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Home > Movies > 31 Monsters #2: The Blob

31 Monsters #2: The Blob

October 2nd, 2009

The only monster, so far as I know, with a theme song by Burt Bacharach, The Blob is an alien jelly which came to earth via meteorite in the 1958 film of the same name. The low-budget independent flick gained notoriety mostly due to the involvement of a young Steve McQueen, who plays the stereotypical Teen to Whom the Authorities Won’t Listen.

The idea of an all-consuming, ever-growing mass didn’t originate here. Arch Oboler produced his infamous “Chicken Heart” radio drama–in which a scientific experiment created a grotesque glob which literally ate the world–all the way back in 1937, and I’ll bet he wasn’t the first either.

But The Blob was my first exposure, and I’ve always been freaked out by the thought of an indestructible, unstoppable horror that exists only to absorb and consume. As the song goes, “it creeps, and┬áleaps, and glides, and slides across the floor, right through the door.” For much of my childhood, it was the Thing at the Foot of the Bed.

There was a little known sequel called Beware! The Blob, known mostly for being Larry Hagman’s sole big-screen directorial effort, aka “The Film That J.R. Shot.” The first time I saw this movie on late night TV I wound up “watching” most of it from an entirely different room. When a woman walked in on Godfrey Cambridge being devoured all the way up to his neck, I was outta there.

Truth is, however, I much prefer the 1988 remake by Chuck Russell with a screenplay cowritten by Frank Darabont, writer/director of The Shawshank Redemption and The Green Mile. (The duo previously collaborated on the aforementioned Nightmare on Elm Street sequel, Dream Warriors.) In this one, the Blob was an out-of-control germ warfare project, and the teen heroes were caught between the globular menace and shadowy government conspirators. (I know what you’re thinking, but it pre-dated The X-Files by five years.)

In addition to much-improved special effects, the ’88 Blob was significantly more dangerous. Not only could it ooze through cracks like Blob Classic, but it could shoot out tendrils and even outrun a fleeing human.

Here’s the most memorable scene from the remake:

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