17 February 2011

OMENS: The Blob

The Blob

Starring Kevin Dillon, Shawnee Smith, Donovan Leitch, Jeffrey DeMunn, Candy Clark, Joe Seneca, Del Close, Paul McCrane
Script by Chuck Russell & Frank Darabont
Based on a 1958 script by Theodore Simonson & Kay Linaker
Directed by Chuck Russell
Release: 5 August 1988
TriStar Pics, 95 mins., Rated R

Plot: An meteorite crash lands near a small town and contains a giant mutating blob that sucks the life out of its victims!

A perfect example of how remakes can be beneficial – improving on the original idea of the first film with a bigger budget, more intricate visual effects, and lacking in the eye-rolling corny dialogue. I’ve heard a lot of positive things about THE BLOB, and I’m happy to report that the movie lives up to expectations and was immensely enjoyable. I mean, after all, it’s co-written by Frank Darabont (THE WALKING DEAD), how could it not be good in some capacity? Truth be told I was simply looking for a Creature Feature that had some fine city destruction and monster special effects, and in that respect alone the movie delivered hugely. The blob effects and the oftentimes hilarious kills make this movie, no doubt.

Future SAW returnee Shawnee Smith and I-need-a-haircut Kevin Dillon are the front and center roles, the two people who just have to survive the monster attack and end up saving the day (which, of course, they do). Shawnee doesn’t do more than look pretty and run a lot, which is a shame because I was rather hoping her character would take more initiative. That being said, there’s a awesomely hilarious sequence in the sewers where she is trying to save her little brother and his friend in the sewer, and the boys friend falls in and gets eaten by the blob. Unexpected and amazing. They completely just said ‘F-U!’ to the horror convention of never killing children. Just had to mention it. Kevin Dillon is the Dark Knight, dressed all John Travolta-like in his Grease get-up and hair and motorcycle. The human characters are the weak link of the script, but in a monster movie, it’s entirely forgivable. As I said, I want me some city destruction, and I’m satisfied.

And THE BLOB has that in spades. There’s an death at a restaurant involving a sink that is just so absurb and wickedly beautifully done in its execution it is most definitely going to be on a Top 20 list of memorable deaths. The blob effects are actually very good and quite effective, invoking a huge amount of ‘ew!’ factor as well as menace – especially at the scene in the movie theater where the blob destroys the evening of perfectly content moviegoers watching a horror flick.

BLOB gets major points for giving kudos and nods to the tropes of 1950s sci-fi films, embracing it and using it as well as making the best product they could. That’s respectable. Ways it embraces the sci-fi conventions: way to defeat the monster and its subsequent containment, and, of course, the corrupt government more intent on studying the monster than saving the town.

Overall funness. You like monster movies? You like interesting death scenes and nifty special effects? You'll dig THE BLOB. Also a nice case for endorsing remakes.

Netflix Rating: Really Liked It

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