THE BLOB (1988)
Like a younger and often ignored sibling to John Carpenter's THE THING, this remake of a cheesy 1950's b-movie has a distinct privilege of expanding upon and improving the original source material. Coming from director Chuck Russell (NIGHTMARE ON ELM STREET 3, THE MASK) who also wrote the screenplay along with Frank Darabont, the communist-allegorizing original film is updating for a cynical anti-authoritarian and anti-government 1980s audience with an additional warning against the Cold War arms race thrown in for good measure. Unlike the original, in which a mysterious "red" entity comes from the skies and threatens America's heartland, here Russell and Darabont provide an origin to the beloved goop that is much worse than any external force could hope to create.
Speaking of characters, THE BLOB gets a few actors early in their career as they cut their acting chops in the horror field. Kevin Dillon steps into the shoes of Steve McQueen as Brian, whose rather wooden and goofy turn here is right at home with the b-movie styling, though it was probably not conscious on his part to play it off that way. The wardrobe choice, fitting somewhere between Bon Jovi and Adam Ant, definitely does not shout "rebel", but boy can he throw a half-empty beer in anger! Watch for future Baywatch babe Erika Eleniak as a potential date-rape victim, Bill "Chop Top" Moseley as a soldier, and is that everyone's favorite female torture prodigy Shawnee Smith getting second billing as cheerleader Meg? You bet it is!