The Blob (1958)
Directed by Irvin S. Yeaworth Jr.
Starring: Steve McQueen, Aneta Corsaut, Earl Rowe
While Steve (McQueen) and Jane (Corsaut) are out on a date they’re shocked to see a shooting star plummet to earth not far from them. Little do they know that this comet carries an alien substance that devours all life it comes across; each time growing in size and increasing in power. Now Steve and Jane have to convince the police and the rest of their small town to act before this mysterious blob takes over the world.
This isn’t the way most people remember Steve McQueen. This movie is a combination of two incredibly hokey genres of films in the fifties. First is the irresponsible teenager film, something that encourages a mild amount of rebellion. Second is the strange and comical horror genre that was geared towards the teens as well. In my time Scream might be the best example of this hybrid film genre.
This movie stars Steve McQueen (The Great Escape) and Aneta Corsaut (The Toolbox Murders). The Blob was directed by Irvin S. Yeaworth Jr., the man behind Dinosaurus and Way Out. Other than these three, the film is filled with easily forgotten names that work perfectly for this kind of film.
Despite the hokey nature of the film, The Blob definitely set the standard for all teen horror flicks to come. Although the special effects look pretty cheesy today, they were probably pretty cool by 1958 standards. Some of the work was done with techniques never before attempted. This included using footage in reverse to help show the movement of the blob. The film managed to gross more than $4,000,000 dollars after being produced for just over $110,000. Not a bad investment for any film studio.
Overall, this movie is a great time machine for pop-culture references and a great look at a young Steve McQueen. If you love horror films you’ve probably seen this one already. If not, this is a must-see for anyone who loves the genre. Criterion even added it to the library of films it has re-released. It’s also fun for anyone who likes to see old films. It’s even tame enough for the whole family to sit down and watch. I give this one 3 out of 5 stars, with the understanding that this movie means more than that in the historical sense.