The Blob Review

Blob, The
Brian is the town misfit and general do-badder who must save the hapless, square inhabitants from a ever-expanding mutant, lump of slime. With or without their help.

by Barry McIlheney |
Published on
Release Date:

01 Jun 1989

Running Time:

95 minutes



Original Title:

Blob, The

In 1958, first-time producer Jack H. Harris made a film called The Blob for the grand sum of $240,000. A young actor called Steve McQueen played Steve the local tearaway who saves his home town from being swallowed alive by a ghastly ever-expanding lump of slime.

The Blob was swiftly withdrawn after a number of theatres reported mass stampedes for the door during the scene where the slime oozes its way into the local cinema. Undeterred, Harris spent the next 12 years trying to make a sequel and eventually brought forth Beware! The Blob (released in Britain as Son of Blob) with Larry Hagman directing and taking the McQueen role. Alas on this occasion the dash for the exits was down to sheer indifference.

31 years on from the original, Harris gets a third chance with his beloved Blob. The 65 yr-old hustler must have thought it was his birthday when Columbia/Tristar agreed to stump up a reported $31 million for the project but the financiers can rest assured that this time round they've got their money's worth.

Kevin Dillon, look-alike brother of Matt, plays the McQueen/Hagman character, now called Brian, with a convincing air of homeboy malevolence, the basic story of the encroaching Blob is directed at a cracking pace by Nightmare On Elm Street 3 supremo Chuck Russell and the old Blob itself has been transformed from its rather pathetic earlier incarnations to fully-paid up membership of the terrifying Bastard brigade.

This being 1989, a conspiracy theory rears its ugly and unnecessary head with a team of Close Encounter-type scientists arriving to try to persuade the gormless locals that what they're up against is not some hideous life-form but merely the latest outbreak of germ warfare. The street-wise Brian is not so daft and vrooms around on his Harley Davidson trying to whip up support before ending up in the sewers with only dippy cheerleader Meg (Shawnee Smith) to help him save the squares who have spurned him up till now.

From the moment Blob lands on top of the unfortunate Paul (Donovan Leitch, son of Mellow Yellow Man), like some species of oversized condom, it's clear that quite a few uncomfortable termination situtations lie ahead. Waitress Fran exits stage left in the middle of a phone call, a ladies' man's adolescent gropings come to a ghastly end when he finds you-know-what lurking under his date's brassiere and a local cafe owner shuffles off his mortal coil in quite spectacular fashion when he attempts to clear his blocked sink and is promptly yanked head first down the S-bend. The superb range of special effects involved in these various atrocities come courtesy of Nightmare On Elm Street specialists Dream Quest and are estimated to account for at least half of the $31 million spend.

By the time it reaches its finest hour at the cinema, The Blob is about the size of Greater London although today's audiences may be more used to such vile inventions, it would be no surprise to hear of the occasional premature departure from the stalls. Tremendously revolting and wonderfully funny. The Blob makes it third time lucky with its sheer style and finely-tuned sense of the absurd.

Tremendously revolting and wonderfully funny, the effects are superb and the Blob itself genuinely scary. The Blob makes it third time lucky with its sheer style and finely-tuned sense of the absurd.
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