Michael Scott

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The Blob: Collector's Edition


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Movie: :4stars:
Video: :4.5stars:
Audio: :4stars:
Extras: :5stars:
Final Score: :4.5stars:



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Movie

For 80s horror fans, there’s very few cult classic films that comes close to the cheesiness and sheer FUN that was 1988’s The Blob remake (I actually like it better than the Steve McQeen 1958 original I might add). The only way to get this on Blu-ray (at least domestically) was to get the 2014 release by Twilight Time. However, if you know anything about them, they limit themselves to 3,000 or 5,000 copies depending on the popularity only to be sold out forever. The Blob was one of their highly anticipated titles, and even bumped up from 3,000 to 5,000 copies they sold out in a matter of 1-2 days if I remember correctly (at most a day or so beyond that) and the title has effectively been out of print for the last 5 years. I was actually one of the people who stayed up late just to be able to get my order in before they went live and snag my coveted copy. Now fast forward 5 years and Scream Factory has slowly been getting the licenses for some of the out of print Twilight Time releases (John Carpenter’s Vampires comes to mind as another of their acquisitions) and pumped it up with a metric TON of new special features, as well as new cover art drawn by Joel Robinson himself.

As a big fan of the original 1958 film, I have to admit to liking this remake a little better. My musical, film, and art tastes really tend to swing heavily towards the 1980s, and this was just one of the better remakes of the time to boot. Director/Co-writer Chuck Russell plays with the audience a little bit, teasing them with the basic premise of the original, then deviating rather heavily and turning the entire film on it’s ear. We still have a teenage couple who run across an old homeless man in the woods who is inadvertently patient zero for a mysterious organism, only to find out that this organism is actually a monstrous “blob” who’s only goal is to eat and consume every living thing in its path, and eat it does.

Meg (a 19 year old Shawnee Smith) and high school Jock Paul Taylor (Donovan Leitch Jr.) are out on a date when they meet the old man, but a tragic turn of events turns Meg into a woman on the run as the blob gets out of control and begins to eat people in the hospital. The local sheriff (played by Jeffrey DeMunn) doesn’t exactly believe her that a strange “entity” is murdering people, and her parents aren’t exactly keen on the idea either. The only one that they can even TRY to pin the deaths on is local miscreant Brian Flagg (Kevin Dillon), and even then there’s no motive. Desperate to try to prove herself, Meg seeks out Brian in hopes of getting him to believe her, but soon it won’t really matter. The blob is getting bigger and bigger as it eats more and more townsfolk, and they’re about to believe whether they want to or not.

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There’s a set of sub plots between the sheriff and a sweet diner owner, as well as a mysterious government agency headed up by Dr. Meddows (Joe Seneca) who seem a little bit TOO eager to fix this problem. At the end of the day, The Blob is a gory and cheesy little chase film where Meg and Brian are doing their best to get their loved ones out of harms way and hopefully evade the monster as well. The film really thrives on the monster itself, and I’m still amazed that after 30 years the effects have held up as well as they have. Outside of a few stop motion close up scenes, the blob is disgustingly realistic and has a really colorful way of shifting shades of pint to lavender at any one moment.

The body count is actually rather high for a film of this type, and the humor is kept to an absolute minimum. Usually with monster movie there is some sort of slapstick humor played for yucks to break up the gore, but The Blob is pretty straight forward. It came to eat people and there’s a LOOOOOT of people in this podunk town to eat. The practical effects for the death scenes are impressively gory and gooey, with some really memorable death scenes as well. The Blob may not be the perfect 80s horror movie, but it is most certainly a cult classic for a reason and is one of my favorite Halloween watches every year.




Rating:

Rated R by the MPAA




Video: :4.5stars:
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Scream Factory looks like it is using the same master that the 2014 Twilight Time release was sporting, but with a few tweaks. Artifacting and compression between the two look just about identical, but the TT release actually boosted the contrast a bit as comparing both side by side you can tell that the 2014 release is definitely a lot brighter. The Scream Factory disc is dimmer and the colors look more natural as a result. I always thought the TT release looked really good, but when you A/B the two discs it’s pretty obvious that the darker contrast and the richer colors on the Scream Factory release is very much superior. You can actually see the creature shift from shades of purple, to pink, to light lavender as it eats and grows its way bigger. There’s also less blown out black levels and the details shown in the shadow are more impressive. Like any 80s horror film there’s going to be grain, but it’s a very natural amount and there’s almost no major spikes worth speaking of.








