THE BLOB Absorbs Anew on Scream Factory Blu-ray

The 1988 action horror is celebrated in this stuffed release

Remakes or re-imaginings — however you tag it, a new take on a film or original source material often disappoints. But sometimes, just sometimes, they manage to match up to or perhaps surpass the original. Think The Thing, The Fly, and in this case The Blob, an ‘80s horror romp inspired by the 1958 original that dials up the action and atmosphere thanks to some outstanding practical effects.


The Blob is back in this horrific tale about a vile, malignant life-form that crashes to Earth in a cozy, rural American town called Arborville. Untroubled by conscience or intellect, the Blob does only one thing — and it does it well. It eats anything and everything that moves: men, women, and children. It wants to swallow the entire town of Arborville. The original version of The Blob thrilled and terrified movie audiences back in the 1950s. Now the oozing, gooey killer is back.

The original The Blob felt like more of a B-movie, largely due to the technical limitations of the day. It was a horror film well conceived, but limited in execution. The updated take not only came from an era where the practical effects could fully realize the vision of a nightmarish mass consuming all organic material in its path, but a time when excess, consumption, and greed was all the rage: the ‘80s. Director Chuck Russell (A Nightmare on Elm Street 3: Dream Warriors) collaborated with writer Frank Darabont (The Mist, The Shawshank Redemption) on a feature packed with action, humor, and some genuinely unsettling sequences. There is a ruthlessness to some of the writing, providing a few surprises and turning a few expectations on their heads (a cast switcheroo in the beginning being of particular note), while also leaning into expectations and tropes to solidify entertainment value, respecting the tale’s B-movie roots.

While the cast is undeniably game, including great performances from Shawnee Smith (Saw) and Kevin Dillon (Platoon), the star of the show is the titular creature itself. A military experiment gone rogue, an amoeba-like organism devours and dissolves anything in its path as it grows, adding to its own mass. A large team of special effects headed by Tony Gardner, along with make-up designer Rob Bottin, deploys playful and gnarly practical effects for the Blob, as well as for its victims, notably the process of the victims’ clothes, skin, and muscles, peeling away within the pinkish mass. It’s refreshing to see a practical approach, a tangibility and character sometimes missing in modern CGI. Russell uses smart, strategic cuts that showcase the effects and also tuck away their limitations, while also rolling out the talent at his disposal in unnerving and inventive sequences. A waitress surrounded by the Blob in a phone booth and an audience in a cinema besieged by the pinkish mass spring to mind, memorable moments and production work that ensure The Blob still holds up today.

The Package

It’s been over 30 years since The Blob was unleashed, and Scream Factory celebrates the film with a absolutely stuffed release. The film itself looks great, vibrant, sharp images with good detail, contrast, but some of the grain is a little on the heavier side at times. In addition to a slipcover featuring new artwork by Joel Robinson, there’s a monstrous amount of (mostly NEW) extra features:

  • NEW audio commentary with director Chuck Russell, special effects artist Tony Gardner, and cinematographer Mark Irwin, moderated by filmmaker Joe Lynch: Lynch (Mayhem, Everly) channels his love of the film into a lively commentary that isn’t just packed with insider info, but plenty of personal recollections from filming, contributed by the crew members involved.
  • NEW audio commentary with actress Shawnee Smith: Assisted by some moderator (not named), Smith is pretty chatty, but the commentary lacks a guiding hand and doesn’t really go into much depth.
  • NEW It Fell From the Sky! — an interview with director Chuck Russell: A really great addition, one split into two parts, in total running around 45 min. The first part sees Russell reflect on his early career; the second part focuses more on The Blob, in particular touching on the influences of the original film, and the collaboration with Frank Darabont.
  • NEW We Have Work to Do — an interview with actor Jeffrey DeMunn: The actor chats about his career, in both TV and film.
  • NEW Minding the Dinner — an interview with actress Candy Clark: Some entertaining tales about her career and relationships while working on The Blob.
  • NEW They Call Me Mellow Purple — an interview with actor Donovan Leitch Jr.: The actor shares his favorite horror movie picks and also goes into a great amount of depth about all of his contributions to The Blob.
  • NEW Try to Scream! — an interview with actor Bill Moseley: The horror icon segues from one role to another in his career, with some great little tidbits about his work in The Texas Chainsaw Massacre 2.
  • NEW Shot Him! — an interview with cinematographer Mark Irwin: Irwins previous project was on Cronenberg’s The Fly, so this interview touches on that, how it set him up with this position, his relationship with Russell, and his experience on set.
  • NEW The Incredible Melting Man — an interview with special effects artist Tony Gardner: Some of the special effects in the film are outstanding, so it’s great to get some featurettes that focus on that. Gardner, the man behind much of the film’s practical effects, dives into his career, talks about the influences and inspirations of Rick Baker and Stan Winston, and breaks down some of the specific effects he pulls off here.
  • NEW Monster Math — an interview with special effects supervisor Christopher Gilman: Similar to the Gardner featurette, with a bit more of a personal focus. The interview also breaks down some of the specifics of the meteor effects seen in the film.
  • NEW Haddonfield to Arborville — an interview with production designer Craig Stearns: As you could probably guess from the title, Sterns has a relation to Halloween, having studied with John Carpenter at USC, and collaborating with him on his seasonal horror, as well as on The Fog. Content covers those days, as well as his set design work on The Blob.
  • NEW The Secret of the Ooze — an interview with mechanical designer Mark Setrakian: Nothing to do with Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, instead a breakdown of the designer’s career and efforts to animate the movements of the films titular creature.
  • NEW I Want that Organism Alive! — an interview with Blob mechanic Peter Abrahamson: Abrahamson’s enthusiasm is infectious in this interview, where he talks about building the monster, what drew him to this career in the first place, as well as a personal anecdote about the legacy of the film.
  • NEW Gardner’s Grue Crew — behind-the-scenes footage of Tony Gardner and his team: Archival footage, of low quality, showing the team working on the production and putting some of the special effects to work.
  • Audio Commentary with director Chuck Russell, moderated by film producer Ryan Turek: An archival commentary, it’s a little drier than the first commentary, but pretty dense with the reflections of the filmmaker.
  • Theatrical Trailers & TV Spot
  • Still Gallery: Film stills, lobby cards, and on-set images.

The Bottom Line

The Blob riffs off the B-monster movie that inspired it, but backs it up with a garish ‘80s vibe and practical effects work that still impress thirty years later. A dark action horror that is unrelentingly entertaining. Stuffed with multiple commentaries, featurettes, interviews, and more, Scream Factory have put together a release for The Blob that will take you a long time to fully absorb and appreciate.

The Blob is available from Scream Factory now!

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