The Blob is the Rodney Dangerfield of horror creatures: No respect.
Too scary and gross to be a contemporary of Godzilla and the rest of the giant monster stars, too silly and uncommunicative to rank with the vampires, ghosts, and werewolves of the world. It may seem odd to you and me that a gigantic neon space-booger isn’t as sexy to kids as vampires are, but that does seem to be the case. No romantic TWILIGHT-style franchise for this guy. Can you imagine? (I can, but then again I’m deranged.) Let’s be honest. The Blob is a big pink Jell-O mold from outer space. It’s hard to make that frightening, let alone hot.
Soon enough, an asteroid falls out of the sky and spits out some pink sludge that looks, as I said earlier, not unlike strawberry Jell-O. A surprisingly stereotypical — even for 1988 — old hobo is the first to stumble upon The Blob, which promptly attaches itself to his hand and starts nibbling. The hobo frantically runs around trying to get it off, and runs right into the path of the jock and the princess on their date. The teenagers try to get him help, but things just keep getting worse for everyone from there.
The movie soon descends into chaos of the most entertaining order. The great thing about this movie is that, as jaded as one may be from watching tons of similar movies, you just can never tell exactly where it’s going next. Characters who you were sure were the movie’s main character might be swallowed up early.
The authorities, normally an obstacle to heroes because they never believe the threat until it’s too late, here believe the threat fairly quickly — because they’re getting swallowed up by them. No one has movie immunity here – the very young and the very old alike get eaten by The Blob. The kill scenes are original and unusual; they play out as thrilling for gore hounds, and as effectively disturbing to the more well-adjusted. The characters are almost universally likable – and you’re always rooting for them to get out alive, although unfortunately not all of them do.
Another strength of THE BLOB ’88 is its unlikely protagonist. This one is a real surprise.
As for the Blob — well, it’s had a roller-coaster of a show business career since its impressive screen debut in 1988. One year later, it had the highest-profile role of its career as “Pink Mood Slime,” the fearsome adversary of Bill Murray, Dan Aykroyd and company in GHOSTBUSTERS 2. After over-extending itself in that film by attempting to swallow an entire museum, The Blob became addicted to painkillers and was forced to take supporting roles in increasingly shoddy science-fiction films for cash before, finally, in 1997, turning to porn as a last result.
That was a dark, dark time.
In 2004, The Blob found Jesus (in a nice callback to the final scene of THE BLOB ’88) and moved to Pasadena.
Today, The Blob hopes to return to mainstream movies, having dyed its natural pink Blob color darker in order to be taken more seriously. The Blob is now lobbying for a role in the forthcoming sequel to JULIE & JULIA, against the Blob’s acting idol, the great Meryl Streep.
— JON ABRAMS.
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