Tuesday, August 21, 2012

THE BLOB (1958) review

Blob, The (1958) (3rd viewing) d. Yeaworth, Jr., Irvin S. (USA)

Considered by many the quintessential drive-in flick of the ’50s due to a memorably amorphous monster, Burt Bacharach’s hit title song and an unabashed “adults just don’t understand” message aimed squarely at its under-25 audience base. Future Hollywood superstar Steve McQueen (billed as “Steven”) might well have never graduated to the big time had producer Jack Harris’ film not been such a roaring success at the turnstiles – truth be told, the King of Cool comes off pretty mannered and awkward in his first starring role and his so-not-teenaged castmates don’t help matters. Luckily, the reddish-hued creepin’ leapin’ glidin’ slidin’ menace from space generates a venerable amount of fright factor as it oozes under doors, cruises around corners and swallows victims whole. Any scenes featuring Bart Sloane’s Blob effects are easily the highlights, especially Olin Howlin’s initial wooded encounter with the extraterrestrial goop, a doctor’s office attack and most memorably, the gooey assault on a packed movie house (screening the 1955 classic Daughter of Horror), an event revisited yearly at the annual Blobfest in Phoenixville, PA.

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