With rumors of legal battles regarding the intellectual property of The Blob, it’s only a matter of time before a studio or independent filmmaker uses another approach to quench the thirst of those in need of an amorphous alien creature that digests you in plain sight. Back in 2017, there was talk of a reboot moving forward with director Simon West and actor Samuel L. Jackson. The plot for that retelling would have changed the Blob’s origin to deep within the earth. Thematically, this aligns more with earthbound fears like earthquakes and climate change, a unique take on The Blobthough this decision may have upset some hardcore Blobbies (like Trekkies but for The Blob).
While we can not be certain exactly what stalled the project five years ago, an update from Bloody Disgusting came in 2021 reporting that producers Richard Saperstein and Brian Witten had spent $ 418,000 developing the remake, having acquired an option to the original film rights holder back in 2009. The article gets into specifics about poor communication, abnormally long development, and the impact of Covid -19. Regardless of whether the Blob comes from space or underground, Blobbies are hungry for the return of their favorite monster. Rumors that Samuel L. Jackson would be performing as the voice of the Blob were not substantiated, so Blobbies can chill out regarding those false claims.
The 1958 film produced by Jack H. Harris starring Steve McQueen was a smash hit, elevating The Blob into monster mythos. It’s one of the most memorable and horrible creatures ever conceived. Simple in design, the cliche formula begins with your typical teens spotting a meteor going down in the woods from Lookout Point. A well-intentioned old man (who always seems to have a lovable dog accompanying him) discovers the meteor, pokes it with a stick, and splat! The alien creature is affixed to his arm, immediately digesting the poor man in front of his hysterical pet. Chaos breaks loose in the little Americana town as victims are absorbed into the creature that grows bigger with every bite. It can not be killed, but if you keep it cold enough, it will freeze. The film got a sequel in 1972, Beware! The Blob, which was directed by Larry Hagman. Unfortunately, part two was not much more than a glorified drive-in movie that repeated the formula of the first film, not as well.
1988’s The Blob from filmmaker Chuck Russel (who would later direct The Mask with Jim Carrey) remains a favorite among practical effect gurus. The kills are absolutely shocking and revealed the true gore-hound potential of the franchise. Starring genre favorites Shawnee Smith, Kevin Dillon, and Candy Clark, the movie still packs a slimy punch and leaves the door wide open for a sequel. While the new Blob film remains stalled, let us explore how our favorite gelatinous alien came to be, how other films have interpreted similar creatures, and how it might return.
Time For Slime
Slime is an effective cinematic tool. It shows up in many iconic movies as a timeless technique to convey body horror, sickness, pain, and sometimes re-birth, as seen in The Matrix. It was only a matter of time before the stuff got a starring role in a motion picture. There are many formulas for the substance, sometimes incredibly messy and difficult to apply on set. As CGI progresses, specific programs focused on water dynamics attempt to emulate how light and fluid interact, but the real stuff is still far more effective on screen.
The tangible element of slime resonates on a deep level, it can greatly enhance horrific performances, and it’s fun to experiment with, finding different levels of stringiness, stickiness, and texture. While it can be a nightmare to work with, the end result can make it worth the trouble. You can attempt to make your own slime with a combination of white glue, baking soda, shaving cream, and saline. Baby oil or lotion can be used to control the level of stickiness.
Other Blob-like Movies
If you’re in the mood for more sentient alien goo, there are a few other films that may hit the spot. Creepshow 2’s “The Raft “installment is a nasty little slice of goopy horror where a group of unsuspecting teenagers stumble upon a pond with a pleasant-looking raft floating in the center. They swim to it and discover a black oily slick floating atop the water, which turns out to be a horrible flesh-consuming mass, possibly an abandoned lab experiment, but most definitely a subtextual commentary on oil pollution. The teenagers are taken out one by one with excellent FX work by Greg Nicotero and team. “The Raft” was based on a short by Stephen King from 1985’s Skeleton Crewa compilation of stories that included “The Mist,” “Word Processor of the Gods,” and “Survivor Type,” which have all been adapted into television and movies.
Larry Cohen’s The Stuff is often regarded as the renegade filmmaker’s best work. A not-so-subtle commentary on consumerism, the movie follows the attempted takeover of the human race by a delicious mind-controlling desert discovered in a quarry and carelessly bottled and sold to the masses. The Stuff is a stark white goo that gradually takes over its victims, changing their physiology into a more unstable mashup of Stuff and human flesh, making for some truly grotesque special FX. While the movie is often more funny than anything else, it’s a wild ride with great performances from Michael Moriarty, Garrett Morris, Paul Sorvino, and Danny Aiello.
Deeper Pits of Slime
While other big studio films come to mind, like 1989’s Ghostbusters 2 and maybe 1987’s Prince Of Darkness, though that’s a stretch, there is another deep cut weirdo C-level flick that you may (or may not) want on your soul. 2010’s Bio-Slime (aka Contagion) from indie filmmaker John Lechago delivers a pretty shameless slime-riddled monster movie set in the seedy realm of the adult entertainment industry. This is a perfect metaphor for a slime monster that probably should have been more thoughtfully embedded into the script. However, with a limited budget, it still excels with lots of imagination and indie filmmaking spirit. Not a great movie by any stretch, but fans of offbeat cinema should probably watch it at least once and then quickly take a shower.
Hopefully, The Blob can slither its way out of legal trouble and get back on track for a well overdue sequel or reboot. There’s plenty of material that could be explored, like the creature’s homeworld, other alien species it may have attacked (if the Blobbies get their way), and could embrace more clever metaphors to be mined from slime.
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