Blu-Ray Review- The Blob (1958)

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The Blob is a classic piece of 50s B-Movie gold and was the first film starring Steve McQueen. It would later be remade in the late ’80s but the classic 1958 film has endured in the public consciousness since it first was shown as the bottom half of a double bill with I Married a Monster from Outer Space (which John Cooper Clarke wrote a song about). The Blob itself has a ridiculously catchy theme song written by lounge/pop songwriter Burt Bacharach.

The set up is pretty standard ’50s movie sci-fi/horror stuff, an alien blob comes out a piece of space junk and starts raising havoc on the small American town of Phoenixville. Steve McQueen plays the young rebellious teenager despite being 27 years old at time of filming and he tries to warn the small town about the extraterrestrial blob of jello. As with the case of many alien invaders films from the ’50s it can be and has been taken for an allegory about the dangers of communism but the screenwriter Rudy Nelson denied this interpretation.

Naturally the film is dated as hell but that’s half of its charm. The special effects are primitive at best and in the film’s climax in the diner they actually use a card board model for an interior shot of the diner. Steve McQueen from all accounts was a nightmare to work with on The Blob but he is pretty convincing playing the teenager despite the big age different. The script is bit on the hokey side but it’s one of the more tightly written B-Movies of its time and runs at a non stop pace of 83 minutes.

The Blob remains an early example of independent filmmaking, it cost over around $100,000 and ended up making 4 million and paved the way for the independent boom of the mid ’80s into the ’90s. It eventually topped that double bill with I Married a Monster from Outer Space after the audience reaction was far greater for The Blob. It was even reissued in the cinema in the ’70s to capitalise on the success of the Steve McQueen starring The Towering Inferno but in the ad campaign didn’t mention it was a sci-fi/monster film but merely a disaster flick. Overall The Blob remains a gem of a bygone era of filmmaking and despite some primitive effects still works its charms nearly 60 years later and is shockingly rated 15 by the BBFC.

Ian Schultz

Genre: Sci-Fi/Horror |Distributor: Fabulous Films |BD Release Date: 4th May 2015 | Rating:15 | Director: Irvin S. Yeaworth Jr. | Cast: Steve McQueen, Aneta Corsaut, Earl Rowe | Buy: The Blob (Blu-Ray)

 

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About Ian Schultz

I'm the guy who normally covers stuff released by Masters of Cinema and Arrow Video along with a sprinkling of other stuff. I love a wide range of films from European art house films to silly action films. My top 10 films are Brazil, Blue Velvet, Donnie Darko, Fight Club, Jackie Brown, Seconds, Pan's Labyrinth, Badlands, Blade Runner, The Night of the Hunter.

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