Strange and Fantastic Tales of the 20th Century is a look back at the weirdest, most memorable, and most off center movies of the 20th century. From head turning horror to oddball science fiction this column examines the films that will leave a lasting impression for centuries to come.
I like villains of all kinds. Some are mysterious and charming while some are just purely unlikeable. Either way, as long as they are good at their job, I can appreciate their evil nature. While I can enjoy a complicated scoundrel with twisted moralities, there’s something pure about a monster movie, particularly one from the 50’s. There’s poetry to monsters. What does the monster symbolize? Do they serve as a metaphor? Then sometimes a monster is just doing a monster’s work. This week’s strange and fantastic tale is 1958 Drive-In creature feature The Blob.
First of all, what’s not to love? The word blob is kinda hilarious and the glittery red blob looks like an ocean of strawberry Smucker’s. A meteor falls to Earth unleashing a gelatinous substance that goes from a red smear to an enormous glob that oozes down the street. It looks like it would be fun to squeeze, punch, and I am just going to put it out there, I want to eat it. That being said. Irvin Yeaworth’s The Blob is pure enjoyment.
The film starts off with the bouncy lounge tune “Beware of the Blob” written by Burt Bacharach and Mack David and performed by The Five Blobs. It’s catchy and it will make you want to dance around your living room. Side note: I also learned that The Five Blobs had another song called “From the Top of your Guggle (to the Bottom of Your Zooch).” It sounds filthy, but I bet it’s wonderful.
After that, the film just enjoys being a film about a blob. The colors in this film are nothing short of spectacular. It is a stylish film that captures the experience of adolescent life in a small town. There is drag racing and shots of multi-colored cars. Teenagers talk about their desires to go to the movies and meet girls. It’s a very simple film, but it is entertaining. The Blob itself, is pretty tame. It is slow moving, but all consuming. There is no stopping it. The doctor tries to throw chemicals on it before trying to shoot it. They try setting it on fire, but it is unstoppable. Hope is almost lost, until Steve, played by Steve McQueen hoses it with a fire extinguisher and the town comes together to put a stop to the slimy menace.
Is this the end of me writing about The Blob? Stay tuned for the sequel. Watch The Blob with a friend and try not to slime them. For now, dance around to this song.
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