Reviewed October 7th, 2001 by David Nusair
Unlike most horror flicks from the ‘80s, The Blob has actually aged well.
The script is co-written by Frank Darabont, who would eventually win widespread acclaim for his adaptations of two Stephen King works: The Shawshank Redemption and The Green Mile. It’s been directed by Chuck Russell, a highly imaginative individual who’s also helmed Eraser and (we’ll forgive him Bless the Child). And it’s got a truly terrifying and virtually unstoppable villain: The blob itself. Throw all those elements together, and you’ve got a horror movie that manages to be scary, funny, suspenseful and even a parody of other horror movies.
Kevin Dillon stars as the town bad boy (how do we know he’s bad? He wears a leather jacket, smokes and drives a motorcycle... without wearing a helmet!) while Shawnee Smith stars as the town beauty (and how do we know she’s the town beauty? Why, she’s a cheerleader, of course!) One night, a mysterious object crashes to earth, but as we soon find out, this ain’t no comet. Held inside is a deadly being that has but one goal: To devour everything and anything that has a pulse. After the blob kills a few people that (of course) the local sheriff immediately pins on bad boy Dillon, Dillon and Smith must team up to save the town, fall in love and destroy that nasty blob.
With a movie like this, only one thing matters: the amount of carnage and gore. And The Blob has a lot of both. Many people die quite brutally during the 95-minute running time, and that’s a good thing. The methods vary – from the woman who tries futilely to hide in a phone booth to the various unlucky patrons of a movie theater – which makes the blob one of the most formidable villains in movie history. But besides all the death and violence, The Blob has a good sense of humor about itself. It never takes anything too seriously – it plays like one of those cheesy drive-in flicks that were all the rage in the ‘50s.
The cast is peppered with familiar faces – including Jeffrey DeMunn and ‘80s teen idol Donovan Leitch as the doomed star quarterback – and the pace is quick. Will The Blob scare you like, say, Halloween or The Omen? Hardly, but it is a highly enjoyable way to spend 90-minutes.
Audio: The Blob is presented with a DD 5.1 soundtrack and it’s somewhat underwhelming. The sound that emerges from the front speakers is clear and crisp, but the back speakers and the subwoofer don’t exactly get a great work out. There are a few scenes that put them to work – such as the initial crash of the blob – but on the whole, they remain unused.
Video: This 1.85:1 anamorphic transfer isn’t all that impressive either. The print itself clearly wasn’t restored in any manner, as there are various film-related artifacts present consistently. They’re usually tiny speckles, but still, they are noticeable. It’s not terribly distracting, and the transfer is completely free of DVD artifacts, so it’s not a terrible job. It just could have been better.
Extras: The Blob is accompanied by three trailers – The Blob itself (which is anamorphic), John Carpenter’s Vampires and Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein (which are not) – and that’s it.
The Blob will never be considered a classic of any nature, but it’s a good example of how to do a film of this sort right.
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