Search Google Appliance


Sunday, October 6, 2013 - 3:00pm

FREE for PSU students, faculty, staff & alumni w/ID. THE BLOB Dir. Chuck Russell (1988);  95 min FRIDAY, October 4th  at 7 & 9:30pm SATURDAY, October 5th at 7 & 9:30pm SUNDAY, October 6th at 3pm For a brief shining decade, from 1978 to 1988, there was a series of horror remakes that would take the brilliant concepts of their originals and update the special effects and style of scares with enough enthusiasm to top their originals. These films are Invasion of the Bodysnatchers, The Thing, The Fly, and this film, The Blob. While the original The Blob from 1958 is considered a horror classic and holds special hometown appeal for those who live near Phoenixville, PA where it was shot, it simply isn’t scary by modern standards. Like its remake predecessors, the writers, including a young Frank Darabont who would go on to do The Shawshank Redemption and The Mist, sought to expand on the concept. The 1988 edition opens about the same, with an indestructible amoeba from outer space descending on a small town, slowly consuming everything in sight until it swells to gargantuan proportions. Darabont and co-writer/director Chuck Russell maintain the basic story, elements of the characters, and all the big locations, but use the most sophisticated effects the late ‘80s had to offer, making the creature faster, tougher, and more inventive with its method of disposing of people. If some modern horror movies are just excuses to find creative ways to off the characters, The Omen is probably the godfather and The Blob is its mischievous son. Early on, the eponymous amoeba slowly consumes a character as they try to scream for help. Unsure of what’s happening yet, another character tries to help while we watch the victim’s face and skull burn off through the translucent goop, listening to the ever-dampening screams until the withered lump of cells they used to call their body is sloppily sucked away. Russell, an ace genre director of unfortunately small acclaim, knows exactly how to make the actors and effects work in concert to make the moment as disturbing as humanly possible. While the film found a smattering of detractors and failed to gain traction in the box office, it survives today via a small cult of followers, and rightly so. Few films so readily acknowledge their B-movie status without becoming laboriously self-conscious, and while The Blob likely didn’t hit with the audiences of the time, it still has its rightful place as a deplorably disgusting and transgressive treat. ~ The Examiner