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Transcript - Alien Invader movies & their remakes (Cinemassacre)

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James Rolfe: The idea of remaking every movie ever made and many times over is just getting tiring. It's a pathetic waste of imagination and Hollywood producers should make something new. It's like wiping your ass on the same toilet paper again and again; it just keeps getting shittier.

But to be fair remakes can be done well and the science fiction genre depends somewhat on special effects. And this is one category in which remakes can improve. But the 1950's was the golden age of science fiction movies. Movies involving space exploration, science experiences gone wrong and of course alien invaders. So let's take a look at some of the classic invader movies and their remakes. In order for it to make the list, the original has to be from the 50's and the aliens have to come to us. Check it out. There's gonna be three parts. In part 1 we're gonna look at "The Day the Earth Stood Still", "The Thing" and "Earth vs. the Flying Saucers"

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The Day the Earth Stood Still

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James: First "The Day the Earth Stood Still". The original classic from 1951 is often considered to be one of the greatest science fiction films of all time. It's immediately lovable right from the opening title screen. That Bernard Herrmann music just sends chills down my spine every time I hear it. So you have a flying saucer, a humanoid alien in a spacesuit named Klaatu and a robot named Gort, that shoots lasers. Right there it's fun and instantly appealing to any classic science fiction buff. But the camp-value is only a disguise because this movie goes much beyond that. Klaatu doesn't come down to destroy the people of Earth – he comes to save us from ourselves, to tell us to stop all wars but instead he's treated with hostility and has to go into hiding. He lodges in someones' house, just a regular middle-class family. He makes friends with the young boy and scientist, sharing his intellect and ambitions for world peace. It sounds a little preachy, but it's an entertaining movie. It's well-written and worth a watch any day. The robot Gort is just the icing on the cake and of course there's the famous command "Klaatu Barada Nikto"

Helen Benson: Klaatu Barada Nikto

James Rolfe: I've never understood why but this line has been parodied so many times it's unbelievable. The first time I heard it was in a "Ninja Turtles" episode, "Invasion of the Turtle Snatchers"

Klaatu: A Nikto would not have hurt you. 

Donatello: I figured that out, but where are we? And who are you? 

Klaatu: I am Klaatu and this is the little woman, Barada. 

James: Also when analyzing the movie a lot of people have compared Klaatu to Christ. He comes to Earth, he's shot down by authorities, then he's resurrected, delivers a message of peace and finally ascents back to outer space. The MPAA didn't like this and they made them add this line here. 

Helen: He has the power of life and death? 

Klaatu: No, that power is reserved for the almighty spirit. 

James: It's a good movie and it has an anti-war message. And even though the movie is nearly 60 years old that message can still be applied today. However Hollywood big shots feels as if they have to remake it and no doubt it takes all those issues about war and tries to make them more contemporary. But, like I said, what's the point when you can already apply it to any time-period. It just takes a little imagination. 

Now here's what I think about the remake; as its own movie it's okay. It obviously has a lot of special effects and updates the message for world peace, but also elaborates on some things from the original like how Klaatu is able to take control of machinery, which is kinda interesting. Keanu Reeves is actually really good as Klaatu and it's funny I say that because if you look at a lot of movies he's in he has no emotion. But here it's appropriate – his posture, blank expression and monotone voice fit the role. The rest of the cast is okay. Jennifer Connelly and Jaden Smith do their job. John Cleese is great as the professor, but he doesn't really have much screen time. Gort is CG as expected. He's the only recognizable image from the original. I can't help but feel that he doesn't really have much purpose in the plot – he exists just because he's cool. Without Gort it wouldn't have been "The Day the Earth Stood Still", but couldn't it have been something else? They could have taken that idea of global warming and make an entirely different sci-fi movie on its own, rather than a remake of one of the most well-known sci-fi classics of all time. Naturally a lot of people who loved the original will be kinda biased, but I went in with an open mind and I found it to be entertaining. It didn't live up to its full potential, but it wasn't that bad either. Oh and don't expect an ending, because it doesn't have one… 

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The Thing

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James: "The Thing" was based off a short 1938 novel "Who Goes There?", by John W. Campbell Jr. It was about a bunch of scientists in the Antarctic who finds a frozen spacecraft and its alien visitor. 

