The Blob (1988)

Directed by Chuck Russell
Palisades California, Inc.

This remake of the ’50s classic is not a horror comedy, and I don’t think I’d even describe it as being tongue-in-cheek, but at the same time, it’s not exactly a, you know, raw slice of life or anything of the sort. Diminishing somewhat its precursor’s contemporary Cold War setting for a more cynical view of the military-industrial complex – and right now I’m trying to remember what specifically in the late ’80s may have spawned the aspersions being cast herein – this picture does vividly evoke its era, at least for someone who was a teenager himself when it was made. (Perhaps the Eighties’ ongoing obsession with “The Fifties” was one reason this flick was produced.) And I enjoyed it about as much now as I did then, to boot. The foreboding ending even still carries portent in these throwback benighted times … unfortunately.

Why Did I Watch This Movie?

One of the books I’m currently reading is It Came From The Closet: Queer Reflections on Horror; this film is one of the subjects of the essay “Indescribable” by contributor Carrow Narby. (“Of all the ‘classic’ monsters from folklore and film, the iconic blob monster never seems to get much attention as a queer figure, in scholarship or in popular media.”)

Should You Watch This Movie?

“Blobs are not queer incidentally. They are not queer simply because, through narrative contrivance, they might be associated with the destruction of heterosexual order, as in The Blob … The blob’s relationship to queerness is a product of its basic symbolic function.”

Highlight and Low Point

The essayist’s point is perhaps understandable given the archetypes proffered in this movie’s Americana: the football jocks, the wholesome cheerleader, the nuclear families, the longhaired punk, and so forth.

Rating From Outer Space: B+

All Cheerleaders Die (2013)

written and directed by lucky mckee and chris sivertson

Though troublesome in several ways – thematically, I mean – this unforeseen remake of the mostly unseen original kicks off with panache and fairly quickly vaults to a highly entertaining level before coming back to ground somewhat. But even as it slips gears a bit, it also manages to generate more tension than expected, deftly melding its comedic and horrific elements (mostly, anyway). Built on the framework of the earlier edition, it improves on the formula not only by dint of its professional production values, but also by revamping the script to make it less derivative. A worthy part of the McKee-Sivertson film family, definitely.

why did i watch this movie?

Look, man, I like most of McKee’s stuff, all right? Plus I had read good stuff about it.

should you watch this movie?

It’s a little slick, and carries a bit of the ’90s meta horror vibe, and I suppose that may dissuade some of you.

highlight and low point

The witchcraft angle in this version is a lot more front-and-center than in the first take; one of the characters is an out-and-proud witch, and that works well for both the high-school setting and a nice moment of self-actualization later in the picture. It also adds not a little fun ‘n’ games to the mix. The interplay between the cheerleaders is also entertaining, although the sapphic teensploitation is dubious, to say the least. The film also eventually touches on the uncomfortable topic of acquaintance rape, after having portrayed male-on-female battery and indicting a willful cultural ignorance of its import. (Remember, folks, this is a horror comedy!) The closing credits play over a hodgepodge of tunes, as they did in the premier version.

rating from outer space: B

hmmm … or IS it

Blood Feast (2016)

directed by marcel walz
gundo entertainment

This lousy endeavor became an endurance test of sorts, as I could hardly wait for it to finish taking up my valuable time with its lousy acting, unnatural dialogue, odd tempo and beginner’s camerawork. This insipid remake of the 1963 Herschell Gordon Lewis offering is proof positive that just because you have a camera and a script, it doesn’t mean you should make a movie. Possibly, parts of this “effort” were supposed to be funny, but I didn’t notice until it was almost over because nobody that appears in it can deliver a line. An odd lack of incidental music doesn’t help. And for a flick about a taboo subject like cannibalism, it’s really tame in its approach to gore and downright moralistic with its nudity. I began watching this by mistake; the bigger mistake was not stopping. Makes 1987’s Blood Diner – inspired by the same source material – look like a real movie. (Well, sorta.)

why did i watch this movie?

The synopsis was irresistibly farcical; I shoulda realized its progeniture. Maybe I could start paying attention to film releases.

should you watch this movie?

No. It’s awful.

highlight and low point

The highlight of this disaster came during the opening credits: “Sadie Katz as Ishtar.” Everything about this picture just seems a little off. The dialogue sounds as though the cast members are seeing it for the first time and never rehearsed together, the pacing is too sluggish, and not one actor is even reasonably convincing. The photography is laughable, the set design halfhearted and the color iffy. It is allegedly a professional production.

rating from outer space: d−