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Author Topic: The Blob (1988)  (Read 1537 times)
Kooshmeister
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Must have caffeine...


« on: May 21, 2007, 09:39:47 AM »

The Blob (1988)

The Characters:
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Meg Penny - Cheerleader for the high school football team.
Brian Flagg - The local rebel without a cause/motorcycle hood with a heart of gold.
Paul Taylor - Meg's clean-cut, good-hearted football player boyfriend. Winds up blob chow.
Kevin Penny - Meg's little brother.
Sheriff Herb Geller - Jeffrey DeMunn! The law in Arborville. Blob chow.
Deputy Bill Briggs - Paul McCrane! Geller's hotheaded deputy. Blob chow.
Rev. Meeker - Del Close! The local preacher who thinks the blob's attack is a prophesized catastrophe.
Eddie Beckner - Kevin's best friend, who, surprisingly, is eaten by the blob.
Scott Jesky & Vickie DeSoto - Paul's perpetually horny best friend and his girlfriend. Both are blob chow.
Fran Hewitt & George Ruiz - The waitress and cook at the diner. Yup, they both get eaten; George is pulled down the sink.
Dr. Meddows - Joe Seneca! Evil Guv'ment scientist who wants to catch and study the blob. Eaten.
Colonel Hargis - Meddows' main flunkey, who is totally for the whole "sacrifice the innocent civilians to catch the blob" scheme. Squished by the blob.
Moss Woodley - Beau Billingslea! Local mechanic and the closest thing Brian has to a friend.
Can Man - Weird old hermit who becomes the first victim.
Theater manager, Phil the projectionist & various townspeople, scientists & soldiers - A balanced part of the blob's diet.
The Blob - The star of the show, a giant flesh-eating purple booger from outer space. Flash-frozen by Meg and Brian.

The Story:
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Arborville, Colorado is your average American small town. It's a ski resort, but recent winters have been decidedly short on the show which is severely crimping the town's style. Not that this affects Arborville's teenagers much. Brian Flagg is a nice guy, but his long hair, preferance for leather jackets and ripped jeans, and his tendency to smoke have earned him a reputation around town as something of a lowlife. The local cops like to hassle him, especially Grade A dickweed Deputy Briggs (although Sheriff Geller is a little more tolerant of him), and his only real friend in the world is Moss, the local garage owner, whom he apparently works for. Then there's Meg Penny. The homecoming queen and a cheerleader for the Wildcats, the high school football team. Contrary to what you might think, she's not vapid and bubbleheaded. Quite the opposite. She's fairly intelligent and compassionate, as is her boyfriend, Paul Taylor, who happens to be a quarterback for the Wildcats.

Okay, so far so good. We've got one motorcycle hood who actually isn't a bad guy, one cheerleader who actually has some smarts, and a football player who actually isn't a dumb jock. But of course, since this is a movie entitled "The Blob," this means that pretty soon Arborville is going to be in big trouble, and Brian, Meg and Paul are all about to have their relatively peaceful and mundane lives rudely interrupted. Sure enough, one night a big meteor (or what appears to be a meteor) crashes out in the woods. The only person around to witness this is an elderly homeless guy known around town as the Can Man because he collects empty drink cans. Anyone who's seen the original movie knows that curious old men and fallen rocks from outer space don't mix, and won't be surprised when the old fella goes and pokes the thing with a stick and has its decidedly sticky purple contents latch onto and begin consuming his hand.

He's found by Brian, who is out in the woods by himself (he tends to prefer to keep to himself you see), but Brian's efforts to assist him come to naught and the crazed old coot runs out into the middle of the road and is promptly slammed into by Meg and Paul who are out on a date. Paul immediately jumps to the conclusion Brian chased the man into the road, and Brian, eager to prove his innocence, agrees to accompany him and Meg to the local doctor to get the hurt Can Man some help. Once they arrive, though, the night nurse's callousness disgusts Brian and he leaves. Paul and Meg remain to fill out paperwork. The doctor is with another patient and cannot immediately get to the Can Man, which ends up spelling trouble for all concerned. Paul, going to get a soda, notices that the old man has passed away and fetches the doctor, and when they pull back the sheet the body is covered with they discover that the poor bastard has been completely eaten away below the chest!

Now, either the Can Man had the worst case of acid indigestion in medical history, or the stuff on his hand did this. Paul figures it's the latter and runs to the doctor's office to call Sheriff Geller. However the blob has grown considerably larger since eating most of the Can Man, and it has also apparently developed Ninja skills because it manages to sneak up on Paul and get the drop on him. Literally. Meg hears his screams and comes running in time to witness him getting eaten alive by the purple monstrosity, which then escapes out the window. We're left to wonder why the blob did not eat her as well, and why the doctor and nurse did not come running in response to all the screaming she and Paul were doing. Regardless, by the time Sheriff Geller and Deputy Briggs get to the clinic the blob is gone and all that's left is the half-eaten Can Man and Paul's severed arm. For whatever reason Briggs has got it in his head that Brian is responsible and so he arrests him, but Geller, realizing there is neither evidence nor motive, makes Briggs cut him loose and then decides to call in the state police to assist in searching for the missing Paul.