The 1951 movie changes things around a little. The first thing is the title and by the way it's one of the best title screens ever. As for location it takes place on the North Pole rather than the south. Never could a movie and book take place on complete opposite sides of the Earth and still not even matter one bit. As far as the plot goes it only seems to follow the first part of the novel. They find the spacecraft in the ice, they all gather around to determine it's saucer-shaped. They try to blow it out with dynamite, accidentally destroying the ship and therefore losing the discovery of a lifetime. However they find one of the aliens and bring it back to their camp. In a frozen state of hibernation The Thing thaws thanks to some dumbass putting an electric blanket over it. The Thing escapes and goes on a rampage and this is where the movie really differs from the book. In the book the alien is simulating its victims by multiplying and taking the victim's likeness. In the movie its body is made of vegetable and feeds on blood and if it looses a limb it can grow it back. It doesn't really kill a lot of people which is a little disappointing. Most of the scientists want it dead, but there's a classic archetype mad scientist who wants to preserve the creature and learn from it. The dialogue is really good for a 1950's movie. The characters' lines overlap one another and it sounds much like they're really talking and not just reciting lines from a script. But this is common in producer Howard Hawks movies. He's done comedies before, like "Bringing Up Baby" and "His Girl Friday", but never a horror movie. Speaking of comedy there's a very subtle sense of humor going on. 

Pilot #1: What did you say that number of that bulletin was? 

Pilot #2: 629-49, item 6700, extract 75131.  

Pilot #3: Oh! Oh, that one. 

James: There's a lot of suspense as you're always anticipating when The Thing will show up next, but in a good way. And it also ends with one of the most famous and chilling science-fiction movie lines ever spoken. 

Scotty: Watch the skies, everywhere! Keep looking. Keep watching the skies! 

James: "The Thing from Another World" has been colorized and most notably remade by John Carpenter. 

The 1982 remake, simply titled "The Thing", owes a lot to the original. It recreates the awesome title screen. But it omits the whole scene where they blow the spacecraft out of the ice. However they actually make reference to it as if they're referring to the team from the first movie. So in some strange kind of way it's almost like a sequel. But this time it sticks closer to the rest of the book. It takes place in the Antarctic and The Thing is able to assimilate its victims like in the novel. What happens here is that whenever somebody comes in contact with The Thing they become The Thing. But first it turns itself inside-out with guts and gore squishing all over the place. You never actually see anything of the creature that is anything definite – it's just a blob of grotesque body-parts. Roger Ebert called it a great barf bag movie. But I'd go further to say this is a movie that forces you to puke, then shoves your face in it and makes you eat it, then barf it up again. It's absolutely repulsive and a great testament to the wonders of special effects that are not CG! It's a show-stopper and it kinda weakens the rest of the film. That's a problem that the original didn't have – the whole film was consistently strong. But this one feels very lopsided and on first viewing you may find yourself feeling that it's very slow and that you're waiting for something to happen. However on repeated viewings this movie is actually very good in its own right. The cold, barren setting subjects you the isolation that the characters are going through. They grow more and more paranoid because they don't know who's real and who's The Thing. So it's a much darker movie than the original and very nerve-racking – and again in a good way. But like I said the special effects, as amazing as they are, they really are a show-stopper and I always feel that the less graphic a movie can be the more effective it can be in the long run. The classic version didn't need all those effects. It's the age-old saying that 'less is more'. John Carpenter is very much a fan of the original. He used clips of it in "Halloween" when they're watching it on the TV. He obviously had great respect for it and if you're gonna remake a movie, why make it the same, especially when the original was so different from its source material? So what he has accomplished is in fact a great remake which compliments the original. 

Both have their own strengths and even though I always prefer the original for its characters, its humor and atmosphere, I love them both. But… Why remake it again? (referring to the 2009 remake). Supposedly it's being done, but for God's sake is it really necessary?! 

