• Has there ever been a more pliable villain than the title character in The Blob? The sticky star of Pennsylvania minister–turned–movie director Irvin S. Yeaworth’s 1958 cult classic—one of the titles highlighted in this week’s festival of free Criterion films on Hulu, all of which were later remade—oozed its way into viewers’ hearts again in 1988. There’s just something about that unlikable lump of goo: faceless, mindless . . . timeless.

    Made of silicone and red dye, the blob makes its most memorable entrance when it seeps from a projection booth into a movie theater crowded with thrill-seeking teens. This was shot in Phoenixville, Pennsylvania’s Colonial Theater, a still vital cinema that every summer hosts the special event Blobfest (this year’s dates: July 13–15!), complete with a “Run Out,” in which moviegoers are encouraged to emerge in a screaming panic from the theater’s front doors. Check out the original movie theater scene below, a master class in slime.

    For his higher-budgeted 1988 remake, Chuck Russell restaged the movie-house climax on a set (Frank’s Theatre, in Abbeville, Louisiana, provided the exterior); commissioned a creature—this time with tendrils—from effects designer Lyle Conway (who had fashioned the man-eating plant for the Little Shop of Horrors remake just two years earlier); and upped the gore quotient considerably. Though state-of-the-art at the time, the effects are still relatively low-tech, pre-CGI, and all the more tactile for it.

7 comments

  • By Ben Ricci
    June 11, 2012
    03:06 PM

    Please release the 1988 version on bu-ray! That movie gets no respect on home video. PLEASE!!!!
    Reply
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    • By Andrew F Moncrieff
      September 23, 2012
      03:08 PM

      Couldn't agree more! Blob 1988 is a total classic. I would love to hear both Chuck "Charles" Russel's view on it, and Frank Darabont's too. He reused some of the cast on his own later, directed projects, Jeffrey DeMunn being the obvious one.
  • By Freddy Gompf
    June 13, 2012
    09:23 PM

    I second that. I love The Blob (1988) as well as the original.
    Reply
  • By Charlie Howard
    July 22, 2012
    01:50 AM

    Sign me up as well... HD Shawnee Smith - YUM!
    Reply
  • By alex king
    September 03, 2012
    05:59 AM

    I would but a blu ray copy in a heart beat. I am on board for the 1988 version on blu ray. I have seen this movie over 50 times and it never gets old. One of my top ten of horror all time.
    Reply
  • By Robby
    December 18, 2012
    12:20 AM

    They can sell it as a double feature!
    Reply
  • By nicolas
    February 06, 2013
    09:47 PM

    I do think the 1988 scene is more effective, though I have never seen it. Perhaps the 58 scene is a rebuke to projectionist in theaters who might not have projected movie images properly in there theater (not all theaters were equal in quality, much better now, just get rid of the stupid advertisements. Gee, what ever happened to that guy Steven McQueen, did he go anywhere?
    Reply

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