THE BLOB

PrintE-mail Written by John Knott


BLU-RAY REVIEW: THE BLOB (1958) / DIRECTOR: IRWIN S. YEAWORTH JR. / SCREENPLAY: KAY LINAKER, THEODORE SIMONSON / STARRING: STEVE MCQUEEN, ANETA CORSAUT, EARL ROWE, OLIN HOWLAND, STEPHEN CHASE, JAMES BONNET / RELEASED: APRIL 20TH

By the mid-‘50s the Cold War had intensified to such an extent that America had become obsessed with communism and its perceived threat to their internal security. Such fears led to McCarthyism and that, in turn, led to inward-looking concerns that perhaps this was itself an even greater threat to the American way. It’s not entirely coincidental that sci-fi movies were enjoying something of a golden age at this time and it was inevitable that they addressed these issues. So it was that... Oh wait.

Sorry, we’re not reviewing Invasion of the Body Snatchers (1956) are we? We’re doing The Blob. Yeah right, it’s red and it’s taking over small town America so it must be about communism. Except that, no matter how many books anyone would like to write on the subject, it clearly isn’t. It’s a low-budget B-movie (that managed to come in under budget) with an icky-monster, teenagers, nice cars and a camp theme song. This is the quintessential drive-in flick and any resemblance to a “red menace” is purely coincidental (and at least one of the production team has said as much).

A young couple (McQueen and Corsaut) are doing whatever young couples did in their cars back then when they see a meteorite crash. Investigating, they find an old man (Howland) with something nasty stuck to his hand. It gets bigger and then old man disappears. As does the nurse who was treating him and then the doctor and then a car mechanic, etc, etc. All the while the “mass” (as they call it) gets bigger and bigger. Oh, you get the idea. This is pretty basic ‘50s B-movie stuff. As it can’t be shot (‘cause it’s like jelly, man) and fire, electricity and trichloroacetic acid (which we think you use on genital warts) all fail to have an effect, how will they destroy it? Well, we won’t tell you but it’s pretty cool [do you see what he did there? –Ed].

Ultimately, The Blob is just great fun; it manages to be sort-of-horrifying while bringing a smile to your face at the same time. The cast are all a bit ropey but Steve McQueen (who at 27 looked nothing like the teenager he was supposed to be portraying – the scenes with his “dad” are a hoot) saves the day with his natural onscreen charisma. You can tell he was going to be a star. Unusually, The Blob is in colour and if we’ve got a very minor criticism, Blu-ray doesn’t do the otherwise-adequate special effects any favours. It really is obvious that’s a drawing of the diner with a Blob on it at the climax.

If you have the slightest affection for ‘50s sci-fi then you really need this one and, if you don’t, it might just get you hooked. Then you can watch all the proper allegorical-hardcore-stuff. Go on, you know you want to.

Incidentally, if you like The Blob, you probably need to read ICE (available here).

Extras: Trailer, stills gallery
 


Suggested Articles:
Long before Robert Downey Jr. or Benedict Cumberbatch ever portrayed Sherlock Holmes on our screens
Polish writer/director Walerian Borowczyk was quite the card. In a 40-year career (he died in 2006),
Getting a new release from the BFI following their recent Scorsese celebration, Alice Doesn’t Live
Make no mistake, this isn’t competing with the likes of The Abyss or Das Boot, either for expansiv
scroll back to top

Add comment

Security code
Refresh

Other articles in DVD / Blu-ray Reviews

SHERLOCK HOLMES: THE COMPLETE COLLECTION 22 March 2017

THE STORY OF SIN 20 March 2017

ALICE DOESN’T LIVE HERE ANYMORE 20 March 2017

THE CHAMBER 20 March 2017

THE WARTIME CHRONICLES 20 March 2017

PIECES 18 March 2017

SOLARIS 18 March 2017

WHO'S THAT KNOCKING AT MY DOOR 18 March 2017

THE DOCTORS: THE JON PERTWEE YEARS 17 March 2017

FRIGHT NIGHT 14 March 2017

- Entire Category -

Sign up today!
Banner
Banner
Banner
Banner
Banner
Banner
Banner
Banner