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Earth vs. the Flying Saucers

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James: "Earth vs. the Flying Saucers". This 1956 classic is the epiphany of UFO pop-culture. Whenever you think of alien spaceships instantly what comes to mind is a saucer-shape. Real-life witness accounts and photographs have always depicted the flying saucer. Wether you're a sceptic or a believer, this is the classic image and this is the classic film. The plot is nothing more than a blunt full-scale invasion where saucers come in and attack major cities around the world. The special effects were done by stop-motion pioneer Ray Harryhausen. He built miniature saucers and not only made them look like they were flying, but tilting and spinning too – you never see the strings. With today's technology they can be digitally removed, but Harryhausen had to paint the string so they would blend in with the background, kinda like a chameleon, which meant constantly repainting them as the background tones would change. The final scene where the saucers destroy Washington DC is one of the most memorable scenes in the history of science fiction cinema. Today the effects seem outdated and the whole concept cliché in general, but this movie still holds up today. It's entertaining and the stop-motion quality gives the saucers an unearthly style which is very appropriate. 

While thankfully no direct remake has ever been made, two movies, both in 1996, draw major similarities. The first one I'll mention is "Mars Attacks!", a comedy directed by Tim Burton. It's like a 'monster-run-amok'-film like "Gremlins". A bunch of crazy, silly aliens come down and go on a rampage, defacing many of the world's famous landmarks, including the Washington monument – a reference to "Earth vs. the Flying Saucers". The spacecrafts are also equipped with the same style of ray gun. 

It's an infectious spoof, but the big one is "Independence Day". This movie, again while not a remake, it's the closest thing; the modern day equivalent of "Earth vs. the Flying Saucers". Again we have alien spacecrafts destroying the world's landmarks, but it goes beyond being a cliché imitator. The scene of the White House being destroyed is in its own right a memorable movie scene. The aliens look like maybe Predator or Aliens, while not very original, the special effects were pretty awesome. This is of course the first in a string of summer movies starring Will Smith. He's great as the comedic relief and he helps lift the entertainment value. The movie has an american overtone where we fought for our independence, which seems to be an attempt at lifting it from just being a dumb alien invasion movie, but it only makes it dumber. Lots of people has criticized it for this and for some of the action scenes to find their suspension of disbelief. Even today it's popular to say that this movie is ass, but it's a typical summer blockbuster – what more did you want? Bottom line; they could've easily called it "Earth vs. the Flying Saucers" because it's so similar, but they didn't and that's proof that you can take an old idea and make it something new without making it a remake. 

So check in for part two. We're gonna discuss "The War of the Worlds" and "Invaders from Mars".

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James Rolfe: Welcome to part two. I'm talking about 1950's alien invader movies and their remakes. 

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The War of the Worlds

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James: From H.G. Wells to Orson Welles to Spielberg – "War of the Worlds" has had quite a history. It began with the novel by H.G. Wells, published in 1898. Martian war machines come to Earth to wipe us out. It was a terrifying concept and the idea of giant robotic fighting vehicles marching around blasting heat-rays was an awesome idea. Where do you think they got the idea in "Star Wars"? In 1938 it was adapted into a radio-drama by Orson Welles. It was done in the style of a live newscast, so people who tuned in late thought it was real and that caused mass hysteria. 

In 1953 there was the classic movie. It begins with an epic narration about the preceding world wars. Then after the credits it goes into another chilling narration about all the planets in the solar system and why the martians chose Earth. It's a great opening. The movie takes many liberties with the book. It changes the time period from the time the book was written to the time the movie was made. It changes the location from England to California and rather than the tripod war machines the martians use hovering spacecrafts. And they're not the cliché flying saucer ones. For 1953 they look amazing – not to mention it's in color unlike most science fiction movies at the time or ones that would even follow for a decade. The sound effects are outstanding. The army tries to fight back but nothing stops them. They even use an atom bomb but it doesn't do a damn thing. Aside from sheer spectacle the suspense is great too. You hardly see the martians – you only catch a few glimpses and you never see their whole body. Other movies would've taken all that hard work for the alien effect and milked it for all its worth. I love this movie, I think it's by far the best alien invader movie in the 50's. 

In 1988 there was actually a sequel in form of a TV-series, which ran for two seasons. The first episode was a 90-minute feature length special which continued the story of the original film, taking place many years later. Originally the series was planned in the 70's and conceived by the original film's producer, George Pal, who passed away before it finally saw the light of day. It also uses the same spacecrafts. Nothing was changed and the special effects were indistinguishable from the original movie. The only major difference is the martians. Now they disguise themselves as humans. A third arm bursts out of their chest and gouges out the eyes of the victim. For a TV-show it was pretty violent and it scared the shit out of me as a kid. Those three fingers would haunt my dreams. 

