The Blob (1958)
July 6, 2018 7:06 PM - Subscribe

An alien lifeform consumes everything in its path as it grows and grows.

Criterion Collection: A cult classic of gooey greatness, The Blob follows the havoc wreaked on a small town by an outer-space monster with neither soul nor vertebrae, with Steve McQueen playing the rebel teen who tries to warn the residents about the jellylike invader. Strong performances and ingenious special effects help The Blob transcend the schlock sci-fi and youth delinquency genres from which it originates. Made outside of Hollywood by a maverick film distributor and a crew whose credits mostly comprised religious and educational shorts, The Blob helped launch the careers of McQueen and composer Burt Bacharach, whose bouncy title song is just one of this film’s many unexpected pleasures.



*“Beware of the Blob” theme song by Burt Bacharach

*Breakthrough role for “Steven” McQueen!

*Cool old guy (Olin Howlin) with wonky rooster-hair

*Chess-playing police officers! Drunk, uncaring parents!

*Effective juicy-red space-amoeba effects and some nail-biting suspense


*A little too much cool teen bonding

*60+ seconds of The Most Annoying Child in Movies (and that’s saying something)

*Not enough onscreen monster time


Filming locations

The Struggle between Order and Abject: The Blob (1958)

The Blob Was Based On A True Story

In Pennsylvania Hamlet, Much Ado About Goo

The Strange History of The Blob movies
posted by MoonOrb (9 comments total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
Quote fun even after all these years! But still a bit perplexed by McQueen becoming a star after this.
posted by davidmsc at 11:15 PM on July 6, 2018

Is this the new political rant thread?
posted by sammyo at 6:03 AM on July 7, 2018 [8 favorites]

Good timing as Phoenixville celebrates Blobfest next weekend, including the annual reenactment of the panicked Run Out from the movie theater.
posted by plastic_animals at 6:17 AM on July 7, 2018 [2 favorites]

Didn't this get a bad remake in the 90s with Kevin Bacon's brother, Discount Bacon?

Oh, I see now, '88 and it was Matt Dillon's brother, Discount Dillon.
posted by Catblack at 6:52 AM on July 7, 2018 [2 favorites]

GCU Sweet and Full of Grace and I sing this theme song on a regular basis in our house. It is our secret shame.

Earworm warning
posted by biscotti at 6:52 AM on July 7, 2018 [5 favorites]

The movie playing in the theater in the movie was “Daughter of Horror”, a real movie that I posted about on the Blue — "Come with me into the tormented, haunted, half-lit night of the insane." — back in May 2011, with the added distinction of accidentally going up 14 minutes after the one about Bin Laden getting killed. :)
posted by Celsius1414 at 7:17 AM on July 7, 2018 [2 favorites]

I remember being really surprised by The Blob when I went through my phase of watching old drive-in movies. I'd heard of it, but only as a joke, so I wasn't expecting it to be actually pretty good; entertaining practical effects, fun performances, and it manages to build some tense moments. It's one of the real classics of the high camp creature feature genre, which is something of a lost art.

PLUS! Baby Steve McQueen, and a cast of exciting young people!
posted by Phobos the Space Potato at 11:52 AM on July 7, 2018 [1 favorite]

This was one of the movies I picked when hosting my first and only Halloween party, back in the 80s. I was 10 or 11. I think I ended up watching it later with my mom, who kept laughing. I would scowl at her. I couldn't understand the horror-comedy concept. It felt wrong to me. Now I watch something like Re-Animator, or a tub of human flesh crashing through a floor in Breaking Bad, and picture the practical effects guys giggling after every take. And realize I've made terrible career choices.
posted by Brocktoon at 10:47 PM on July 7, 2018

Didn't this get a bad remake in the 90s with Kevin Bacon's brother, Discount Bacon?

It's not a bad remake. It's a perfectly cromulent, better than average, 80s horror movie.
posted by GCU Sweet and Full of Grace at 6:28 AM on July 8, 2018 [2 favorites]

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