BEST AND WORST REMAKES: BEST #10 – THE BLOB
THE BLOB came out thirty years after the original and is a hell of a fun film. It was directed by Chuck Russell, who shared writing credits with Frank Darabont. As a horror fan, I always wanted Russell to do more — ELM STREET 3 was always one of my favorite sequels and added an extremely cool angle to the Freddy Krueger myths. And besides the compiled suits at AMC, who doesn’t love Frank Darabont? He’s one of those filmmakers I put high on a shelf, successfully balancing love for the genre with sympathetic characters and grounded humanity.
THE BLOB does an amazing job of fusing the time of the original film with the present it’s set in. There’s a drive-in quality to it, serving not only as a homage to the 1950s, but a climax to the last throes of 1980s horror. The effects are gruesome, ingenious and over-the-top. People’s faces are melted off, bloodstained bones are exposed and kids are digested whole (proving nothing is sacred). Its characters may be stock (the delinquent bad boy; the cheerleader; the small town sheriff) but the script doesn’t pander just to those cliches. I love Shawnee Smith’s character, who finds her inner Ripley to save her brother, and eventually the town itself.
THE BLOB also does a great job of segueing into the 1990s conspiratorial government boogeyman era. The reveal/twist of the Blob’s origin was an introduction (for me at least) to shows like THE X-FILES and THE ARRIVAL. It’s been almost thirty years after the Blob came back to the theater and I wonder how they can bring it back. What can the Molten Meteor say about us today?