high school football game in the small mountain town of Arborville, CA, football player Paul Taylor asks out cheerleader Meg Penny after he is tackled into the sideline. Meanwhile, Brian Flagg, another local teenager, is riding his motorcycle along a mountain trail and attempting to jump a broken bridge when something goes wrong with his bike and he ends up crashing, to the amusement of an old drifter. Brian gets a ride back to town and after a run in with Sheriff Herb Geller, who warns him that when he turns 18 he will go to jail instead of juvie, he heads to Moss Woodley, the local mechanic, to borrow a ratchet set to fix his bike. That night, Paul and his friend Scott go to the local drug store and Scott goes to buy some condoms but when Reverend Meeker starts talking to him, Scott lies and tells the Reverend that he is buying them for Paul. Later, Paul goes to pick up Meg and when she introduces him to her father, her father turns out to be the drug store owner and recognizes Paul from earlier. Meanwhile, the old drifter sees a meteor fall to earth and when he goes to investigate, finds a container with a strange oozing substance in it. When he pokes it with a stick, the substance wraps around it and then oozes up and envelops his hand. Brian is out in the woods working on his bike when he hears a sound and sees the old man attempting to cut his hand off, only for the blob to ooze up over the wound. The old man runs off screaming, with Brian chasing after him, only to be hit by Paul’s car and Paul and Meg help the man into the back seat and have Brian go with them to the hospital. At the hospital, the man is taken to an examination room while Paul starts filling out forms and Brian leaves, telling them that if they need him to come find him. Later, Paul goes to get some sodas and sees something happening to the old man and after getting a doctor, they find that the lower half of the man’s body has been completely dissolved away. As the doctor calls for a nurse, Paul heads to the doctor’s office to call the sheriff only to have the Blob drop from the ceiling on top of him. Meg hears Paul’s scream and when she goes looking for him, sees him covered by the Blob and tries to pull him free but his arm tears off and she ends up falling and knocking herself off while the rest of Paul is dragged off by the Blob as it goes out the window. The sheriff and his deputies show up and Meg tries to tell them what happened but they think she is just in shock and believe Brian had something to do with this and have him picked up for questioning. Outside the city, Scott and his date Vicki are parked on a hill overlooking the hospital when they are attacked and killed by the Blob, which proceeds to head down into the sewer system. Brian is questioned by the police but they eventually let him go and he runs into Meg, who was heading there to bail him out. Brian heads to the local diner to get some food and Meg follows him to try and talk to him but while they are there, the Blob attacks the diner’s cook and drags him face first into the sink. When it explodes out of the sink, Brian and Meg run and hide in the freezer, where it starts to follow her but it quickly retreats from the cold. Meanwhile, Fran, the diner’s owner, heads to a phone booth in the alley to call the sheriff only for the Blob to surround the phone booth and she sees Herb’s face inside the Blob just before it breaks through the glass and kills her. Brian and Meg leave the freezer and head to the Sheriff’s office but when they learn that he isn’t there, they head to the woods to find Deputy Briggs. Meanwhile, Reverend Meeker is leaving the church and sees the Blob heading into the sewers and heads into the diner, where he finds some frozen pieces of the blob inside the freezer and places them inside a glass jar. In the woods, Brian and Meg find the deputies car but as they look for him, they are caught by some men in hazmat suits led by Dr. Meadows. Meadows tells them that the meteorite brought a germ and they are there to make sure the infection doesn’t spread to the town and then questions them about what they saw before having them placed in a van and taken back to town. Brian doesn’t trust Meadows and picks the lock for the van and wants to leave town on his bike but Meg refuses to go with him, saying she needs to get back to warn her family. When Meg gets to town, she sees the soldiers escorting people to the center of town but when she meets up with her parents, she learns that her brother Kevin snuck into the movie theater with his friend Eddie. At the theater, the Blob attacks the projectionist and theater manager before squeezing out