It’s been a long time since I watched the original movie but what I recall is a similar story line (at least at first) but a much slower, more insidious monster. This remake is a quintessential 80’s horror movie with the overly dramatic acting, silly humor, and sometimes laughable special effects. That being said, I actually liked it. The Blob (which is never actually referred to as the Blob) is much more bad ass and scary.
My favorite scenes were the blob digesting its victims. The see-through nature of its gelatinous form made for some great gore. While the best one was poor Sheriff Herb Geller who shows up to save his would-be girlfriend and gets eaten by the blob. His girl finds this out when she is trapped in a phone booth that’s covered by the blob and she is trying to call the Sheriff. His stretched out, horrified face pushes up against the glass just before it implodes and consumes her too. I would be amiss of course if I didn’t applaud the scene where the little pervert is trying to take advantage of the girl who got drunk and is passed out in the front seat of his car. When he plunges his hand into her shirt hoping to grab hold of a boob, he instead dives right through her corroded chest wall and into her liquefied interior before being eaten himself. Ha! That’s what you get for thinking you can grab a woman by her….whatever and live to tell about it.
None of this digestion was shown in the original where the thick goo just rolled over everything like silly putty. The blob itself was reminiscent of the Audrey II from Little Shop of Horrors with its long vine-like appendages shooting out to grasp and devour its prey.
One of the big differences between the original and this one was the ending. This was where I got a little bored. The original blob came from a meteor (thus was an alien creature) but when we assumed the same for the 1988 blob, we learn that it is a biological weapon experiment gone wrong. When the government men in suits (now I’m thinking ET) show up, it becomes a matter of who can you trust. The cops aren’t friendly towards bad-boy Brian Flagg (played by Kevin Dillon) who is thrust in a hero role with the popular cheerleader Meg (played by Shawnee Smith), whose boyfriend was dissolved right in front of her. But with his super-bad-boy sense of hearing (note sarcasm here), Brian overhears the lead government scientist Dr. Meddows talking to others about the town’s expendability and he realizes it is up to him and his friend (new girlfriend) Meg to save the town.
I would also like to point out that although given some really cheesy lines, Meg is a strong female lead who is shown saving others and ultimately realizing the key to stopping the now gigantic blob from destroying the town. Unfortunately, because we can’t let a woman be the hero, she gets herself into a couple hopeless situations where Brian must come to her rescue and thus appears to be the ultimate hero. But hey, it’s a start.
I always love an ending hinting that this might not be over and good ol’ Rev. Meeker gives us something to believe in. His half burnt, disfigured face preaching the end of times in a tent revival reminds us of those few puce crystals he collected in a jar when the blob was frozen. Now, thawed, the baby blob squirms anxiously inside it glass prison awaiting the day of reckoning.
Bottom line, this was a good 1980’s horror flick with some great and some not-so-great special effects. The government conspiracy was not needed. I think it could have worked as an alien from space but hey, if you can bring in aspects of the Cold War, why not? I liked seeing women given a stronger role and I like the end that said “this isn’t over”. Is it the best movie I’ve ever seen, no. But it’s better than the original for the scare factor.