Beware! The Blob (1972)

bewaretheblob_1Beware! The Blob (1972)
AKA Son of Blob

Starring Robert Walker Jr., Gwynne Gilford, Richard Stahl, Richard Webb, Shelley Berman, Godfrey Cambridge, Larry Hagman, Carol Lynley, Marlene Clark, Gerrit Graham, J.J. Johnston, Danny Goldman, Rockne Tarkington, Dick Van Patten, Tiger Joe Marsh, Sid Haig, Burgess Meredith

Directed by Larry Hagman

Expectations: Moderate.

On the general scale:
twohalfstar

On the B-movie scale:
threestar


Beware! The Blob is a sequel to The Blob, but it’s also not. There’s nothing to connect the two films other than the blob. Beware! The Blob is also a horror comedy, but the genre line is blurred with enough genuine comedy and enough genuine horror to make anyone question which should be labeled as the primary genre. I’m gonna go with horror even though I feel it’s more of a comedy than a true horror film. I know that doesn’t make a lot of sense, but I’m going with that only because a fan without any interest in horror would never choose to watch this, nor would they find it all that funny. Probably. I can’t speak for everyone.

In order to facilitate a lot of truly outlandish comedic scenes, there isn’t much of a plot. Plots get in the way of inspired, unconnected moments like an opening credit sequence of a kitten exploring a field, a long-haired hippie asking for a haircut from a clean-cut barber (played by stand-up comic Shelley Burman), or when a group of hobos (two of which are Larry Hagman and Burgess Meredith) do their best to battle the blob with a pitchfork. The plot here is nonsensical and pointless, but its free-flowing nature helps the film from getting too dull as the blob absorbs and assimilates its victims into its gelatinous mass.

Continue reading Beware! The Blob (1972) →

The Blob (1958)

theblob_5Starring Steve McQueen, Aneta Corsaut, Earl Rowe, Olin Howland, Stephen Chase, John Benson, George Karas, Lee Payton, Elbert Smith, Hugh Graham

Directed by Irvin S. Yeaworth Jr.

Expectations: High. Genre movies don’t get Criterion editions too often.

threehalfstar


I expected The Blob to be about a slow-moving, unstoppable alien blob terrorizing a small town. What I wasn’t expecting was how well the film also integrates the ’50s juvenile delinquency film genre in with its horror, resulting in a film that works on both levels and entertains throughout. It seems pretty clear how this one gained such a big reputation, the genre crossover must have made it resonate incredibly well with kids who had a hard time getting their parents to listen to them. So basically: come for the killer blob, stay for the frustrated youths that you’ll probably relate to.

I’m not sure that a plot synopsis is necessary here, it’s The Blob. It’s kinda all right there. Well, not as much as it’s all right there in the title of Attack of the Killer Tomatoes, but how many things could a movie called The Blob be about? A stain on a shirt? That fat guy in the X-Men comics? … That’s all I got, and this movie isn’t about either of those. Y’see Steve (Steve McQueen) and Jane (Aneta Corsaut, The Andy Griffith Show‘s Helen Crump) are out smoochin’ under the stars when a shooting star bursts through the sky and lands somewhere close. Steve’s something of a stargazer, so off they drive in search of the rock from outer space.

Continue reading The Blob (1958) →

Mini-Review: The Blob (1988)

Starring Kevin Dillon, Shawnee Smith, Donovan Leitch, Jeffrey DeMunn, Candy Clark, Joe Seneca, Del Close, Paul McCrane, Sharon Spelman, Beau Billingslea, Art LaFleur

Directed by Chuck Russell

Expectations: Low. This one never interested me for some reason, but here I am watching it.


Oh wow, I love it when this happens. I’ve watched horror movies for years now and sometimes I get to thinking I’ve seen all the fun ones already. The Blob is not only one of the most fun horror movies I’ve seen in a while, it’s one of the most fun I’ve ever seen. They truly go for broke on this one, with lots of good 80s clichés and absolutely amazing physical FX. I went into this one with pretty low expectations for some reason, but I came out hootin’, hollerin’ and havin’ an absolute blast.

The film starts out very ominously as the credits fade in over quiet, well-composed shots of the barren, small town where The Blob takes place. Eventually we get to the high school football game where apparently everyone in town is rooting on their team. Here we meet our first couple of main characters (a player and a cheerleader), but before this scene can play out completely, director Chuck Russell crosscuts the cheering crowd with the leather jacket wearin’, motorcycle drivin’, bad boy Brian as he tries to jump a washed out bridge on his bike. These opening scenes perfectly set up the town we’ll be inhabiting for the next ninety minutes, as well as foreshadowing a key moment that I wouldn’t dare spoil here. Trust me, it’s awesome in the way that only an 80s movie can be awesome.

In addition to story tropes that only 80s movies can pull off effectively (but that shouldn’t stop modern filmmakers from trying!), The Blob is notable for its kick-fucking-ass special FX by the impressive Tony Gardner. He’s worked within many genres over the course of almost thirty years, and recently was responsible for the realistic prosthetic arm that James Franco cut off in 127 Hours. I’m a huge fan of physical FX and even I am speechless at how great the FX look in The Blob. The kills are nothing short of incredible and ridiculously inventive, ranging from phone booth crushings to a dude that literally gets sucked down a sink drain. It’s a smorgasbord of awesome and this film should be required viewing for anyone looking to make a modern horror film. Horror has lost so much of the fun it once had. Where modern horror focuses almost exclusively on realism and torture porn squirm scares, the 80s had a sense of heightened reality that allowed the films to go above and beyond what realism can offer, resulting in films that are relentlessly fun.

On top of all that goodness, director Chuck Russell actually knows how to shoot and edit a movie! Imagine that! The cinematography is rich and colorful, perfectly complementing the beautifully composed shots and FX. I really can’t believe more people aren’t talking about this one, as it is so well made and so very much fun. If you like 80s horror, you simply must watch The Blob.

Subscribe via Email!

Enter your email address to subscribe to this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email.

Join 1,593 other subscribers

Ongoing Series

Top Posts & Pages

Perfect (1985)
The Master of Kung Fu (1973)
Shaw Brothers Martial Arts Films
The Lizard (1972)
Drunken Master II (1994)
Lady of the Law (1975)
Virgins of the Seven Seas (1974)
Corpse Mania (1981)