Director: Irvin S. Yeaworth Jr.
Writers: Theodore Simonson and Kate Phillips
Cast: Steven McQueen, Aneta Corseaut, Earl Rowe, Olin Howlin, Steven Chase, John Benson, George Karas, Lee Payton, Elbert Smith, Hugh Graham, Vince Barbi, Audrey Metcalf, Jasper Deeter, Tom Ogden, Elinor Hammer, Pamela Curran, Ralph Roseman, Charlie Overdorff, David Metcalf, Josh Randolph, George Gerbereck, Julie Cousins, Kieth Almoney, Eugene Sabel, Robert Fields, James Bonnet, Anthony Franke, Molly Anne Bourne, and Diane Tabben
Composer: Ralph Carmichael
Release Date: 9/12/1958
MPAA Rating: Not Rated
While enjoying a romantic evening together, teenagers Steve Andrews (Steven McQueen) and Jane Martin (Aneta Corseaut) witness a meteorite crash into a nearby hill. Moments later, an old man (Olin Howlin) arrives at the crater and becomes engulfed by a globular substance. Upon increasing in mass, the Blob—unseen by all but Steve—invades the Colonial Theater during a midnight screening of Daughter of Horror, causing panic to ensue. Only a discovery made by Steve, now trapped in the freezer of a local diner, can prevent the Blob from consuming the entire town.
The quintessential 1950s B movie, The Blob should be requisite viewing for creature feature enthusiasts. Worth noting in particular is the eponymous theme song composed by Burt Bacharach and Mack David, the catchy and repetitive qualities of which embody the fun, campy, and tongue-in-cheek essence of this film.
A unique and original (if somewhat hokey) movie monster, the Blob presents a credible, terrifying threat to the human characters due to its unusual physical properties. Specifically, a gelatinous and highly flexible form allows the Blob to slip through cracks, creases, and other awkward openings with relative ease, posing a grave danger to the protagonists regardless of where they hide—an advantage that the majority of humanoid monsters (e.g. the original Thing, the Gill Man, and the Frankenstein monster) fail to possess.
With the possible exception of Steve McQueen (a legend of Western cinema) and Aneta Corsaut (known for playing Helen Krump in The Andy Griffith Show), the actors in this film struggle to convey the feelings of alarm, desperation, and claustrophobia that would realistically plague a small, defenseless town with an alien monster on the loose.
Also underwhelming is the final scene, which, despite leaving open the possibility of a sequel (see Beware! The Blob), is marred by an anticlimactic showdown between the townspeople—armed with about a dozen fire extinguishers—and the now gargantuan Blob.
Though produced on a shoestring budget, The Blob creates a thrilling, suspenseful atmosphere by substituting graphic violence with the power of suggestion—much in contrast to the 1988 remake, which employs a copious amount of gore whenever the Blob (revealed to be a biological weapon left over from the Cold War) dissolves one of its human victims.
Combining alien invasion tropes with B-movie madness, The Blob earns its reputation as an iconic and entertaining science fiction film. The lackluster performances featured in this offering may, however, prompt criticism from viewers of a serious inclination.
Overall Quality: 7/10
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