But now fast-forward to June 2005. This would be a crazy special month for some reason because this is when the "War of the Worlds" remake would come out… all three of them. Yes, take your time to wrap your head around this. There were three remakes of "War of the Worlds" and all three of them came out in June of 2005. What was that about?! 

June 14th there was "H.G. Wells' The War of the Worlds", directed by Timothy Hines. This one went direct to DVD. Unlike the others this one takes place in the novel's original time period and it makes a point to follow the novel almost word for word. And guess what? It has a runtime of 3 hours which is insane! I guess that's what happens when you're literally transcribe a book to a movie. I have to say for an independent film it's highly commendable and must have been a lot of hard work to pull off, but it's a shame that it looks like shit. The dialogue sounds as if the actors are reading straight from the book. Maybe it's the way it's translated from the pages to screen. And as for the special effects… Well, they're not so special. Computer-generated effects are something that has to be pulled off perfectly which it rarely is, even in big-budget Hollywood blockbusters. But here the CG just looks awful! The aliens look like they belong in a video game. People are engulfed in CG-flame and turn into skeletons – it's offsetting and laughable. And so much of the scenery is obvious green-screen – even things that seem simple to do without the aid of a green-screen. In some scenes even the buildings are CG. If you just caught a glimpse you wouldn't even know it was a live-action movie. Even the mustaches are fake – this is like an Ed Wood movie. But like I said this is not a big-budget film. According to IMDB it only costed $5000 dollars. If you accept the terrible effects it almost becomes a style, sort of. It's nice to see such an ambitious attempt at adapting the novel in extreme detail, but it makes you wish that was done by a major studio instead. And 3 hours is kinda tough to watch. Of course I found out later that there has been new cuts. There's a new edition that's called "The Classic War of the Worlds" and that's 2 hours and 5 minutes. If you're curious enough, check it out. 

Then there was another one with the same title; "H.G. Wells' War of the Worlds", directed by David Michael Latt. This one again was direct to DVD and it was rushed out on June 28th – a day before the Spielberg version. Like the original it takes place in the present day rather than 1898. In general it's so much different I almost wonder why it couldn't be called something other than "War of the Worlds". In fact it has an alternate title "The Invasion", but it's hardly used. In comparison to the last one we saw the actors are much more believable and the special effects are a million times better – but that's not saying too much. The martian war machines are like giant crab monsters, which is fine. And there's also some great apocalyptic scenery. For a budget of $1 million it's not bad. It looks like something that could've been released in theatres. But comparing it to the $132 million dollar Spielberg version and the abundance of alien invader movies out there, this one just blends into the crowd and it becomes mediocre. This movie actually had a sequel "War of the Worlds 2 - The Next Wave", released in 2008. But let's not get into it because we'll be here forever. 

And at last on June 29th we had the Spielberg version, starring Tom Cruise. This is the one that most people know about – after all, it was the only one released in theatres of the 'June 2005 War of the Worlds remake'-trilogy. Again it was a modern day retelling and for what it was it wasn't bad. It seems most people hated this movie, but I didn't really expect much. It has some great special effects like when the ray-guns are blasting people to bits. But other times, like when the alien probe goes into the house, it's obvious CG and it looks like ass – even the original probe looked better. What I really liked was some of the long takes. The camera becomes a character itself and it really puts you into the situation. I feel that this movie did a good job showing people's emotions to the crisis and it kinda helped to give it that modern day, post-9/11 subjective view. But in the end it's just an alien movie, nothing special. 

I prefer the original by far. It has a charm that can never be matched. What really turned me off personally was that three remakes all at the same time, coincidence or not, it was just overkill and it was confusing. 

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Invaders From Mars

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James: "Invaders From Mars" came out in 1953, the same year as "War of the Worlds". It also dealt with martians and also done in color. This is the cheap-ass one, the poor-man's "War of the Worlds", but it has its own unique style. 

David MacLean: What happened to your neck? It looks like there's a-- 

Mr. George MacLean: Nothing, I… I cut on a barbwire fence. 

David MacLean: Barbwire?! But there isn't any barbwire--

Mr. George MacLean (as he slaps David): I cut on barbwire, I said!! 