Audio: :4stars:
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Scream Factory supplies both the standard 5.1 DTS-HD MA track (that appears to be a clone of the Twilight Time 5.1 DTS-HD MA mix) and the original 2.0 Stereo track in DTS-HD MA lossless as well. The 5.1 mix is what I sort of focused on in this review and it’s well done track to say the least. Dialog is always clean and clear, and the haunting “obtuse” style score flows evenly throughout the speakers. The monster squeezing his way through cracks and crevices helps fill out the rear of the room, and the LFE has a few things to do with the bumps and explosions that happen in the film. All in all a very good mix.







Extras: :5stars:
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• NEW audio commentary with director Chuck Russell, special effects artist Tony Gardner and cinematographer Mark Irwin, moderated by filmmaker Joe Lynch
• NEW audio commentary with actress Shawnee Smith
• NEW It Fell From the Sky! – an interview with director Chuck Russell
• NEW We Have Work to Do – an interview with actor Jeffrey DeMunn
• NEW Minding the Dinner – an interview with actress Candy Clark
• NEW They Call Me Mellow Purple – an interview with actor Donovan Leitch Jr.
• NEW Try to Scream! – an interview with actor Bill Moseley
• NEW Shot Him! – an interview with cinematographer Mark Irwin
• NEW The Incredible Melting Man – an interview with special effects artist Tony Gardner
• NEW Monster Math – an interview with special effects supervisor Christopher Gilman
• NEW Haddonfield to Arborville – an interview with production designer Craig Stearns
• NEW The Secret of the Ooze – an interview with mechanical designer Mark Setrakian
• NEW I Want that Organism Alive! – an interview with Blob mechanic Peter Abrahamson
• NEW Gardner's Grue Crew – behind-the-scenes footage of Tony Gardner and his team
• Audio Commentary with director Chuck Russell, moderated by film producer Ryan Turek
• Theatrical Trailers
• TV Spot
• Still Gallery
• Optional English subtitles for the main feature













Final Score: :4.5stars:


Even though the collector in me is loathe to get rid of my Twilight Time release, I can’t help but admit that the Scream Factory release of The Blob is definitely the superior copy to own. Not only does it come with a slightly better video encode (details on that are above in the video scored section), but Scream Factory has LOADED this disc down with about as much extras as one could possibly hope for. A magnitude more than what we had before. So for those of you who missed out on the now we have it, now it’s gone release from Twilight Time, be assured that this is going to be cheaper AND better quality. A true collector’s edition for the fan of one of my favorite 80s horror movies. Definitely a great buy for horror fans.


Technical Specifications:
Starring: Kevin Dillon, Shawnee Smith, Paul McCrane, Del Close, Joe Seneca, Candy Clark, Donovan Leitch Jr., Jeffrey DeMunn
Directed by: Chuck Russell
Written by: Chuck Russell, Frank Darabont
Aspect Ratio: 1.85:1 AVC
Audio: English: DTS-HD MA 5.1, English DTS-HD MA 2.0
Subtitles: English SDH
Studio: Scream Factory
Rated: R
Runtime: 95 minutes
Blu-Ray Release Date: October 29th, 2019
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Recommendation: Great Buy

 
Last edited:

Sonnie

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Wow... did not realize the first movie was in 1958... but I do remember watching this back in the mid-sixties and it was one of my favorite movies... along with The Birds, The Frogs and Tarantula. I don't think I remember the remake back in the late 80's... although I suspect it was ignored due to my lack of interest in horror/scary type movies as I got older.
 

Michael Scott

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yup, I just watched the original the other day. One of the better non "action" Steve McQueen movies
 

tripplej

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Thanks for the review. Will check it out.
 

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I loved the 1958 one and I hope one day Shout will re master the original. I remember watching the 80's one and at the time it was great fun. I just don't know if I'd buy it since I enjoyed the 1958 one better. Thanks for the review!
 

Michael Scott

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I loved the 1958 one and I hope one day Shout will re master the original. I remember watching the 80's one and at the time it was great fun. I just don't know if I'd buy it since I enjoyed the 1958 one better. Thanks for the review!
Actually criterion got their hands on the original and remastered it. It looks great
 

Asere

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Actually criterion got their hands on the original and remastered it. It looks great
That's great news. I'll have to check it out. I am sure its much better then my dvd.
 

Michael Scott

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