The Blob – USA, 1958

the blob

The Blob is a 1958 American science-fiction horror feature film directed by Irvin S. Yeaworth Jr. who had directed more than 400 films for motivational, educational, and ‘religious’ purposes (whatever the latter means?).

In the style of American International Pictures (AIP), Paramount Pictures released the film as a double feature with I Married a Monster from Outer Space.

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The Blob was future screen icon Steve McQueen’s debut leading role; it also starred Aneta Corsaut but, aside from The Toolbox Murders (1978) her movie career petered out and was confined to TV riles such as on The Andy Griffith Show.

The film’s tongue-in-cheek theme song, “Beware of the Blob”, was written by pop music maestros Burt Bacharach and Mack David and became a nationwide hit in the U.S. It was recorded by studio group the Five Blobs – actually singer Bernie Knee overdubbing himself.

The film was originally titled The Molten Meteor until producers overheard screenwriter Kay Linaker refer to the movie’s monster as “the blob”. Other sources give a different account, saying that the film went through a number of title changes (even the monster was called “the mass” in the shooting script) before the makers settled on The Glob, then hearing that cartoonist Walt Kelly had used The Glob as a title for his children’s book, and mistakenly believing that they could no longer use it as a title, they changed it to The Blob.

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A pseudo-comedy sequel, Beware! The Blob, was made in 1972, directed by Larry Hagman (who eventually found infamy as J.R. Ewing in soap opera Dallas).

In 1988, a remake of the same name was made an received generally good reviews. A second remake is apparently in development for a 2019 reboot.

Since 2000, the town of Phoenixville, Pennsylvania – one of the filming locations – has held an annual “Blobfest”. Activities include a re-enactment of the scene in which moviegoers run screaming from the town’s Colonial Theatre, which has recently been restored.

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the blob blu

Buy Criterion Collection Blu-ray: Amazon.co.uk | Amazon.com

Reviews:

“The remarkable seriousness the actors, particularly method disciple McQueen, bring to the material makes the film difficult to dismiss as mere camp. So does a finale that unites the entire town, teens and grown-ups alike, in an all-metaphors-aside fight against an alien threat…” Keith Phipps, The Onion’s AV Club

“It ends up being one-quarter pretty good blob rampage scenes, and three-quarters deadly dull teen melodrama [although I suppose drinks and friends could make these scenes amusing], making it still worth seeing, but less fun than one would hope.” Cinema de Merde

Choice dialogue:

Cop: “There’s nobody in here but us monsters.”

Cop: “It’s the most horrible thing I’ve seen in my whole life!”

Trivia:

The movie theater that the panicked crowd stream from had been showing Daughter of Horror (1953).

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7 Comments on “The Blob – USA, 1958”

  1. The 88 remake was a cracking gruesome surprise, but the original still holds a goofy place in my heart (probably in large part because it has become a euphemism for being on your period in NW england), however I can’t help but feel another remake will be a sort of, across-the-board, teeny, horror instead of the magically melty bloodbath of the late 80s.

  2. You wrote: “It also starred Aneta Corsaut but no-one has heard much of her career.” I don’t know about that. Ms. Corsaut became famous to an entire generation when she portrayed Sheriff Andy Taylor’s longtime girlfriend (and eventually his wife) Helen Crump on THE ANDY GRIFFITH SHOW from 1962 to 1968.

    1. Our reviewer was making reference to her almost non-existent movie career in comparison to Steve McQueen. I have clarified this. Although The Andy Griffith Show was a major US show it wasn’t well known internationally, unlike The Phil Silvers Show, for example. Thanks for the feedback though. Cheers, Adrian

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