Monday, June 20, 2011

The Blob (1958)

Directed by: Irvin S. Yeaworth Jr.

Release Date: 1958

This marks the first time I’ve ever seen a Steve McQueen movie (I know, don’t judge me) and he was so dashing and handsome as Steve Andrews, the teenager who discovers the blob of this monster that creates a crater in the Earth.

Having not been familiar with many fifties movies, I enjoyed the score exponentially and the old fashioned values.

When Steve is challenged to a race by his friend, he’s caught by Lt. Dave in which he says, “Don’t bring the fathers into this. I won’t do it again.” The cookie cutter image in that time period is very effective to create the suspense of this monster that we don’t even see that much on screen.
The cheesy effects were absolutely spectacular; it brought you back to a time when filmmakers had to be creative and used different camera tricks to create a creature that didn't exist. Yeah, the effects don't hold up very well but the end result was the same as if you were watching the picture back then.

I watched The Criterion Collection version of this film which featured commentaries from producer Jack H. Harris and film historian Bruce Eder and the director and actor Robert Fields (played Tony).

The most amazing gem from this movie (apart from the campiness of the whole thing) was the theme song written by Burt Bacharach. The first opening line ala “Tequila” style - “Beware of the Blob” made this movie that much more enjoyable. His addition to this picture was the one of the many memorable hits that Burt created; granted he has more memorable songs like "I Say A Little Prayer" and "Raindrops Keeping Fallin' On My Head," than this little ditty for a creature feature. Regardless, the opening song, albeit misleading because the movie is supposed to be scary, makes this a memorable picture, just because of that song.

The opening shot where Steve is kissing Jane is reminiscent of Michael Jackson’s “Thriller” music video because we know things are going to go wrong soon after. The plot details aren't very important; the execution of the tension when McQueen and company are goners? Classic. How this little 1950s picture still can create this anxiety 53 years later is astounding; the filmmaker knew what he was doing.

As a Steve McQueen picture (prior to his studly action star self) and a horror picture with science fiction elements, this movie was boss and a total blast!!

Just for fun, I'll even include the nifty trailer for ya'll. Enjoy!