Quick Hit: Classic science fiction/horror brings all the star power of a young “Steven” McQueen to bear.
Horror community, I have a confession to make. Though I had seen the 1988 remake, I had never seen the original Blob film from 1958. And you know what? It’s pretty good, and the effects are pretty good for a movie from the late 50s. I can see why it got remade, and even though eventually it’ll come around again (with no doubt terrible CGI), it won’t be all loss because the story is pretty much the basis for so much classic science fiction horror.
Enter: Couple about to do some passionate necking. Something streaks across the sky! Is it a bird? Is it a plane? No, it’s a mysterious substance that starts to swallow everything in its path! Too bad the old man got there first! Steve Andrews (Steve McQueen) and Jane Martin (Aneta Corseaut) eventually take the man to the doctor, and desperately try and convince the adults of the town that it isn’t just a prank, it’s a real thing that’s happening to the town.
The effects from this movie are really good considering what they must have had to go through to get them to the screen. Along with that, that pervasive sense of wrongness is well permeated through the film. You can almost feel the Communists staring through the windows and the aliens that are working with them to destroy the country. Steve McQueen gives a great performance that most people remember, but I was pretty happy with Corseaut as well. She manages to invest heart into the film where there isn’t any – kind of a Mary Hatch to McQueen’s George Bailey.
The film does have some of its issues, mainly with pacing. The film flies along for most of the first half before getting mired in dialogue to start the second. While it’s not bad dialogue, it slows down what had been (especially for that time) a fairly breakneck pace to the plot, and the monster disappears. This allows for some fantastic tension later when it reappears, and the climatic scene in the diner is fun, but it doesn’t totally forgive the length of time where mostly nothing happens.
In conclusion, I’m pretty glad I finally got around to watching this. I think you really have to watch the progression of movies and ideas to fully appreciate them – you can see so many different elements of this film in others, like Gremlins and Killer Klowns from Outer Space. It’s just nice to know your history kids. I’m giving this one a “B”.
For more on this film, check out IMDB.
"All work and no play makes Jack a dull boy"