Movie Review: The Blob (1958)
Hey, you know that Steve McQueen guy. He’s the one that was made famous by the Blob! That movie must have made him millions over the years. Right? Odd fact, he made $3000 for that flick. He had a choice of contracts. Get $3000 up front or get a piece of the action. He was broke and really needed the money and $3000 looked like a lot for a film that would likely be just another 1950s monster movie. So he took the money and figured that’d be the end of it. If only he would have had Robert Downey’s foresight to take a cut of the profits.
So I haven’t seen this movie in years. I mean a very long time. Perhaps better than 10 years, but I honestly don’t recall the last time I watched it. I know I had seen the remake far more recently. I know there is also a Blob II (the return of the blob, Beware! The blob, the film the J.R. shot, and other titles) but I have never seen that one. Being that it was shot by Larry Hagman I feel that at some point I need to watch it.
As a Viewer: This movie spends a good deal of time letting us get to know our main characters. It’s a good slow build up and we get the police involved with our main characters before anything of import happens during the evening while the kids are out. The kids just take an old man to the doctor. What’s going to go wrong? The kids go back and Steve (yes, his character had the same name which I found humorous) witnesses the doc getting killed by something.
The fun continues as the blob goes through a mechanic (yes, they used to work late at night), the grocery store Steve’s dad owns, and finally into the movie theater where the other kids are watching a spooky movie. It’s hard to get a good handle on what time it is during the movie because Steve and Jane are at home and in bed and need to sneak out while other kids are at the movie. I got a little confused.
They run away from the blob and Jane’s younger brother shows up, fires his cap gun at the blob, and hides in the diner where the owner is just shutting down for the evening. Yes, before the movie crowd gets out. Hmmm, strange time to shut down, but oh well. Steve, Jane, the younger brother, and the diner owner are all trapped inside the diner. They head to the basement for safety. There they discover the blob hates the cold. Steve yells upstairs (he’d been on the phone with the police) and tells them the good news. They collect up all the CO2 fire extinguishers in town and hold the beast at bay until the military can arrive and drag the thing off to the arctic where it’ll remain froze forever.
As a Writer: I liked how the movie didn’t just jump in and BAM! Monster! BAM! Dead teenagers! BAM! Action! Instead if had kids doing what kids did in those days. Cruising, parking, going to the picture show, and talking with other kids. Parents were parents and kids listened. Well, kind of. Except for the sneaking out part. The police didn’t just write the kids off but did police stuff and came up inconclusive and based on the kids involved determined it was all a prank. Given the time the movie was shot there wasn’t any instant communication so they had to wait until morning to verify stories. Everything fit and made a sort of sense.
It’s hard to pick anything apart on this movie. It was fairly tight (everything took place in an evening) and even though it’s all during the night, it’s hard to tell at what time of the evening it’s taking place.
Recommendation: Overall this is a fun movie regardless of the time it was shot. Yes, it’s late 50s, but a lot of what happens it still easy to follow. It was made in a timeless fashion that hasn’t deteriorated much over the years. It’s a simple plot, but one that holds up. If you’ve never seen this movie, I’m sure you already know what happens and it’s still fun to watch it all unfold. If you saw this movie and think you remember it, watch it again. I had forgotten a lot of the events in the movie.
Given today’s global warming trend I’m surprised a remake or sequel isn’t in the works. Seems like this would be a great fit for today’s movie goers. I’d go see it. Maybe I should write it! Hey, not there’s an idea!