Monday, 27 October 2014

The Blob (1988)

Chuck Russell and Frank Darabont hijack Irvin Yeaworth's red scare original, amping up the individualism and transforming it into a strange, outsider movie. As well as having a more politically dubious, terrestrial origin, The Blob systematically kills all the usual male leads until we arrive at the second-banana motorcycle enthusiast and a would-be distressed damsel. The film initially seems to be orbiting a young guy-next-door. Paul Taylor is set up as a Michael J Fox figure, he succeeds by accident in sports and has a friend that gets him into trouble with his prospective girlfriend's father.

Paul appears to be the engine, he has romantic potential and homespun guts. Unfortunately for him The Blob doesn't give a shit about the hero's journey. Next up there's the local Sheriff, initially an antagonistic presence who redeems himself by following logic rather than prejudice. He's killed as an afterthought, his half-digested body showing up as a soupy detail in his love interest's death. The government forces that turn up half-way through end up being completely compromised, leaving local pariah Brian Flagg and cheerleader Meg to take care of business.

Meg and Brian form a back-and-forth, post-Aliens action collective. A couple united through a desire to not be told what to do. While the rest of the town is being rounded up by Hazmat infantrymen - possibly for liquidation - Meg is breaking curfew to find her missing brother. Brian plays rebel by investigating the crash site and turning up a conspiracy. Aside from that, the duo spend the last act rescuing each other. Brian crashes a snow machine into the Blob and ends up rolled and trapped, Meg loots an M16 and lays down suppressing fire.

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