Friday, September 30, 2011

Comparision and Contrast: The Blob(s)

I understand comparing two movies made 30 years apart isn't exactly fair. For one, there are huge differences in the technologies and sensibilities of the film makers. That means a movie made in the 1950s will look and feel different than one made in the 1980s.

There's also a big difference in the budgets available to the independent filmmaker and a big Hollywood studio, no matter the era. This can impact the finished product but, as Shawn and I have said time and time again, any good, passionate director and crew will overcome the budget constraints through sheer imagination and will.

With that in mind, I've tackled the classic 1958 sci-fi horror The Blob and its 1988 big-budget remake and submitted, for your approval, my thoughts . . . as that's what we're want to do in The Basement.

The Blob (1958)

An alien life form crashes in a small American town and consumes everything in its path as it grows and grows. The plot for the original Blob is shit simple, as most horror movies of the era are. It features a young Steve McQueen who still looked too old to play a teenager at the time. And, like many movies of the era, it moves at too slow a pace to sustain much suspense or excitement. In fact, despite the threat to their small town, everyone just kind of takes the alien terror in stride. There are effective moments in this Blob, including the movie-theatre sequence and when The Blob secures itself to the hand of a local old timer. Otherwise, it's best to enjoy this flick with a buddy and beer and make fun of it. A Bad from me.

The Blob (1988)

The plot is essentially the same, but this jazzed up remake does what all good re-imaginings do: it brings something new to the table, and not just in the special effects department. The Blob is now a military/science experiment gone awry (but it still falls from space) and the characters and story fleshed out. And boy oh boy does it have the gory, gooey goodness modern horror fans crave. But it's also embodied with the sense of fun all decent horror films bring to the table. Credit writers Chuck Russell (who also directs) and Frank Darabont, (who went on to helm The Mist and got The Walking Dead off the ground) for that. This is a fun horror movie with decent kills that respects, but approves upon, its source material. And Good for it.


  1. As much as I enjoyed the 1958 "The Blob," I don't think I would've enjoyed it as much if I hadn't watched with you... even without beer...