Horror remakes nowadays are pretty common since most ideas are now beaten to death and revised for a whole new generation. But take a moment and look back to when there were very few remakes made and the ones that were made were actually very good.
In the 1980’s remakes like The Thing and The Fly were made, and then you had The Blob. A remake of the 1958 classic of the same name and released thirty years after the original in 1988, this classic flick lives on and is often considered one of the best horror remakes ever made. Unfortunately it suffered a backhand and vanished from the theaters as quickly as it arrived but it has developed a huge cult following over the years. Now, 25 years later, this classic film remains in the hearts of countless horror fans around the world.
The plotline of The Blob is pretty simple as most horror films should be. A meteor crashes in a small town. The meteorite contains a bizarre life form that grows into a massive gelatinous mass that starts consuming anything that moves. A shadowy government agency arrives and explains that the creature is a plague, but what they don’t explain is that the creature is really a weapon that was purposely developed. Regardless, the town’s citizenry fight back and try to contain this gooey beast before it consumes the entire town.
The Blob was released by Tri-Star Pictures in 1988. It cost $19 million to make, but the film ended up making only a little over $8 million at the box-office. It received mostly mixed reviews by critics. Thanks to the VHS and DVD releases, the movie ended up catching on with horror fans.
What makes a remake a great one is that it contains smart similarities to the original film while also maintaining its own identity (See: not the Omen and Psycho remakes) and this one doesn’t disappoint. You have the teenagers rebelling and they end up being the heroic saviors by defeating the blob in the end just like the original. The blob at one point attacks a movie theater much like the theater attack in the original. They beat the blob by keeping it in a cold environment. In the original they fly the blob to Antarctica whereas in the remake they store it in a giant ice house. The remake also tends to be a lot bloodier and more violent than the original.
The same approach was taken with the remakes of The Thing and The Fly. The original film adaptations for those films were also made in the 1950s and they relied more on shocks and scares instead of grossing out the audience. The remakes of all three films are more violent and graphic to satisfy a new generation and they include groundbreaking special effects to pull off the violence and gore. Yet these films didn’t stray too far away from the originals and in time have generated into classic masterpieces on their own merits.
The Blob’s crew may not have been well known at the time but their later accolades made them household names. Frank Darabont was one of the film’s co-writers. He went on to direct three Stephen King film adaptations, The Shawshank Redemption, The Green Mile, and The Mist) and helped bring the TV series The Walking Dead to life. Director Chuck Russell helmed probably one of the best films in the A Nightmare on Elm Street series with Part 3: Dream Warriors, which also was his directorial debut and he went on to make successful films like The Mask with Jim Carrey, Eraser with Arnold Schwarzenegger, and The Scorpion King with Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson. Frank Darabont also co-wrote Dream Warriors with Chuck Russell. The Blob’s creator, Lyle Conway, previously worked on the 1986 film Little Shop of Horrors by creating Audrey II and getting an Oscar nomination for his work.
The cast also has gone on to make names for themselves on later works. Shawnee Smith later went on to appear in the Saw movie franchise as Amanda. She also hosted the TV show Scream Queens where some of the winners got parts in a couple of the Saw films. She also appeared in the Stephen King film adaptation of The Stand as well. Jeffrey DeMunn later became a regular cohort of Frank Darabont who cast him in all three of his Stephen King film adaptations mentioned above as well as making a regular appearance as Dale in The Walking Dead. Even genre icon Bill Moseley appears in The Blob as one of the soldiers. He’s credited as Soldier #2, but he’s the one trapped in the sewer in the end when Brian and Meg try to escape up the ladder.
Another remake of The Blob was in talks for some time. Rob Zombie at one point was attached in 2009 but stepped down to pursue other projects, thankfully leaving well enough alone. Other than that, plans for another “Blob” remake are yet to be.
Twenty-five years later, the 1988 remake of The Blob still manages to beat out most of the horror remakes that we see today. So do yourself a favor and seek out this awesome horror flick and make sure to “Beware of the Blob, it creeps and leaps and glides and slides right through the door, and all around the wall, a splotch, a blotch, be careful of the Blob.”
2 thoughts on “The Blob: A Great Horror Remake 25 Years Later”
Great retro man keep up the good work!
I just rewatched this movie for the first time since the 90s and found it to be as fun and satisfying as I remember. It may be sacrilege but I greatly prefer it to the original. One interesting thing is that it actually builds up characters pretty thoroughly before it kills them off, which is rare in high body-count horror films. Another is that it actually features a kid being eaten by the Blob. Usually kids are off limits in horror flicks but no, the Blob just wolfs that annoying little sucker down like a jalepeno popper. It was a nice surprise (albeit not for the kid).
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