The Blob (1988)
December 1, 2022 10:09 AM - Subscribe

[TRAILER] In a tiny California town, high school students Brian (Kevin Dillon), Meg (Shawnee Smith) and Paul (Donovan Leitch) discover a strange, gelatinous substance that melts the flesh of any living creatures in its path. The deadly substance gets into the town's sewer system, where it begins growing uncontrollably, occasionally emerging to feast on unsuspecting townspeople. A military clean-up crew is sent to eliminate the menace, but it may end up doing more harm than good.

Also starring Jeffrey DeMunn, Candy Clark, Joe Seneca, Del Close, Paul McCrane, Sharon Spelman, Beau Billingslea, Art LaFleur, Ricky Paull Goldin, Robert Axelrod, Bill Moseley, Frank Collison, Erika Eleniak.

Directed by Chuck Russell (Nightmare on Elm Street III: Dream Warriors). Screenplay by Russell and Frank Darabont (The Shawshank Redemption), based on the 1958 original.

Special effects on the film were supervised by Tony Gardner, in his first major film job. Gardner would later go on to work on The Addams Family, Army of Darkness, Hocus Pocus, and every Child's Play/Chucky property beginning with Seed of Chucky and continuing all the way to the current television series, on which he is also an Associate Producer. His filmography is formidable.

In creating the titular Blob creature, the special effects team used silk bags filled with Methyl cellulose, a thickening agent for food, creating what the team described as a "Blob Quilt."

I will cite this film's 63% fresh rating on Rotten Tomatoes as habit, but that is criminally, criminally low, as it is a certified classic.

Currently streaming in the US on Criterion, because a group whose business is effectively certifying and presenting classics, also believes it is a classic. (I know I'm overselling that, and they distribute some junk, too, but still.) Also available for digital rental. JustWatch listing.
posted by DirtyOldTown (9 comments total)
Absolute forgotten gem!

Highlights include:
-marvelous, goopy, disgusting, scary practical FX for the blob and its killings
-a storyline that makes the secretive, cynical US government the real villain
-scream queen Shawnee Smith (also in yesterday's posted film Summer School and later to be Amanda Young, an enduring character in the Saw series)
-Kevin Dillon's maximum 1987 mullet
-Joe Seneca!
-Del Close, who portrays Reverend Meeker, was in 1972's Beware! The Blob, which was a sequel to the original 1958 film.
posted by DirtyOldTown at 10:14 AM on December 1, 2022 [3 favorites]

I didn't see this until MANY years after its release, and I was stunned that no one had ever told me how great this is.
posted by kittens for breakfast at 12:00 PM on December 1, 2022 [1 favorite]

Many 1980s teen comedies haven't aged well, but the sci-fi and horror films have held up really well, even the sequels and remakes (The Thing, The Fly, Aliens, and The Blob). This one is rewatchable and just plain fun.

If I had "buy Twitter for $54.20" money I'd finance del Toro's Mountains of Madness project, and a new film where (in the 1958 canon) we travel Starship Troopers-style to the Blob Planet.
posted by kurumi at 12:01 PM on December 1, 2022 [2 favorites]

I haven't seen this in AGES and am putting it on my winter holidays watch list!
posted by Caxton1476 at 1:44 PM on December 1, 2022

This movie is surprisingly good. It has plenty of affection to the original, yet with cutting-edge 1988 effects and some genuine scares and disturbing horror. It's absolutely perfect for what it is: a monster movie about a blob from outer space and some teens who fight it.

I highly recommend this one.
posted by SoberHighland at 4:39 AM on December 2, 2022

The one thing it really needs is a better theme song, ideally something as weird a choice as the original's but in a different direction.
posted by GCU Sweet and Full of Grace at 4:57 AM on December 2, 2022

This movie is way better than it had any right to be, with a lot of standout moments. One example: the doomed waitress from the local diner who takes refuge in a phone booth that gets engulfed by the Blob. She gets on the phone and calls for the local sheriff, only to be told he'd gone over to the diner....

...cue the sheriff's dissolving corpse floating up to the booth inside the Blob. AHHHHHHHH
posted by Mr. Bad Example at 8:15 AM on December 2, 2022 [2 favorites]

It seems as if Fanfare is becoming an outlet for me discussing movie monsters that scared me as a kid. In that, the Blob takes pride of place. I was terrified of that thing and any creature like it, which is why I never saw Ghostbusters II -- there was some kind of blob in it, that was all I knew. Now that I am grown (and a horror writer) I like the concept as much as I hated it.
posted by Countess Elena at 4:56 PM on December 2, 2022

It has been decades since I've seen this one, but the scene where the cook gets slurped down the sink drain fully haunts me to this day. I think a combination of this and the garbage disposal scene in Firestarter (the book at least) are reasons that I will do absolutely anything in my power to avoid putting my hand down a drain.
posted by FatherDagon at 12:58 PM on December 7, 2022 [2 favorites]

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