Thursday, August 28, 2014

The Blob (1988) shares a lot of similarities with John Carpenter's The Thing (1982).

Obviously, they're both remakes and quite dark, gory ones at that (long live the '80s!), but I forgot the extremely gruesome Thing-esque ways the Blob consumes its victims. You get faces melting, tentacles wrapping around people, a nice gestation dinner courtesy of the hobo, etc. Rob Bottin pretty much influenced all the FX artists that came after him with Carpenter's masterpiece (talk to any practical effects guy and they'll almost always cite it as the fuel for their dream), and it's easy to see that here to a degree I was never aware of as a kid. Heck, you even get flamethrowers. How can you not love flamethrowers? The Blob also has fantastic storytelling, making you care about the characters long before any blood hits the screen. In fact, it does an excellent job surprising you with who lives and who dies. Some deaths are horribly tragic. I think a huge part of this must be the writing of Frank Darabont. He clearly gets character development, and the acting doesn't disappoint either (Jeffrey DeMunn! aka Dale on The Walking Dead, a Darabont regular who knocks it out of the park here). These two movies would be the perfect companions for an awesome horror marathon (hell throw in David Cronenberg's The Fly while you're at it!). Unlike so many other remakes, these actually do something new and take the stories in different directions. They're not copying and pasting the originals. They're not afraid to kill people you love either and then melt their faces off right in front of your eyes. I love that.