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It's a Bad, Bad, Bad, Bad Movie

The Blob (1988)

[2.5 turkeys]

Ok, bottom line. This movie: not scary. No, that's not really accurate enough. This movie: sooooo not scary.

This is a remake of an old 50s horror movie. I'll never, as long as I live, understand why people want to remake old 50s horror movies. In the 50s, horror movies were scary because people didn't know any better not to be scared by cheap special effects and low lighting. By the time the 80s rolled around, people had figured out that stop motion claymation is not scary. Why then, with the advances in technology available to them even in 1988, didn't the filmmakers use something other than the same technology that barely managed to scare people back in the stone age? Answer: brain damage. If you watch enough cheap 50s horror movies, you'll eventually become brain damaged. That is the only explanation for films like this.

We start out in small town USA, at a high school football game. Interestingly enough, the two teams playing each other are the Huskies and the Wildcats, the same names as my high school and college sports teams, respectively. Unfortunately, this would turn out to be the only interesting thing in the entire movie.

Some stuff happens at the game that isn't really relevent, except to introduce some characters. Meanwhile, out in the woods somewhere, we find a well coiffed hoodlum drinking and smoking on his motorcycle. A bum watches him from the bushes. The hoodlum decides to jump over an old washed-out bridge on his motorcycle. So he gets a run for it, guns his engine, and takes off towards the bridge. As he's screaming towards the jump, his engine starts knocking. So he lets off the gas and veers away from the bridge and -- oh wait, no, that's not it at all. Excuse me, that's what a SANE individual would do. What this guy does is look down at his engine in fear, continue to accelerate for no good reason, and dump the bike inches before going off the jump. He and his bike go flying into the gully while the bum laughs at him. The poofy-haired hood gets up and dusts himself off, and the bum collects the hood's beer can and wanders off.

The hood goes to the local mechanic, a cigar-chomping man who is only here to hammer us with a plot point. He is overhauling seven snow mobiles, two snowcats, plus a huge snowmaker mounted on a truck. The theme here? COLD.

Later, the bum out in the woods gets buzzed by a bad special effect that crashes next to his hovel. It's a meteor from space, and of course the bum goes and inspects it. The meteor is cracked open, so like a good horror movie citizen, the bum gets a stick and pokes it inside the meteor. Out comes THE BLOB, and the festivities begin.

But first, we get a little break in the action to recount an Urban Legend. Since they took the time to set this up and execute it for no good reason, let me recount it for you here: Two guys go into a pharmacy. One wants to buy condoms, so he goes and asks the pharmacist for some. A reverend walks by, and the guy makes an excuse, telling the pharmacist and the reverend that the condoms are for his friend over there, who has a hot date with a really naive girl, and he had to drag the guy down here and buy him some condoms because he was so irresponsible. Later on, the innocent guy goes to pick up his date for the night. He meets the girl's annoying kid brother and her mother, then finally goes in to meet her dad. It's the pharmacist. Hilarity ensues.

This is a slight variation on the usual telling of the legend, as normally there is only one guy, and he's simply bragging about how he's going to score to cover up his nervousness about buying condoms. And there's no reverend. But you get the picture.

Anyway, back in the woods, the bum is chopping away at his hand with an axe to try to get THE BLOB off of it. He runs into our hero, the well coiffed hoodlum, who is in the woods repairing his bike in the middle of the night. The bum runs off, being chased by the concerned hoodlum, until the bum runs into the road and gets runover by the guy who didn't buy the condoms and the pharmacist's daughter. The hood, the pharmacist's daughter, the guy who didn't buy the condoms, and the bum all pile into the car and race to the hospital, where the bum gets consumed by THE BLOB while he waits for treatment. The guy who didn't buy the condoms goes off to find a soda and sees the bum, who is covered by a blanket, writhing around. Or, more accurately, he sees THE BLOB writhing around while eating the bum under the blanket. Eventually both he and the bum get eaten, and the pharmacist's daughter is the only witness, as the hood took off soon after arriving at the hospital in order so that he could be a murder suspect later.

Sure enough, the cops haul in the hood and question him. Apparently they think he likes to kill people and then dissolve their bodies into unrecognizable pulpy masses in hospitals. Finally, they realize the error in their thinking and let him go, realizing that he had no motive for the killings. Uh. Ok. Never mind the fact that HE COULDN'T HAVE REDUCED BOTH VICTIMS TO PULPY UNRECOGNIZBLE MASSES IN THE TIME ALLOTTED, NEVER MIND THAT HE WASN'T EVEN THERE!