James: Everything takes place from the perspective of a young boy. It seems all the aliens in the movie are something a kid would come up with. The main martian is just a head with tentacle, kinda reminding me of Krang from "Ninja Turtles". The other aliens look like they're wearing pajamas. All its artificialness gives it this surreal, supernatural environment. Even the colors are kinda weird, depending on the print I guess, but it's just kinda strange. It the quintessential cheesy alien invader movie, but for what it is it works. 

In 1986 there was a remake by the same title directed by Tobe Hooper, who brought us horror classics such as "The Texas Chainsaw Massacre" and "Poltergeist". The remake follows the original pretty closely, even down to that old, weird-looking fence. Again it succeeds in putting you into a child's perspective, reminding you of that dark time when your imagination would run wild. It's not a great movie by any means, but if you just look at the cover what do you expect? If a B-movie is what you want then it's what you get. The alien effects are delightfully cheesy. Now look at the alien leader – now I can really see that as Krang. Creatures from the 80's were the best; this is before CG came along and took a shit all over everything. There's nothing like seeing a good old animatronic monster, but they're not as awesome as "The Gremlins" or "Critters" and it tends to get overshadowed by everything else that was out at the time. One of the props being used is actually a recycled tricorder from "Star Trek 2: The Wrath of Khan". Another piece of trivia; Jim Hunt who plays a police chief was the same actor who played David, the young boy from the original. 

To sum things up; both versions are okay. The special effects each represent the decade in which they were made. It wasn't one of the best invasion classics to begin with, but still worth a look. 

Check in for part three; the final part. We're gonna talk about "Invasion of the Body Snatchers" and "The Blob".  

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James Rolfe: Welcome to part three; the conclusion. I'm talking about 1950's alien invader movies and their remakes. 

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Invasion of the Body Snatchers

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James: It was based on the 1955 novel "The Body Snatchers" by Jack Finney. Not to be confused with the 1884 novel "The Body Snatcher" by Robert Louis Stevenson, which was made into a movie in 1945 starring Boris Karloff and Bela Lugosi. Now that I've confused the hell out of you let's move on. 

The 1956 movie "Invasion of the Body Snatchers" is a movie without much special effects. It's about a doctor who finds a bunch of people who think that their family members are not themselves but rather an impostor taking on their likeness. The doctor thinks it's mass hysteria but slowly discovers the truth that an alien race is coming down in seed pods. Once they hatch, so to say, they take on the appearance of the nearest human and then when the human goes to sleep they become the alien… or something like that. Like I said it doesn't have much special effects but it's really entertaining. The doctor is telling us the story, so we see everything unfold from his point of view. This is what I like because it really subjects you to his character and his narration makes it feel like a detective movie. You really feel the paranoia going on that you can't trust anyone around you. Often this movie has been analyzed a bit too much. Some people say it has something to do with communism, but I never looked into it that deep. Either way, it's a classic and one that has been referenced countless times. There was a Bugs Bunny parody "Invasion of the Bunny Snatchers" and in "Gremlins" they're watching it on TV. 

Dr. Miles (on the TV in "Gremlins"): They're here already!! You're next!! 

James: Like any classic it's been remade – more than once. Here we have the 1978 version of the same title. What I like about this one is that it helps clarify how the pod-people take over. Once the duplicate becomes conscious the original person pretty much dies when they go to sleep. In the first movie it doesn't really make much sense. When the doctor's love interest goes to sleep she immediately becomes the impostor. But then where does the duplicate go and what's the point of even having it? This one makes a little more sense. There's also some pretty good special effects. When the pod-people are born you see it happen in explicit detail. This is one moment when it's definitely stronger than the original film. The title sequence showing outer space and the pods descend to the Earth is really neat. It's almost like an old documentary you'd see in science class. The whole movie has a lot of interesting camerawork and weird music. At times it feels like a 70's acid fest… It's a little bit too weird. I feel as if it's trying too hard to be artsy and the pace is very drawn-out and slow. At 1 hour and 55 minutes it's way too long. Just a little trivia; the star of the first movie, Kevin McCarthy, has a cameo. 

Running man (banging on the windshield, yelling): Help! Help, help! Help! They're coming, they're coming! Listen to me--

James: You know what? That reminds me – That's what I miss most. The first movie had a voice from the doctor's perspective. You follow him around and feel as if you are the character. 

