The Blob (1958)

11/09/2015 19:16

Film: The Blob

Year: 1958

Director: Irvin S. Yeaworth Jr.

Writer: Theodore Simonson and Kay Linaker

Starring: Steve McQueen, Aneta Corsaut and Earl Rowe



This film I actually visited for the first time because I’m such a big fan of the remake. I figured I would see what the original was like and have now watched it a few times. The official synopsis is an alien life form consumes everything in its path as it grows and grows.

To lead off this review, we have a film that came out in the height of the 1950’s. Most of the films either had aliens or things to do with nuclear power changing things into something else. A lot of times the aliens were just a metaphor of Communism. I don’t necessarily think that is where this film is going, unless they are saying that communism if it is ignore will engulf everyone.

This film starts off with a couple up on lover’s lane. They are supposed to be high school kids, even though both clearly look older than what they really are. There is Steve Andrews (Steve McQueen) and Jane Martin (Aneta Corsaut). Jane thinks that Steve is feeding her lines like he does to all of the girls when he brings them here. He claims he doesn’t. Steve does lose interest in making out when they see a meteor crash.

From this, a life form emerges. There is a man who lives in a cabin with his dog. He checks it out and pokes it with a stick. The life form then attaches to his hand. He flees into the path of Steve and Jane. They take him to the local doctor.

There’s a scene that while they are on their way to the doctor, Steve drives past Tony Gressette (Robert Fields), ‘Mooch’ Miller (James Bonnet) and Al (Tony Franke). They are waiting for him after the two of them leave the doctor. They don’t seem to be friends initially and almost like they don’t even know each other. There is a challenge to race that draws the attention of Lt. Dave (Earl Rowe). He tells them to go home and to stop messing around. It is after this that we see Steve and the other guys are actually friends. This confused me due to the initial scene with them we got.

What I really did like is that the police don’t believe these kids. It is believable, because there is really no proof of what they are saying. I really got annoyed with Sgt. Jim Bert (John Benson) and the things he said. When they check out the doctor’s office trying to find out what happened, he concocts the most elaborate story that didn’t really make sense. He also has this weird vendetta where he thinks they are out to get him due to his military past. I also thought that Lt. Dave also comes around pretty quickly even though Steve still doesn’t have proof aside from all of the kids in the area agreeing with him. Steve and Jane were still the only two who saw it at that point.

Pacing of the film is something I think was really well done. It has a short running time of 89 minutes. It really gets into quick as it is within the first 10 minutes of the film that the meteor crashes and the old man is attacked by the Blob. I do think this works against the film though in the end. I don’t mind how it figured out what the creature is weak to, but I thought the ending just happens a little too abruptly and a little too easy. I think the climax of the film is a little bit of a disappointment.

The acting was okay in my opinion. I wasn’t a big fan of McQueen. He just came off very robotic to me. Corsaut I thought was good in the film. The other teens that help them I thought were fine. I do think they kind of come around to believing them a little bit quickly, but as kids I could see someone so adamant that they believe it making me come around quicker. Rowe was good as the officer that gets along with the kids and Benson was fine as the one who doesn’t. I do think the latter was a bit over the top. The rest of the cast round out what they needed. I was annoyed by the little boy in the film, Henry Martin played by Elbert Smith. Smith is Corsaut’s little brother and I think what he does was a little bit unbelievable.

The effects of the film were actually pretty good. I thought the Blob looked like Jell-O. For when the film came out, I thought that was a solid move. They do really well at not biting off more than they could chew with the film. There are some interesting techniques used in the film to help make things look more real. One of these technique was to film things and then play them in reverse. This was used in the race scene as well as a scene inside of a cooler where the Blob is trying to get in. They also use miniatures at the movie theater when it is coming from the projection booth. I think they did good with the effects.

Soundtrack for the film really didn’t stand out to me either. I didn’t really notice it and it never took me out of the film. I can’t really hold it against the film as it fit the scenes for what they needed. I do have to admit, I loathed the theme song the first time I heard it and thought it was cheesy. Since then, I have come around to it and I think it is fun now.

Now with that said, this film is still enjoyable. It is a quick watch. I do like some of the undertones of the film. I think this could possible be lumped in with the films of the era about a communist scare. It definitely is one of the alien films that were popular in the time. I also thought the story builds in a way that was interesting and learning how to hurt this creature. Keeping the creature hidden for most of the film was solid as well. I thought the acting was decent for the most part. The effects used in the film were good as well. The alien looks like Jell-O, but I didn’t mind it. They used some techniques that were good to make things look more realistic. The soundtrack didn’t stand out, but the theme did grow on me. I think this film is above average.


My Rating: 6 out of 10