I was very excited to attend a sold-out screening of Chuck Russell’s 1988 remake of THE BLOB this past Tuesday. Created 30 years after the original Steve McQueen vehicle, it’s one of the few films where I can agree with a vast majority of people who say the remake surpasses the original in quality.
I will say that this was about 95% possible because it was in part written by film & television legend, Frank Darabont (The Shawshank Redemption, The Walking Dead). Co-written by director Chuck Russell (A Nightmare on Elm Street 3: Dream Warriors, also written with Darabont, The Scorpion King), the film follows the initial set up of the 1958 original, directed by Irvin S. Yeaworth Jr. (Dinosaurs!, Way Out). A meteorite falls from the sky and then becomes a deadly travelling mass, containing the dead bodies of whoever happens to come in its path.
The difference is what happens after: Brian Flagg (Kevin Dillon of Entourage fame), the town delinquent, is the only other person in said town besides Meg Penny (Shawnee Smith; 30 Days of Night, The Saw series), a real goodie-goodie prom queen type, who knows and believes the truth about what “The Blob” really is. We follow them in their attempts to rescue their friends and family and expose the truth behind the destructive force, which of course can be easily defeated by fire extinguishers.
The reason this movie is so great isn’t necessarily due to the plot, although it is very entertaining. It’s the flow of the dialogue that has come to be known as a Darabont trademark, and the deaths, replete with awesome practical effects. I also am especially fond of the fact that the much-beloved character actor, Jack Nance (Eraserhead, Twin Peaks, Wild At Heart) has a brief cameo as a bumbling doctor who has no clue what he’s up against.
I’m very happy that Alamo Drafthouse brought a 35mm print for everyone to watch, even if there were some brief technical difficulties. I was 5 when this movie came out, so I have never had the opportunity to see it in the theater. It was a very satisfying experience to see it on the big screen.
After a brief hiatus due to a family emergency, I will be back to Alamo Drafthouse in downtown Brooklyn for both Terror Tuesday and Weird Wednesday next week where they will be showing (on Tuesday) A Nightmare on Elm Steet 4: The Dream Master, brought to you in part by Arrow in the Head and (on Wednesday) Big Meat Eater, hosted by one of my favorite people in all of New York City, filmmaker, writer, musician, and all-around great guy Chris Shields. I’ll see you there, or if not, you can read all about my experiences here on Nightmarish Conjurings.