Friday, August 7, 2009
THE BLOB (1958)
THE BLOB begins simply as a meteor lands outside of an old man's (Olin Howlin) cabin and the sticky substance inside latches on to the old man's hand. When Steve (Steve McQueen) and Jane (Aneta Corsaut) drive by on their way home from a date, they narrowly miss hitting the old man who is running in terror. When they stop to see if he is okay he asks for help, so the young couple drive him to Dr. Hallen (Alden 'Stephen' Chase). As the Dr. begins to examine his patient he realizes this blob is growing and further consuming the old man.
As the blob grows it becomes more dangerous and harder to escape. Steve and Jane enlist help from friends of theirs who are the only people who will believe them, to try to warn the town. It isn't until an attack at the movie theater that the town realizes the severity of the problem. As the town tries escape several of our stars are trapped inside the local diner as the blob begins to swallow the entire building.
THE BLOB is nothing short of a classic creature feature, with the creature being a gelatinous blob of space goo who consumes people. It is suspenseful, expertly crafted and holds up perfectly after 50 plus years. Director Irvin Yeaworth makes excellent use of miniature sets and practical effects. It doesn't come across as cheesy or aged in any way, even after a worthy remake in the 1980s.
THE BLOB helped launch the very successful careers of ladies man Steve McQueen and composer/writer Burt Bacharach, as well as help close out the career of Olin Howlin who appeared in over 200 projects from 1918-1959.
Before the days of CGI it took some imagination and ingenuity to make a movie, and this one is done right.