The Blob (1958)

Director: Irvin S. Yeaworth Jr & Russell S. Doughten Jr (1958)
Starring: Steve McQueen, Aneta Corsaut, Earl Rowe
Find it: IMDB

Never mind the Blob, the real freak show is in seeing Steve McQueen - aged 28 but looking about 40 - play a petulant seventeen year old. It's a very different Great Escape for Mister McQueen, climbing out of his bedroom window in the middle of the night to visit best gal Jane (Corsaut).

One summer night, as all-American teenager (shut up) Steve McQueen is taking his High School Principal's daughter on a date, a space rock crashes into the nearby woods. Trapped within, an extraterrestrial lump of goo - the titular Blob. As the song goes, "it creeps and leaps and glides and slides, across the floor, right through the door." Although don't expect to see any of that stuff in the movie itself. Mostly, it's Steve McQueen trying to convince skeptical adults and authority figures that the Blob is coming to eat them all up. "I did so see a man-eating Blob. Ugh. I hate you all!" 

It's a classic, but The Blob hasn't aged very well. It's far too slow, with not nearly enough Blob action and lots of Steve McQueen acting in a manner one wouldn't expect from Steve McQueen. "But I don't wanna stay in no Prisoner of War camp. I wanna go to the prom!" Sulky face. McQueen is as watchable as ever, but seeing him play a seventeen year old is as distracting here as it was with the evil faced kid in Grease. That he actually plays a guy called Steve is best of all. His character is non-existent, so one might as well drop the pretence, sit back and enjoy the Steve McQueen show. You certainly won't be watching for the hideous child or gruesome landlady characters, neither of whom get Blobbed on. Musical interlude before the scores:

It disheartens me to be disappointed by such a classic, but The Blob fails to live up to either its own premise or my expectations. It's plenty cheesy though, and there's fun to be had with McQueen and Lt. Dave. It ends on quite the cliffhanger too: "At least we've got it stopped." "Yeah, as long as the Arctic stays cold."  As if global warming wasn't bad enough on its own.

1 comment:

  1. The theme song was the best thing about the film. And Steve McQueen, of course.