Sometime after this (or maybe before, not that it matters) we get another plot point as we see a lingering shot of a snowglobe on the nightstand of the pharmacist's daughter. Theme? COLD.

Then later some more people get eaten by THE BLOB. Not coincidentally, it's the guy who did buy the condoms and his girlfriend. They're in this movie only long enough to die, so that's all I'll say about them.

The pharmacist's daughter goes looking for the well coiffed hoodlum. They meet up outside the jail and go have a bite to eat at the local closed diner. The hoodlum doesn't believe her story of a hideous monstrous blob that eats people either, so she tries to leave. Showing his sensitive side, he stops her and then makes fun of her, which of course makes her stay.

Meanwhile, out back in the kitchen, THE BLOB is back at work! The sink drain is clogged up, so the cook plunges it vigorously. hen he can't clear the blockage with the plunger, he sticks his hand all the way up to his elbow into the drain. That's one deep drain. Is there no elbow on that thing anywhere? Needless to say, the blockage was really THE BLOB, and the cook gets sucked down the drain. I always love scenes like that, and there are a few of them in this movie. Which is tougher, a rusty old drainpipe or a human body? Which do you think would give first, the body or the pipe? Me, I'd guess the pipe -- try to suck a body down a skinny pipe, and I'm betting the pipe would split. I guess that's why they don't let me make horror movies, though.

The owner of the diner runs out back where she and the sheriff eventually get eaten by THE BLOB. Meanwhile the pharmacist's daughter and the well coiffed hoodlum run into the freezer in the diner, where we are again hammered by a plot point. THE BLOB starts to seep under the door, screams, and retreats. The theme? COLD.

So the two of them succesfully escape THE BLOB and go off into the woods for some reason. There they meet up with clean-suited scientists who are busy quarantining the area and examining the meteor the bum found.

Things start happening all willy nilly suddenly, and the pharmacist's daughter and the well coiffed hoodlum split up and rejoin several times. They discover that THE BLOB is actually a biological warfare experiement and start being chased by the scientists. They get trapped in the sewers where they shoot a bazooka up through a manhole to destroy the truck parked above it. Again, I ask you, in a contest between a bazooka and a tunnel, which one wins? Apparently the tunnel, as all the power of the bazooka is projected upwards into the truck, instead of sideways or downwards into the tunnel.

Finally, we have the epic confrontation between the forces of good, represented by the well coiffed hoodlum and the pharmacist's daughter, and the forces of bad special effects, represented by THE BLOB. THE BLOB comes out of the sewer after the escaping hoodlum and daughter tandem, and suddenly the reverend from the pharmacy is back, and he catches fire. Don't look at me -- I don't make this stuff up. Thankfully, there just happens to be a fire extinguisher handy there on the street corner, and the pharmacist's daughter puts the flaming reverend out. THE BLOB got a little too close, however, and also got sprayed with the chemical spray, which it draws back from.

"It can't stand the cold!" the pharmacist's daughter shrieks, and finally everything falls into place for all the braindead people in the audience who hadn't caught on yet. So the townspeople barricade themselves in a big building and spray THE BLOB with fire extinguishers everytime it starts to seep under the door.

Meanwhile, hoodlum has gone back to his mechanic and stolen the big snow making machine, which he then proceeds to drive directly into THE BLOB, causing the truck to flip over and render the whole thing quite useless. Thankfully, the pharmacist's daughter comes out to save the day. She picks up a machine gun from one of the fallen scientists and also a backpack bomb. Let me just digress here for a moment to say that there is simply nothing better in life than a hot sweaty dirty chick with a machine gun. She climbs on top of the fallen tanker full of snow and starts shooting THE BLOB to get its attention. Then she plants the bomb on the truck, and she and hoodlum run away.

The bomb explodes, sending a huge snow mushroom cloud skyward over the town. Then the mechanic shows up out of nowhere and wonders if his insurance will cover any of this.

Thankfully, the heat from the explosion was more than cancelled by the snow trapped inside the tanker, so THE BLOB is now frozen into crystalline form, making it harmless.

However, this isn't the end of the movie. I refuse to give away the ending, because it was perhaps the only thing worth seeing the movie for. Don't get me wrong -- the ending isn't any good, but at least it wasn't totally worthless like the rest of the movie. And, of course, like all good horror movies, it leaves things wide flying open for a sequel.

Scene to watch for: Vicki implodes.

Best line: "They haven't heard from him."

Things that make you go "Huh?": The urban legend retelling.

View this movie's entry at the Internet Movie Database.

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