Dr. Miles: A woman who said her uncle wasn't her uncle. But I didn't listen--

James: But here it doesn't have that. You have all these different characters but none of them do you actually latch on to. 

In 1993 there was another remake just called "Body Snatchers". It changes the main setting from a small town to an army base. It centers around a family who works there or something… The seed pods has tentacles which crawl into the body of the victim and literally suck out their identity. Inside the pod the duplicate takes form and once alive it disposes of the victim. And whenever a pod-person notices a real person they point and do this obnoxious scream. 

(Female pod-person points and screams)

James: The movie is short but it trudges along at a snail's pace. It doesn't get interesting until about 45 minutes in. It captures the paranoia and has some funny moments like a kid falling from the sky. It's not too bad but it's not memorable by any means. 

In 2007 it was remade AGAIN – this time called "The Invasion". So it seems now they're just keep using different pieces of the title, just to make it sound original. But wasn't "The Invasion" the alternate title for one of the "War of the Worlds"-remakes?! Oh I don't care… This time there's more of a technical explanation of how people become the alien impostor. A human first becomes contaminated and then when they sleep the alien spores takes over the brain. It's a lot like a disease and it's spread by being puked in the face. You don't get any more blunt than that. The special effects are minimal but explicit – it's what you expect from a contemporary movie like this. It has a famous cast; Daniel Craig and Nicole Kidman are the stars, but is it any good? Well, it's not too bad but by today's standards it's nothing special. 

"Invasion of the Body Snatchers" is one of those movies where every time they remake it, it reflects the social anxieties of the time. So filmmakers feel the need to keep updating it for modern audiences. And it's also such a broad concept that every time they remake it, each version stands apart. So what it comes down to is that it's just a very remakable movie. 

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The Blob

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James: The 1958 classic is one of my favorites of the 'alien-invasion-monster-on-the-loose'-franchise. A meteor crashes to Earth bringing with it an alien life-form that's hungry for humans. But this alien doesn't have crazy eyes or tentacles or any real features – it's just… well, a blob. A bloodthirsty mass of spaceslime. The simplicity of it is ingenious. As it absorbs people it grows in size and becomes more red – it's a great concept. While modern movie-goers might laugh at its primitive special effects and obvious use of miniatures, this is not a movie about visual effects and to me rises above the typical B-movie. The best thing about it is Steve McQueen. This is the movie that got him to start acting. He plays a teenager, even though he was about 28 at the time. Instantly he's a funny and likable character and that's what keeps this movie so interesting. It's a story of 'Boy Cried Wolf'. The teenagers are causing trouble, playing pranks and racing cars backwards. But then when they learn of the Blob none of the adults and authorities believe them, so they have to take care of things themselves. It's groundbreaking in a sense that it's one of the first movies of this kind to portray young kids as the heroes. Another thing that makes this movie so charming is its 1950-setting. The cars, the clothes, the way people talk and the movie-going experience. It's so obvious that it's the 50's that it becomes an authentic cliché of itself. 

James (standing outside the Colonial Theatre with a microphone): Right here at the Colonial Theatre in Phoenixville, Pennsylvania is where the movie's key-scene took place, where everybody runs out from the Blob. 

(Shot from "The Blob" where everybody runs outside the theatre screaming)

James (vo): And that's another reason why this movie is so appealing. It takes place in a regular small-town where every year they celebrate Blobfest, where all kinds of madness goes on. This one I attended happened to be "The Blob"'s 50th anniversary. There was a Steve McQueen look-alike contest, vintage vehicles – some of which are from the movie and of course a screening of "The Blob" in the very same theatre in which its most memorable scene takes place. It's like living the movie, quite literally because everyone reenacts the 'running out'-scene. 

(Shot of screaming people running out of the theatre at the anniversary)

James: It's an experience that this video can't do justice. And courtesy of prob-collector Wes Shank, the Blob itself makes an appearance. Yes, the actual Blob from the movie. 

(The audience chants "Blob, Blob, Blob!" as Wes Shank presents it to them)

James: It's interesting how this whole event brings everyone in the town together, the same way in the movie the Blob invades the very same town and in the end everyone has to work together. That's where the movie really resonates with me. 

Man in Santa costume: People are having fun, celebrating the human spirit, drinking alcohol – there's a guaranteed good time.

