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June 28, 2010

Random Horror Throwdown: The Omen (1976) vs. The Blob (1988)

That's right, my fine feathered finks! A Blob finally makes an appearance in the Random Horror Throwdown! But, it's not necessarily THE Blob...I mean, it is The Blob, but it's 1988's remake of The Blob. Not a remake is The Omen - which was however remade horribly, despite starring one of my favorite people named Liev Schreiber. They say that numbers never lie, so let's check into how the pinkish people eater fares against the spawn of a jackal.


The Movies:

The Omen (1976, Dir. by Richard Donner.)
Starring: Gregory Peck, Lee Remick, David Warner.
IMDB Synopsis: An American ambassador learns to his horror that his son is actually the literal Antichrist. (Note from The Mike: As opposed to, of course, the figurative Antichrist. Y'know, like that guy who seems to be the son of the devil, but is actually just a bad director with a catchy name who didn't understand the point of Carpenter's Halloween.)

The Blob
(1988, Dir. by Chuck Russell.)
Starring: Kevin Dillon, Shawnee Smith, Donovan Leitch.
IMDB Synopsis: A strange lifeform consumes everything in its path as it grows and grows. (Note from The Mike: Not to be a d-hole, but I kinda think the reason it grows is because it consumes. This guy seems to state the opposite. He fell for one of the two FMWL blunders: Never go in against The Blob when The Mike is on the line!!!!!)

The Directors:
For my money, Richard Donner is one of the most underrated directors of the last 35 years. He's never been big on the award circuits, but his blockbusters like Superman: The Movie, Lethal Weapon (x4), and - one of my personal faves - Conspiracy Theory have never ceased to entertain. Plus the dude directed a few episodes of The Twilight, the REAL Twilight Zone.

The Blob's Chuck Russell, who also powered A Nightmare on Elm Street 3 and has directed no less than Arnold Schwarzenegger, Jim Carrey, and The Rock (Eraser, The Mask, and The Scorpion King), is no slouch either. But nothing there compares to the three films I listed for Donner, and the point must go to The Omen. (1-0, The Omen leads.)

The Plots:
If there's one thing I love beside blobs, it's horror films that use religion to their advantage. The Omen, as part three of the unofficial "Unholy Trilogy", taps into that with plenty of Bible references, crazy priests, and even a catchy rhyme. But y'know what? The Blob has...a blob. Point awarded. (1-1.)

The Casts:
Of all the "leading men" that have gained fame in Hollywood, Gregory Peck - who makes one of his final appearances in The Omen - has always been one of my least favorite. I'm not necessarily opposed to the guy, but he's always been slightly wooden for my tastes. I'll take a Robert Mitchum or a Glenn Ford or a Richard Widmark over him any day. Lee Remick does fine as his trophy wife, and Billie Whitelaw is inspired as the protective nanny to Harvey Stephens' Damien.

Russell's Blob features a decent cast, with Kevin Dillon and Shawnee Smith giving likable performances, and several veteran character actors like Jeffrey De Munn, Del Close, Carmen Filipi, and Art LaFleur helping out. But The Omen has one thing The Blob doesn't...David Warner. Most underrated actor ever? Maybe. He's worth the point for The Omen. (2-1, The Omen leads.)

The Blobs:
Well, The Blob has one. The Omen doesn't. That's worth a point. (2-2.)

My Experience With the Films:

Anyone who's spent a minute on this site knows one thing: I LOVE THE BLOB. I love it long time. I think the longest post I've ever written for this site was the one in which I discussed the underlying social commentary in both versions of The Blob.

The Omen, on the other hand, has been a horror favorite of mine for a long time. It was once Midnight Movie of the Week, which clearly matters, and at times would have definitely ranked among my very favorite horrors. Is that enough to put it over a version of The Blob?

This Choice is Like:
I kinda want to re-use my Donald Sutherland/Karen Allen/Animal House analogy from the Creepshow vs. Night of the Creeps throwdown, but that's cheating. What I'm really hoping for is some outside interference...were this a tag team match of The Blob '58 and The Blob '88 vs. The Omen '76 and The Omen '06; there'd be no question which team is better. But Donner's film doesn't have the remake holding it back here, and Russell's doesn't have its more Mike-friendly predecessor to protect it. It's like Virgil with no Million Dollar Man. (I don't know why '80s WWF references work so well in these Throwdowns, but they darn sure do!)So About That Final Point?:
I do love Blobs so. But I love the remake a strong bit less than I love the 1958 epic. I love The Omen so. And I don't have to consider its remake. In a close battle, I gotta assume that the original Blob would show up and attack The Omen, setting up a main event feud for the future. But that would get The Blob remake disqualified...and give a point via disqualification - perhaps unfairly - to The Omen. (3-2, The Omen wins!)

(Note From The Mike: Will Irvin Yeaworth's Blob take action against The Omen for smiting its baby brother? Where does "The Film J.R. Shot", Beware! The Blob fit into the drama? Perhaps future Throwdowns will bring these answers. Perhaps!)


TS Hendrik said...

Search your heart, you know the results are wrong.

Any blob movie deserves extra points for being a blob movie.

stonerphonic said...

Damien is the fuckin Anti-Christ.(1)

The Blob is an oversized ball of dayglo snot. (0)

Damien's dad will rob you of your virgin soul. (1)

The Blob doesn't have a soul. (0)

Damien is pure evil. (1)

The Blob is pure... ummmm... blobish... (0)

Def think the spawn of a jackal has kicked the ass (or whatever orifice the Blob defecates from) of the ball of dayglo snot.

YAY for hell spawns....

Anonymous said...

I heart the Blob muchos as well. But I agree with Stonerphonic. Its FUCKING Satan (cue Slayer). Even in ankle biter form, he'd stop that roving pile of snot dead in its tracks. Hail Satan!!

AE said...

I have never seen "The Omen" all the way through. I need to remedy that posthaste... I didn't even know it had David Warner. And I call myself a blogger! /shame

I Like Horror Movies said...

Damn.. A close call, when it comes to entertainment, THE BLOB might have won this one, but overall I have to go with THE OMEN for the win!