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Strange and Fantastic Tales of the 20th Century: ‘The Blob’ (1988)

This one has tentacles.

Strange and Fantastic Tales of the 20th Century is a look back at the weirdest, most memorable, and most off center movies of the 20th century. From head turning horror to oddball science fiction this column examines the films that will leave a lasting impression for centuries to come.

Last week’s strange and fantastic tale featured the 1958 sci-fi horror hit The Blob. It’s only fitting that I pick up where I left off. This week, ya girl watched Chuck Russell’s 1988 remake of The Blob. Starring Kevin Dillon and Shawnee Smith, this hair metal adaptation stays true to the story and spirit of the original film while adding 80’s gore and fashion to the mix. 

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I just want to start off by saying that I do not have any desire to eat or punch this blob. It is nowhere near as pretty as the original. 1988 Blob looks like a cross between a mega wad of chewed up bubble gum and a giant brain. It now has tentacles and lacks the squish factor of the OG blob.

That being said, the adaptation pushes The Blob further into horror territory with gruesome killings, dismemberments, and disintegrating body parts. The film also adds a modern take on the Blob’s origin. 

Strange and Fantastic Tales of the 20th Century: 'The Blob' (1988)

The adaptation, like the original show the slimy substance landed on earth via meteor crash, Russell goes a bit further to explain the Blob is actually a science experiment gone wrong. The involvement of science and large government conspiracies are pretty common in 80’s sci-fi/horror films.

It was such a common trope it is even used in 80’s throwback series Stranger Things. Personally, I’m rarely a fan of this. It takes away from the magic and mystery of the supernatural elements, but it works in a lot of films. It works in The Blob

The Blob is campy fun so the more tropes it subscribes to enhances the viewing experience. An 80’s movie also requires 80’s hair. Shawnee Smith plays Meg, a cheerleader that gets caught up in the madness of the film’s events when her brother and friend find themselves in danger. This Blob doesn’t mess around. Meg is lucky enough to save her brother, but his friend meets a slimy demise.

Meg is a resourceful heroine who finds her way out of tough situations, but she also has some help from Brian, played by Kevin Dillon, best known for his role in Viking Quest (kidding). Both Meg and Brian have amazing moussed up hair, but they also make a great team and make creative use of a motorcycle. 

Strange and Fantastic Tales of the 20th Century: 'The Blob' (1988)

The Blob remake might be even stranger and more fantastic than the original, but ultimately, it is a fun film. Only points lost is that it does not feature “ Beware of the Blob” by the Five Blobs that plays in the opening credits of the original. Instead, the ending credits roll while Swedish band “Brand New Love” rocks out about non blob love.  Make it a double feature and get double slimy. Tease up your hair watch The Blob 1988 style. 

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