The Blob (Irvin S. Yeaworth Jr., 1958, USA)

        The Blob is one of the classics of 1950s sci-fi cinema. While the film itself is not a masterpiece by any stretch, it has endured well beyond many other films of its era, even inspiring a yearly “Blobfest” in its shooting location of Phoenixville, Pennsylvania. Much of the film’s charm comes from the fact that it was made as an independent film outside the studio system. Irvin S. Yeaworth, the film’s director, had previously only made religious films for evangelist Billy Graham. The film was shot in rural Pennsylvania, far away from Hollywood, and relied heavily on local talent.

The film is also notable for being the debut of Steve McQueen. McQueen’s performance is somewhat uneven here – it is clear that he was still developing as an actor. Yet even in 1958, McQueen had a cool factor that is very evident. He wasn’t the only talent to be launched by the film. The film’s unforgettable theme song was composed by Burt Bacharach. Aneta Corsaut, Steve McQueen’s love interest Jane, would notably go on to star fin several seasons of The Andy Griffith Show in the 1960s.

        While the preoccupations of The Blob are not that dissimilar from other sci-fi films of its era – visitors from outer space – the film has a great sense of 1950s Americana that makes it worth re-watching. From the classic cars to the settings – the movie theater is excellent – the film captures the texture of small-town life in America during the time period. The film’s flaws lie in some of the performances. It could also benefit from the titular Blob appearing in more of the film overall, but the film is clever in trying to hint at the monster more than showing it. Overall, The Blob is a fun and campy trip down memory lane.


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