Luke Owen counts down to Halloween by reviewing horror movies from the last 60 years; first up is The Blob (1958)…
The first of our 60 years of horror reviews begins with movie legend Steve McQueen’s feature debut – the 1958 cult classic The Blob.
Made independently and for very cheap, The Blob is a mixed bag of a movie that is hard to criticise due to the time it was made in. But criticise I must as I genuinely believe that The Blob’s biggest issue is that it is trying to be a big budget movie without the big budget. You can almost feel like each scene is missing its climatic big effect moment and you can count on one hand the amount of times The Blob is actually on screen. When it is actually on screen the effects are decent, but they’re crying out for more to do.
McQueen however is such a likeable lead and his charisma oozes through the screen like the titular monster does through vents. Even though there really isn’t a lot of “horror” to be had from this movie (it’s more science fiction), you stick with it because McQueen demands you to do so. The rest of the cast are more or less forgettable but they serve their purposes well.
But, again I have to bring it up; the films low budget hurts it badly. Because they clearly couldn’t afford much time with The Blob we spend countless scenes of exposition dialogue filling up the runtime before we get to the climax. And the climax itself, while pretty awesome, comes far too late in the movie. Instead of getting a thrilling 30 minute town take over that is promised, we get a short 10 minute burst of a few effects, a solution to the problem and a resolution. To say its anti-climactic is an understatement.
You can see the impact the film has had on today’s ‘monster movie’ filmmaking even down to several shots lifted by Ivan Reitman for Ghostbusters II. And who am I to knock a movie that has become such a cult classic? Not only did The Blob spawn a sequel (directed by Larry Hagman no less), it also had a remake in 1988 which has mixed reviews from most horror fans but I think is pretty decent. It’s probably on a par with this one, but given the choice I know which one I’d prefer to watch. House of 1000 Corpses and Halloween director Rob Zombie also stated that he was interested in doing a remake back in 2009 but has since left the project.
If you ask me, they should wait until 2018 to release a new remake, that way each generation has had ‘their Blob movie’ (a good marketing ploy by the way Hollywood – I’ll expect my cheque in the mail). With today’s effects and our generation’s lust for stuff getting destroyed, a 21st Century Blob remake could go down quite well. I know I’d be up for seeing one. Tracking down the DVD can be very tricky, but the film is up in parts on YouTube if you want to check it out.
Gore: ★ / Scares: ★ / Entertainment: ★ ★
Luke Owen is a freelance copywriter working for Europe’s biggest golf holiday provider as their web content executive.