Beware the Blob! How many times have you heard that warning while eating a bowl of Jell-O? (Yes, I play with my food.) Welcome to Throwback Thursday, where ScienceFiction.com looks at classic sci-fi. Today, we’re looking at the cinematic masterpiece, ‘The Blob’.
‘The Blob’ was directed by Irvin Yeaworth. It features Steve McQueen in his first leading role, along with Aneta Corsaut as Jane (“just Jane”.) The opening song was written by Burt Bacharach and Mack David and it’s quite a catchy tune that emphasizes the overall attitude you should have about watching this film. It’s campy, schlocky goodness, oozing throughout every pore.
Taking place in the small Pennsylvania town known as Downington, the film opens with Steve (McQueen) and Jane necking on lovers’ lane. Racy! While the two continue with their very rated-G makeout sesh, a meteorite crashes to Earth. Like any curious teenager, Steve and Jane decide to check it out, but they run into a man who has found it first. This man has goo attached to his arm that won’t come off. Steve and Jane decide to take the man to Doctor Hallen.
Dr. Hallen asks Steve and Jane to go check out the site to gain more information. However, while they’re gone, this goo turns into what we lovingly know as the Blob, an amoeba-like alien with only one goal in mind: absorb the entire world. The Blob consumes the old man and Dr. Hallen’s nurse. Eventually, Steve witnesses the Blob consume Dr. Hallen. Steve becomes quite convinced that a monster has come to destroy the world.
With nowhere to go, Steve and Jane head to the police who refuse to believe that a blob is oozing around town, consuming people. Ugh! As if adults couldn’t get any worse! First, they yell at you for driving recklessly and now adults won’t believe you that a giant blob is taking over the town of Downington?! How much bigger does this blob have to get before the town believes Steve and Jane? How many more people have to die?
There’s an important lesson to be learned in this film: always trust teenagers. ‘The Blob’, while a sci fi horror film, is also a film about teenage angst. Steve is akin to Jim Stark from ‘Rebel Without a Cause’. He is constantly dealing with adults who don’t understand. As his frustration with the police and his parents festers, the blob grows bigger and bigger. Don’t you see what can happen if you ignore the warnings of teenagers? An alien that looks like cherry pie-filling can take over your small town.
If you’re into 1950’s horror, chances are you’ve already seen ‘The Blob’. However, if you haven’t, you should know that it’s part of the Criterion Collection available on Hulu Plus. (Yes, this whole article is just one big advertisement for Hulu Plus.)
Have you seen the Blob and / or its 1988 remake? What do you think?