James: But now let's get to the sequel. In 1972 there was "Son of Blob". Well, that's what it was called when I saw it on TV hosted by Grandpa. 

Grandpa (Al Lewis): Now who did you expect? Mr. Spock? It's me Grandpa! Huhu! 

James: But more commonly it's called "Beware the Blob" as in 'beware this movie'. Everything I love about the original is absent here. It's still very low-budget but this time it doesn't work in its favor. There's no likable characters. All you have is the Blob and you just wanna see it devour everybody because you don't care. It makes you wish the effects were better because this movie doesn't really have anything going for it. One of the Blob's first victims is a kitten. Like, come on! That's not even fair… There's one part where someone is actually watching the first "Blob" on TV. So how this is a sequel… I guess it isn't. It's like in "Halloween 3" when they're watching "Halloween" – it makes no sense. And even though it may be a funny joke or not to the original, all it does is make you wish that you're watching the original instead. It's as if the best part of the movie is seeing the first movie within the movie and for that it's the only good part – but that doesn't count. 

The 1988 remake is more worthwhile. There aren't any actors as charismatic as Steve McQueen but they all do their job. It's entertaining as in every slasher-movie from the 80's. The blob-effects have a substantial update. This time they look pretty decent. A year later "Ghostbuster 2" used similar effects for the river of slime – an obvious tribute to "The Blob". But the neatest thing about the 80's Blob is when it devours people. You actually see what happens to their bodies. That's the only thing the original didn't have; gore. But I couldn't imagine this happening in the original, it didn't need it. This is a different movie and this one is all about special effects. Bring on the Blob, bring on the gore. It's awesome! 

I still prefer the original, but I'm happy with both versions because they're so different. But there has been talk of yet another remake in the works. Undeniably it's gonna be all CG, which is gonna loose all the appeal of both 50's and 80's special effects. I don't think we need to see another "Blob" movie, but let's see what the folks at Blobfest have to say. 

Bearded man: Uh, we recently watched the 1988 remake last night on Pay-per-view, or actually on-demand and that was actually pretty slick as far as production values go. It's uh-- I can't imagine you can do better than this as far as effects go. 

Ricou Browning: I think if they make a remake they should make a remake. And not go wild-- and you don't even recognize what it is anymore. 

Middle aged man: Generally what happens when they remake these movies is that they're trying to capitalize the name only. But the people who know the name, those are the people who grew up loving the original film. So if you're gonna use the name and people haven't seen the original, I don't know what sense that is. 

Hat-wearing man: Uhm, the last I heard "The Blob" was, uhm... You know, a biological weapon that gets loose from a government-lab, which is a nice idea I guess, you know-- But let's not call it "The Blob", call it something else. Go a slightly different tact and let "The Blob" exist as it is, you know. 

Tom Savini: "The Blob", we're talking about the remake, are the ones where you fell into place because you created sometimes more than the effects-guys can. Although it was fun seeing people dissolved by the new Blob, of course, 'cause I'm an effects-guy. And when I watch a movie I'm in effects-mode. 

Guy with a 'Ghoul A Go-Go!'-shirt: Uuuh, maybe the less said the better, I-- I think they should just keep showing the original over and over again. You're never gonna top it. You know, it's never gonna tarnish the original though… That's for sure. 

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Conclusion

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James: To sum things up; while the remakes are more sophisticated, the originals were so much more groundbreaking for their time. But the fact is there's going to be more remakes and more than we can even begin to guess. The real tragedy is that modern movie-goers are usually more interested in the newer movies. There's a lot of people who actually refuse to watch 'black & white'-movies just because they're black & white and that's just sad… But on a lighter note most of these alien invader remakes were quite good. With the remake there has to be a perfect balance. They can't completely copy the original because that's a waste of film. 

(Scene from the movie "Ed Wood")

Tony McCoy: So, uh… You made the movie. And now you wanna make it again?! 

Ed Wood: (a beat) No. 

James: And they can't completely stray from the original idea or else what's the point of sharing the same title. And even if you totally hate the remakes the originals still exist. But on the other hand it sometimes buries the originals. Like, if you go into a video store and ask for a movie you may get the remake and younger generations may not even be aware that it's a remake. On the other hand you can say that when a remake comes out it draws more attention and introduces people to the original. 

Bottom line; remakes can be done well, but it's our mission to make sure that the originals are never forgotten.

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