Monday, October 1

31 Days of Horror: Day 1

31 Days of Horror
Day: 1
The Blob (1988)
Dir: Chuck Russell
Starring: Shawnee Smith, Kevin Dillion,
and Art LaFleur

For horror fans, October is the best month of the year. For me there’s an added reward, it begins a tradition I started nearly 10 years ago. 31 days, 31 horror films. In the past I’ve tried to have some kind of theme, one year it was zombies, another it was Italian horror, and last year I decided to just pick films from my collection randomly. It led me in some interesting directions. This year I’m still picking somewhat randomly, but I will relate each new selection to the prior choice in some way. For instance, if I pick Halloween, my next selection might be another John Carpenter film, a slasher film, or a film that takes place on Halloween…you get the idea. So, here we go.

Nostalgia. I love it. I remember watching the 1958 version of The Blob on a Saturday morning creature feature as a kid. A gelatinous monster consumes everything, and anyone, who gets in its’ way and grows bigger every time it eats. It’s B-movie schlock all the way. In 1988 the remake came around directed by Chuck Russell, the director who gave Freddy Krueger fans the exceptional third installment Dream Warriors. Kevin Dillion, hot off the heels of Platoon, stepped into the role Steve McQueen played…yes Frank Bullitt himself was in the original. A virtually unknown Shawnee Smith became the Winnie Cooper of horror films after this performance, well for me she did.

 What makes the updated version of The Blob so good isn’t the grand cut and copy effects of the slow moving Glob (original name) hunched against buildings or oozing out of sewage pipes, it’s the gruesome practical makeup to show the acidic properties blob goo has on human flesh. The first victim effect is still eye catching. Also, Frank Darabont, the director of The Shawshank Redemption and The Green Mile, wrote a large portion of the script with heavy references to Stephen King’s novel The Stand. Though it’s more than dated, and the acting is stilted, Chuck Russell’s film is still fun to watch. Day 1 and I’m consumed.       

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