Monday, November 2, 2009

Mini-Review: The Blob (1958)

Sometimes it's nice to look back on the film's that, while influential and revered by some, typically get dismissed by most. The Blob (1958) provides a classic example of this situation. Starring a young Steve McQueen, The Blob acts as a prototypical sci-fi/horror film. When people think of 50's sci-fi, this film is exactly what comes to mind.

The story is simple. When a meteor crashes onto Earth, a strange creature begins to creep its way into the nearest town, devouring anyone who comes into contact with it. Soon, the responsibility falls on McQueen and his teenage friends (all played by twenty-somethings) to warn the townspeople of this new threat. Of course, the adults don't believe the kid's wild story, instead blaming them for the disturbances that go reported. McQueen and the gang must find a way to either defeat the creature or warn others of their impending doom.

I suppose the story elements seem all too familiar and it certainly doesn't go above and beyond the typical films of its genre, but The Blob contains enough elements to make it a worthwhile watch. The film was independently financed, with a good deal of the money going towards the effects. While they may seem shoddy by today's standards, I think the only fair way to look at them is through the context of the time in which the film was made. By those standards the effects seemed just fine to me. The blob itself looks alien enough (figuratively and literally) to create a eerie atmosphere. It's also interesting any time you can look back on a big-name star like McQueen early in their careers. If anything, it illustrates that everyone has to start somewhere. Oh, and I should mention the opening title song, which has been stuck in my head ever since I first heard it. The song really conflicts with the tone of the rest of the film, as it's this peppy, poppy number that seems added at the last minute (in fact, I believe it was). Still, I enjoyed the song, maybe because it simply defied expectations.

So, if you should come across The Blob some night on TV, I'd say go ahead and watch if science-fiction is your thing or if you happen to be a big fan of Steve McQueen and want to check out some of his early work. If your not interested, just wait for the eventual remake.

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