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“Steve, What about the dog?” – The Blogging Dead looks at The BLOB! (1958)

October 8, 2012

I’m Back to babble about Horror both old and new in The Blogging Dead 2012!!!!!

The Blob (1958) directed by Irvin S. Yeaworth Jr. has stood the test of time quite well.  I remember seeing this film as a child and finding it particularly not frightening.  Upon closer examination as an adult, its terror factor has multiplied many times over.  It features Steve McQueen in his first leading role, as a teen who takes it upon himself to battle the namesake of the film.

The Blob preys upon certain fears that are deeply rooted in our DNA, but would never count amongst our greatest.  Such as:

  1. The “This could never happen to me” mentality
  2. The safety in numbers idea being completely false
  3. Brazen youthful stupidity giving rise to a domino effect of carnage
  4. Loss of family
  5. The unknown
Strength in numbers - The people in the center are smiling! Ha!

Strength in numbers – The people in the center are smiling! Ha!

The blob takes place in Anytown USA in 1957.  Kids go and make out over at ‘lookout point.’  Drag racing is how they prove their alpha-maleness.  It is a sleepy little hamlet, literally, the film takes place over night and the characters have to wake everyone up!  America has just gotten out of its second War in 20 years.  The super highways of our country are creating a new fad: commuting to work.  The USA is full of hope and CAN DO attitude!  So how on Earth could something bad happen to a small town like this?  You see, the thing is, it’s not of Earth.  This thing, this blob, this mucus of mass destruction, fell from the sky as randomly as a raindrop.  It was nothing personal.  This randomness takes advantage of the fear we feel when we walk down a dark alley, dive into the ocean, or drink milk that expired 3 days prior.  Who knows what sort of predator lurks when you least expect it?

Youth runs against the flow of traffic!

Speaking of dark alleys, I used to live in NYC.  For some reason we, me and my friends,  thought numbers meant strength when walking around.  Not so.  I had a knife pulled on me on the Christopher St Subway platform once.  My friends did nothing to help.  Strength in numbers is a myth.  And in the case of the Blob,  numbers means a bigger snack, particularly when sitting in a crowded theater.

Youth.  Ah, to be young.  Youth is vigor, and excitement, and well, stupidity.  Youth is knowing that there is a monster in town, and going to tell your friends about it.  Youth is telling the police, and having them not believe you because of your youth.  Youth, is what makes the movie the Blob so believable in its characters’ choices.

The Mist, I mean the Blob!, in a very touching moment.

As a new father, one thing that struck me as  terrifying in this viewing of the Blob was the Diner scene.  Particularly, the line “Put your head down, and go to sleep.” Had me in tears.  As a father I know I would do anything for my son, and to see Jane tell her little brother that it would be alright, because that was all she could do, was heartbreaking.  The thought of loss of family is a truly horrific aspect of this film, and it very obviously inspired the last few minutes of the Mist.  (Well, obviously the Mist in its entirety had multiple tips of the hat to the The Blob….)

Lastly, the unknown, is something that this film uses to strike fear.  Mankind has a tendency to take things that it does not understand, and prod  it with sticks.  Sometimes we learn something from the experience, and other times we release parasitic space monsters.  Only one of those scenarios is good for a horror film, and that is why we have this gem of a film known as the Blob.

Click below for:

The Trailer to the Blob

2 Comments leave one →
  1. October 8, 2012 11:50 am

    Is The Blob what is playing at the drive-in when Sandy dumps Danny in Grease?

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