The Blob

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The Blob

Post  BoG on Wed Mar 24, 2010 3:12 pm

Steve McQueen stars, credited as "Steven McQueen" in his first starring role (if you don't count The St Louis Bank Robbery, which was filmed earlier but released after) - hey, everyone had to start somewhere. McQueen plays a local teen in a small American town (even though he was in his late twenties at the time). Aneta Corseaut, soon a semi-regular on The Andy Griffith Show, co-stars as his girlfriend. They witness the Blob coming to Earth one night, in the form of a small meteorite. The Blob starts out as a small Blob, the size of a softball, but each time it feeds - primarily human beings - it grows in size, because it absorbs the mass of what it consumes...

The Blob! Above is the poster (and the box cover) included in the Criterion DVD
The picture quality is really excellent, almost like watching a brand-new film. There's an essay inside written by Bruce Kawin in which he opines that audiences may have been threatened as consumers, besides the usual monster scares. In other words, Americans tend to consume a lot and here is this monster from outer space who outdoes even us. This may have been stressed in the supermarket scene. I think this was really a stretch on the writer's part, but maybe. The film is a classic 'monster-from-space' story and set the template for many-a-future sf scare films, with just a slightly slow pace in the middle act, but an effective creepy tone. BoG's Blob Score: 6.5 out of 10.
Here is the Italian poster for the film, art by Sandro Simeoni:__________________
Blobby Trivia: It began screen story life as something like 'The Molten Meteorite' and then the filmmakers were tossing a bunch of names around, like 'Glob.'  The Glob ended up being a monster that Marvel Comics created to fight The Hulk in the late sixties, but there was also a supervillain mutant named the Blob created as an X-Men foe in 1963.  To me, the scariest scenes have always been the early ones with the old man, when the Blob attaches itself to him and begins to slowly consume him. This was truly creepy and still is. The actor who played the old man, Olin Howlin, began his career in 1918 and this was his last film. Ominous? The stuff with the nurse in the doctor's office continues the scares. Then, of course, we have all the actors playing what are supposed to be teens and who look about 30 years old on average. The filmmakers also used some local talent. They managed to convey the ambiance of small town Americana pretty well, in all. McQueen may have been channeling James Dean, but he definitely was drawing on his method-style training.

Since the film ends with that blatant question mark, I have wondered for many years why there was no immediate sequel (the film was good box office). The producer was interested in one but it was shelved for a variety of reasons. The belated sequel was Beware!The Blob in 1972, directed by Larry Hagman, who owned a beach house next to the producer.

click pulsing image to enter NIFTY FIFTY:

Then, there was a higher-budgeted remake in 1988, which piled on the gross factor (as in ugly stuff, not money). One other thing is the theme song of the original Blob: it invites controversy and debate since it's not the typical scary score of a monster movie, sort of throwing us off during the credits. You'd think you're about to start watching a beach movie. Beach Blanket Bingo Blob, anyone? This was the movie showing in a theater in scenes from the monster parody Schlock (73). Finally, footage from this original film was incorporated into the first scenes of a 2009 episode of Criminal Minds, "House on Fire," which took place in a movie theater showing the film, before it was set on fire.

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