STARRING: Steven McQueen, Aneta Corseaut, Earl Rowe, Olin Howlin

1958, 86 Minutes, Directed by:
Irvin S. Yeaworth Jr.

This ‘Fifties B-movie about a giant man-eating blob of crimson Jell-O that terrorizes a small American town is notable for two things today: (a) it was shot in color (unlike many other contemporary examples of the genre) and (b) it marked the feature film debut of Steve McQueen, who would go on to become a Hollywood megastar in the 1960s.

Peculiarly enough the opening credits list him as “Steven” McQueen. (For some reason the film’s original trailer lists him as Steve though.) Even more confusingly the character he plays in the movie is named Steve. At 28 McQueen looks old enough to be one of his teenage friends’ dads instead of the 17-year-old boy he is supposed to be.

Two teenagers witness a meteor crash onto the earth. The tiny meteor contains a blob-like creature (where do you think did they get the idea for Spider-man 3 from?) that proceeds to gobble up several townspeople and keeps on growing in size in the process. (The character would later on provide the inspiration for B.O.B. in DreamWorks’ animated Monsters vs. Aliens.) When the teens try to warn the authorities they are obviously disbelieved.

Few movies are “so bad that they are good” (mostly they are just plain bad), but The Blob is a welcome exception. The movie isn’t good by stretch of the imagination, but it’s campy fun thanks to some dodgy acting, a corny screenplay and hokey special effects. Incidentally the cornball theme song is by Burt Bacharach himself. It has to be heard to be believed: “Beware of the blob, it creeps / And leaps and glides and slides / Across the floor / Right through the door / And all around the wall / A splotch, a blotch / Be careful of the blob.”

It’s bad, but never painfully bad . . .

A belated sequel titled Beware! The Blob followed in 1972. In contrast it was supposed to be a comedy, but wasn’t funny at all and is to be avoided by all accounts. This sequel was directed by Larry Hagman and was reissued in 1982 with the tagline, “The Film That J.R. Shot!” It was remade in 1988 and this time round the blob was actually manmade. In 2009 it was announced that Rob Zombie who also remade Halloween will direct yet another remake. The mind boggles!


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