The Blob appears in an aspect ratio of 1.85:1 on this Blu-ray Disc. I felt pleased with this fairly solid presentation.
Sharpness was positive. Some softness occasionally interfered with wide shots, but those issues remained modest. Instead, the movie usually appeared fairly distinctive and detailed.
The image suffered from no problems with jagged edges or shimmering, and it also lacked edge enhancement. Grain remained appropriate, and the image showed no print flaws beyond a couple of small specks.
Colors came across as pretty good. The film utilized a fairly natural palette, and the Blu-ray replicated those tones with accuracy and vivacity much of the time.
Blacks seemed similarly tight, and shadows showed reasonable clarity, though some nighttime shots could feel a bit murky. This was a mostly appealing transfer.
The DTS-HD MA 5.1 soundfield usually stayed with a forward bias. In that realm, elements were accurately placed and meshed together pretty nicely.
The music demonstrated fine stereo presence and the effects helped create a good feeling of atmosphere. The surrounds largely just reinforced matters and didn’t add much unique audio, but they managed to bring nice support to the track.
Audio quality continued to seem strong for its vintage. Dialogue always came across as natural and concise, as the track lacked edginess or other concerns.
Effects sounded dynamic and bold, with clean highs and fairly deep low-end. Music also showed good presence and range. Nothing about the mix floored me, but it worked well for a movie of this one’s era.
We get a slew of extras from this “Collector’s Edition”, and we open with three commentaries. Recorded for an earlier release, the first features director Chuck Russell and film historian Ryan Turek. Both sit together for this running, screen-specific look at story/characters, the original and its adaptation, cast and performances, music, effects, sets and locations, editing, photography, effects and connected domains.
From start to finish, this becomes an excellent track. Russell covers a slew of useful topics and does so with gusto, so we find a strong, informative track.
New to the 2019 release, the second commentary features director Chuck Russell, special effects artist Tony Gardner and cinematographer Mark Irwin. Accompanied by moderator Joe Lynch, all sit together for a running, screen-specific discussion of the same subjects in the first track, though with more emphasis on the effects and photography.
Lynch tells us how Blob influenced him, and he brings a lot of energy to the piece – for better and for worse. On one hand, I appreciate his fervor, but on the other hand, his side of the chat pushes the others toward more of a gushing tone than I’d like.
Don’t get me wrong: we still learn some good details, even with the inevitable repetition from the first commentary. The track just devolves into too much praise/happy talk and not enough solid content.
Also exclusive to this disc, the final commentary comes from actor Shawnee Smith. Along with moderator Justin Beahm, she brings a running, screen-specific chat about her career and experiences on the shoot.
The disc saved the worst for last, as Smith’s track offers a snoozer. Smith occasionally tosses out a few decent nuggets, but she usually goes more down a banal path.
This means odd remarks like one in which she sees a young costar and speculates that the child’s “probably” grown up now. Given Blob came out 31 years ago, I’d hope so!
Smith also apologizes for talking too much, a statement that makes me think no one explained the concept of a commentary to her. During other tracks, Beahm helps keep participants focused and informative, but here he lets Smith meander and does little to prod her into useful memories.
All that and no mention of 1987’s Summer School, Smith’s best movie! Expect a dull commentary.
We hear more from the lead filmmaker in a two-part Interview with Director Chuck Russell. All together, these segments span 48 minutes, 58 seconds.
Russell discusses how he got into movies and early experiences, various projects on which he worked, and aspects of Blob. Some of this repeats from the commentaries, but Russell adds a lot of new notes, so these programs become effective.
Performers dominate the next bunch of reels, and we start with an Interview with Actor Jeffrey DeMunn. In this 14-minute, 13-second piece, DeMunn talks about his push into acting as well as his time on Blob. DeMunn offers a decent chat but not one with a lot of fascinating observations.
Next comes an Interview with Actor Candy Clark. In her 16-minute, 40-second chat, Clark covers her life, career and experiences on Blob. A lot of these Shout Blu-ray interviews last too long, but given the breadth of Clark’s career, this one is probably too short.
Another performer shows up via an Interview with Actor Donovan Leitch. Over his 15-minute, 21-second conversation, Leitch examines his show business family and his move to acting, his feelings about horror movies, and working on Blob. This becomes another decent overview.
An Interview with Actor Bill Moseley spans 18 minutes, 38 seconds and provides Moseley’s take on his career and time on Blob. This reel follows the pattern of its predecessors and delivers a moderately interesting piece.
For the next few segments, we hear from movie crew, and we get an Interview with Cinematographer Mark Irwin. He appears in an 18-minute, 10-second chat that covers his work on Blob. Irwin offers a blunt, entertaining take on his perspective.
An Interview with Blob Mechanic Peter Abrahamson occupies 12 minutes, 23 seconds. Unsurprisingly, Abrahamson focuses on elements of how the filmmakers brought the Blob to life. An animated speaker, Abrahamson makes this a fun chat.
Next comes an Interview with Special Effects Artist Tony Gardner. This one goes for 22 minutes, two seconds and gives us more info on the film’s attempts to make the science-fiction elements realistic. Gardner gives us a lot of good details about the effects.
During a 26-minute, 14-second Interview with Special Effects Supervisor Christopher Gilman, we learn about his career and his work on Blob. The makes it similar to other interviews, and Gilman brings us useful notes.
An Interview with Production Designer Craig Stearns fills 20 minutes, 32 seconds and discusses Stearns’ time in films and his activities on Blob. He provides a likable chat.
After this we discover an Interview with Mechanical Designer Mark Setrakian. During this 19-minute, 41-second program, Setrakian gets into more issues connected to the movie’s execution of the title character as well as aspects of his career. It’s another effective reel.
A featurette called Gardner’s Grue Crew runs 28 minutes, 18 seconds and presents silent video footage from behind the scenes accompanied by movie music. Most of this just shows Leitch as he gets gooed up for a body cast, and that long sequence seems dull.
We then get some glimpses of a few other effects elements. While these offer more value than the Leitch segment, the lack of commentary makes the whole package less than valuable.
In addition to trailers and a TV spot, we end with a Still Gallery. It brings 65 images, most of which focus on publicity pieces. It’s a good compilation.
Though superior to the original version, the 1988 remake of The Blob fails to turn into anything excellent. Still, it manages reasonable entertainment across its 95 minutes and remains a decent horror tale. The Blu-ray offers generally positive picture and audio along with an extensive compilation of bonus materials. Fans will love this terrific release.