Meanwhile the blob eats a couple of horny teenagers (Paul's friend Scott, and Scott's girlfriend Vickie, who were introduced earlier), and then goes into the town's sewer system. Now, obviously, no one believes Meg about what she saw. Not her parents, or the police. But she figures that since Brian saw the stuff on the old guy's hand, he'll believe her, so after he leaves the sheriff station she follows him to the Pie Pan Cafe where she tries to convince him that she did in fact see her boyfriend get eaten alive by a giant purple ball of crud. At first, Brian doesn't believe her. But that's before the blob puts in an appearance at the scene, apparently having heard about how good the grub at the Pie Pan is. It sucks George the cook down the drain, an act witnessed by Brian, Meg and Fran the waitress. Brian and Meg hide in the diner's walk-in freezer, where the blob doesn't seem willing to go, as it seems to dislike the cold. Fran isn't so lucky. She manages to make it outside and gets into a phonebooth to call the Sheriff, only to be told Sheriff Geller has, in fact, gone down to the Pie Pan. Cue the blob to envelope the booth, whereupon we see Geller inside it, having gotten gobbled up offscreen. Exit Fran. The blob then returns to the sewers.

When it's safe, Brian and Meg come out of hiding and return to the sheriff's station, not knowing that Geller is blob kibble. When no one at the station can reach Geller (I wonder why) they opt to go looking for Deputy Briggs who is still out scouring the woods with the state police looking for Paul. So far, except for the boyfriend getting eaten, the movie has, to the best of my knowledge, followed the plot of the original film very closely, but it's about to take a sudden turn into a completely different story. For the U.S. Army descends upon Arborville and initiates a quarantine. Leading them is the seemingly friendly but ultimately creepy Dr. Meddows, and his right-hand man Colonel Hargis. They claim that they're there because they're worried the meteor which crashed in the woods might have brought a space-borne plague with it, and this explanation is good enough for Meg. But Brian is suspicious, especially when neither Meddows or Hargis seem terribly floored by the revelation that it's the biggest germ in history they're dealing with, despite believing them. Meg returns to town without Brian who opts to spy on the Army, and discovers that the soldiers are going by sector and getting all of the townspeople to the meeting hall for safekeeping. Her parents are there, but her little brother Kevin is at the movie theater with his friend Eddie, and the soldiers haven't gotten there yet.

Sure enough, the blob attacks the movie theater, Ninja-style once again. Kevin and Eddie have snuck into an R-rated movie with the aid of Eddie's older brother Anthony, who works as an usher. The movie is "Garden Tool Massacre," a thinly-veiled riff on the Friday the 13th movies. The blob eats the projectionist, and the usher who comes to check on him, then flows out through the projectionist's window and into the audience (the first audience member to be gobbled up is, hilariously, the loudmouth who wouldn't shut up while the movie was playing and was annoying everyone. Meg runs in and rescues both Kevin and Eddie, and the three have to escape from the blob by going into the sewer. This is witnessed by Anthony, who hurriedly runs and informs the troops responding to all the ruckus that his little brother and some other people have been pursued into the sewer by the monster.

Word of this reaches Meddows and Hargis at their base camp in the woods, near where the meteor landed. And it is here that we learn the awful truth about the supposedly friendly Dr. Meddows. He isn't interested in killing the blob. He and Colonel Hargis want to capture it alive to use as a biological weapon, and now that they know it's in the sewer they figure this is their best opportunity to trap it. They just have to seal off all the aqueducts and such. When Hargis inquires about "the civilians" who are stuck down there (i.e., Meg, Kevin and Eddie), Meddows just says they're expendable and can die. Brian happens to be spying on them at this point so now he knows the truth, but he's spotted by some soldiers and has to make a hasty getaway through the woods in a brief but (in my opinion) fairly exciting chase sequence. Finding his way to where a drain pipe is emptying into the river, Brian goes into the sewer, both to elude the pursuing soldiers and also to look for Meg and the kids.

But will he succeed??!?!

As I mentioned, I've never seen the original Blob. This is a rare instance of me consciously seeking out the remake first, and I gotta say, this movie impressed the hell outta me. Apart from the Evil Military Guys and one or two other characters, it doesn't feel terribly contrived to me, and the special effects are hella awesome. This movie also wins my vote for Creepiest Opening Credits Sequence, as the credits are shown over the seemingly desserted town with no living soul in sight. Of course, afterwards it's revealed they're all attending a football game, but the desolation is a nice bit of forshadowing to say the least. Perhaps the thing I liked the most was the relationship between Meg and Brian. That being, they don't really have one. Since the majority of the movie takes place over the course of a single night, it would've been odd if Meg got over her boyfriend's gruesome death so quickly and immediately fell in love with Brian, but thankfully she doesn't. As far as I can tell, she and Brian just become friends, simply two people brought together by a horrible disaster and nothing more. I liked this angle.
« Last Edit: May 21, 2007, 10:01:05 AM by Kooshmeister » Logged
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