I originally saw this when I was about 12 years old and it scared the hell out of me. I remember laying in bed obsessively thinking about this shapeless killer sliming its way into my room. I've had affection for this film ever since. I watched it a few more times over the years, bought it when it first came out on DVD, and being in the mood for a decent 80's horror flick, decided to revisit it after running across it in my collection.
I don't believe I've ever seen the original The Blob all the way through. Sure I remember the imagery of Steve McQueen running from it, but that's about it. It's one of the classic sci-fi/horror movie ideas, and like Invasion of the Body Snatchers, I wouldn't mind them remaking it every other generation. I'm sure there's a script floating around for it right now, with a 2000's twist to it.
Despite some bad blue screen backgrounds, which pop up sparingly through this film, it remains fairly timeless. A solid script by Frank Darabont and director Chuck Russell sets the perfect tone, which is dryly funny, a fairly realistic take, and also seriously scary at times. They didn't wimp out when it came to the film's death scenes. Even going so far as to kill a little kid, an extreme rarity. I remember being stunned when the kid dies, they'd always gotten away before that, and that freaked me out.
Kevin Dillan, long before his Entourage days, plays Brian Flagg, a small town bad-ass, with accompanying leather jacket, motorcycle and silky-smooth mullet. And way before her turn as a killer in the Saw flicks, Shawnee Smith played Meg Penny, the town good girl, who always does the right thing. Their paths cross when Meg and her boyfriend run down an old man, who previously stumbled across the Blob and is now slowly snacking his hand. Brian rides with them to the hospital, so they can get their stories straight, but takes off before the Blob swallows the rest of the old man and then eats Meg's boyfriend.
Of course nobody believes Meg's story about the killer Jello, chalking it up to the shock of her boyfriend's death, but she knows what's out there. Soon it's eating more people, including in one of my favorite scenes, a couple out for a night of parking. Meg decides to take action and escapes out her bedroom window, running into Brian, the only other person to have seen the Blob and live. Looking for clues, they run across a group of Government scientists who are searching for the Blob, and unwittingly reveal its true origins. Meanwhile Meg's little brother, his friend and a theater full of people are attacked while watching a horror movie. After absorbing a few dozen people, the Blob has grown to massive proportions and the whole town is under risk. It's up to the rotten-egg and the goody-two-shoes to save everyone.
This film is fairly straight-forward, you can pretty much guess where it's going the whole time. But it's almost perfectly executed, making it a very fun ride. Director Chuck Russell uses some great gruesome effects, with people melting and getting sucked into drains, to convey the true horror that this ever growing shapeless killer is capable of. The dialogue is crisp throughout, making the ridiculous seem realistic, and giving Kevin Dillon a couple of great one-liners. I believe The Blob a forgotten classic, and if it weren't for John Carpenter's version of The Thing, I'd call it the best ever remake. If you haven't seen it, do yourself a a favor and do so. - Grade: B+