This is the epitome of the 1950’s monster movie. If that sounds like fun, this movie will be an absolute delight. It is cheesy and campy. It is silly and fun. It is a piece of pop culture history.
Made in 1958, The Blob starts with Jane and Steve, played by Aneta Corseaut and Steve McQueen in his first starring role, as they make out in his car just outside of town. Suddenly an asteroid lands not far from them. An old man finds the asteroid and prods it with a stick. Just then, the thing latches onto his hand. and begins to consume him. Jane and Steve take him to the doctor. Not the hospital, the doctor who works out of his home, a simpler time. The thing soon consumes the old man and everyone else in its path. It grows to gargantuan proportions as the more it eats, the bigger it gets.
This is a classic of horror cinema. Is it scary? No. Although it does have some wonderfully creepy moments where the blob silently creeps up on an unsuspecting victim. However, what this film really is is fun. It’s full of cheesy lines like “good heavens doctor! What could it be!” The acting is hammy. And the whole films seems to have been shot in front of a black screen. The actors are well lit, and they are standing in front of total blackness. It’s a strange effect that I’ve never seen anywhere else. The actors look great, but they also seem to be floating in a sort of limbo.
The main crux of the story is that Jane and Steve are trying to warn the town of the impending blob, but no one will believe them because the story is so silly. It’s fun when a movie acknowledges how silly its own plot is sometimes. Every time Jane and Steve try to show someone the blob, they arrived too late and just missed it. For a gelatinous mass it sure is quick. In the end, the whole town comes together and trust Steve and Jane at their word. It’s a pretty nice moment of the town banding together to face down evil. Ah, simpler times.
In the end it’s a very thin movie. The runtime is only 84 minutes. Barely a feature length movie, and they even pad the runtime with superfluous scenes. Theres a whole scene in which a cop plays chess with a stranger over the radio. There’s a long scene where Jane bribes her little brother in order to get him t go to bed. There’s even an extended drag race sequence that totally interrupts the plot. It’s actually hilarious. Steve has to go find out what this blob is, but first he has to have a quick drag race with some local guys. Then back to the movie. It’s truly silly. However, with a title like “The Blob” you shouldn’t be expecting a serious movie.
If you’re looking for an over the top fun little movie to satisfy you Halloween movie fix, this one is a ton of over the top 50’s fun. Check it out. It’s currently streaming on HBO Max or Crackle.
It’s my cup of tea. – B+