of the projection booth and starting to attack the movie goers. Meg heads to the theater as people are escaping and finds Kevin and Eddie and they manage to escape out the back and head into the sewers to escape the Blob. Meanwhile, Brian grabs his bike and heads back to where Meadows and his men are, where he learns that the meteorite is a US satellite that Meadows had sent out to test a biological weapon. When Meadows receives a radio report about the Blob heading into the sewers and that Meg, Kevin, and Eddie are trapped there, Meadows orders his men to trap the Blob in the sewers and the civilians are expendable. When a soldier spies Brian, he manages to escape and takes off on his bike, with the soldiers pursuing him but Brian jumps over the broken bridge and manages to escape them and heads into the sewers after Meg. In the sewers, Meg sees the Blob following after them so she has Kevin and Eddie climb up some drain pipes to try and escape it but Eddie is killed by the Blob. Some of Meadow’s men show up and try attacking the Blob, and it goes after them, allowing Kevin to escape out a sewer grate but Meg can’t fit so she is forced to drop back down and find another way out. Brian finds Meg and they manage to escape the Blob but he wrecks in the process and as they try to escape with one of the surviving soldiers, they see Meadows looking down at them from the manhole cover before ordering it sealed. Brian grabs the bazooka the soldier was using to blast open the manhole, then climbs out with Meg and the soldier. Brian grabs a machine gun and points it at Meadows, then explains to Briggs about Meadows’ lying to them when the Blob attacks and kills Meadows. When the soldiers start firing into the sewer and drop an explosive charge down there in order to kill the Blob, the Blob erupts onto the surface and begins attacking everyone. When the soldiers try using a flamethrower on the Blob, it blocks the opening and causes a backfire, which catches Reverend Meeker on fire. Meg uses a fire extinguisher to put out Reverend Meeker and realizes that the Blob can’t stand the cold so she uses it to fend off the Blob as everyone retreats to town hall. As the Blob attacks town hall, Brian runs off and gets a snow machine and uses it to try and attack the Blob but the Blob knocks it over, knocking off the tank of liquid nitrogen, and begins to surround the truck. Meg goes out and grabs a satchel charge from a dying soldier before luring the Blob to the nitrogen tank. She drops the satchel charge and tries to jump to safety but her foot gets caught on one of the hoses. Brian manages to get free from the truck and rescues Meg just before the charge explodes, covering the street in snow and completely freezing the pieces of the Blob. Moss calls for a dump truck and has the pieces of the Blob placed in a nearby ice house so that they will stay frozen. Some time later, Reverend Meeker is preaching an apocalyptic sermon at a tent service and afterwards, one of the parishioners asks when doomsday will come and Meeker says soon. With his back to the woman, he holds up the jar containing the pieces of the Blob, which are now thawed out and moving, and says “The Lord will give me a sign.”
The Blob (1988) met with mixed to positive reviews from the critics, holding a 61% rating on Rotten Tomatoes. While there isn’t a critical consensus on the site, the majority of the critics seemed to feel that, while not as good as the original, the movie was a worthy remake. The movie is considered one of the goriest movies of the 1980’s, alongside John Carpenter’s The Thing and George Romero’s Day Of The Dead. Despite the relatively positive reviews, the movie was a dud at the box office, only earning $8.2 million off of a $19 million budget.
While there are some scenes that are a bit over the top in the gore factor, this is a fun movie to watch. The acting was pretty good for the most part, with Kevin Dillon (Brian), Shawnee Smith (Meg), and Joe Seneca (Meadows) were good in their roles. The story was interesting, with the main changes from the original, aside from the setting, being that instead of some outer space parasite that lands on Earth, this focuses more as a bio-weapon experiment gone wrong and the military trying to cover it up, doing a great job of playing up some of the lingering Cold War paranoia that was still around. The special effects regarding the Blob itself were pretty good for the time but some of the blue screen effects when it interacted with people, especially when it got larger, were a little weak. Not as good as the original, but definitely worth watching for some good, campy fun.
Rating: 3 out of 5