The Blob? At This Time of the Year, In This Part of the Country, Localized in a Small Town?

Part of a holy horror remake trilogy that includes The Thing and The Fly, The Blob is in rare company, bettering what came before by a substantial margin, but not wiping out the original’s campy existence.

1988’s The Blob retains a “teens save the world” story dynamic, only now placed within a different decade. The small town infected by the space-born mass is economically crippled by unusual weather, the downturn experienced by so many as corporate mega stores and malls became the norm. The kids face a health care crisis, prodded by a nurse as to a homeless victim’s insurance situation. They’re growing up in the worst ways.

The burned-in memory of a person being dissolved inside the monster is as iconic as anything in The Blob’s contemporaries

In the most significant change from the original, which conveyed red scare paranoia regarding a foreign invasion, 1988’s The Blob puts the government at fault. Not only is this wintry ski town facing a financial crisis, there’s no government help either; the seemingly trusting face of Dr. Meddows (Joe Seneca) soon turns psychopathic, excited by the weaponization potential of this threat. The Blob, it turns out, kept the red scare intact, only in Cold War form against Russian military aggression rather than Communism.

At its peak, few perform genre tricks like The Blob. Along with the stellar script that maintains the teenage sex drive (sex a more open topic compared to the original, albeit scarred by judgmental adult eyes), The Blob’s practical effects rank among the best of the era. Seamlessly blending miniatures, acidic gore, and clever scares, hardly a single effects shot fails. The burned-in memory of a person being dissolved inside the monster is as iconic as anything in The Blob’s contemporaries.

It’s easy to imagine The Blob leaning into its effects, selling itself on those alone. Certainly, the movie lacks genuine star power, even with Kevin Dillon and Shawnee Smith both stellar in the lead roles. There’s enough to the rebellious teen and the soft-spoken cheerleader dynamic to carry The Blob through to its climax, which is enormously fun. A sequel tease sadly went nowhere (although it did for the original, also sadly), but on its own, The Blob effortlessly created a dialog about the pressures teens faced in the ‘80s. The world this ooze fell into was dramatically changed, culturally and socially, and this script finds a way to invoke those changes, much as the original knew how to exploit kids into seeing it.

Video

Pristine work by Scream Factory on The Blob gives this remake renewed life. An exquisite grain structure isn’t subtle and varies in intensity. The encode doesn’t miss, thankfully. The Blob remains pristine. No damage or other source imperfections mar the imagery. Texture thrives in these circumstances. Landscapes appear impeccable, the definition utilizing every line of available resolution.

HDR adds a spark to the blob itself, the gooey form reflecting light where possible. Fireballs produce a great spark to the contrast, and in terms of bettering the film, the unearthly glow inside the blob’s asteroid look properly accentuated. Equally hefty black levels produce the proper dimensionality.

Excellent color vividness includes the red varsity jackets, precise flesh tones, and brilliant blues at night. That distinctive pink of the blob itself shines in these circumstances.

Audio

A moderate DTS-HD 5.1 mix (default) joins a stereo mix. The 5.1 is not a particularly hearty track, more of an accentuated stereo. Surrounds engage on occasion, but typically remain quiet, even with the score. Bass isn’t a factor either with a few exceptions (army helicopter rotors, for example).

Aside from the upgraded surround mix though, The Blob sounds fantastic, with precise dialog replication and score clarity. This barely sounds of the late ’80s.

Extras

Double the commentary goodness on the UHD itself. One track lets star Shawnee Smith go solo. The second brings together director Chuck Russell, cinematographer Mark Irwin, and effects artist Tony Gardner; they’re joined by moderator Joe Lynch.

The Blu-ray contains the same, but continues with individual interviews. This includes two interviews with Chuck Russell, followed by actors Jeffrey Dunn, Bill Moseley, Candy Clark, Donovan Leitch, and Tony Gardner. Continuing, the crew interviews include Gardner, effects supervisor Christopher Gilman, cinematographer Mark Irwin, mechanic Peter Abrahamson, production designer Craig Stearns, and mechanical designer Mark Setrakian. Behind-the-scenes material, trailers, and stills bring this excellent bonus set to a close.

The Blob (1988)
  • Video
  • Audio
  • Extras
4

Movie

The Blob hides nothing from the eyes as its killer dissolves victims and those victims play in a pure late ’80s social landscape.

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User Review
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The following six screen shots serve as samples for our subscription-exclusive set of 36 full resolution uncompressed 4K screen shots grabbed directly from the UHD:


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