I believe 1958’s The Blob was my introduction to two wonderful things: 1950’s monster movies and Steve McQueen. The Blob was McQueen’s first lead role in a film and helped propel him to stardom. Though he was twenty-seven during filming, he plays a teenager, doing all the things teens did in the late ‘50s: take girls out in their car, unintentionally rouse a gang and have to drag race for their respect, run from a monster attacking the movie theater and fear he might die in the local diner. It must’ve been tough growing up back then.
While Steve (McQueen) is on a date with his girl, Jane (Aneta Corsaut), they see a big red falling star. Curious, they go in search of where it landed but run into an old man (Olin Howland) with a strange jelly he can’t get off his arm. They take him to the doctor (Stephen Chase), who doesn’t identify the substance. While he sends Steve and Jane to look for clues to the ooze, it grows and eventually envelops and dissolves the old man! It seems to be an alien substance that can only grow and engulf any living thing around.
When Steve and Jane try to warn the police, they don’t believe them. Their story seems to bizarre, and being kids they’re probably just pulling a prank. Their parents are called and the teens are taken home. But Steve can’t just sleep while the town is in danger, and soon there is no denying the wrath of the monstrous blob.
Sure, this movie isn’t very scary. There’s no blood, gore, sex or violence (though if you’re looking for some, you might have more luck with the 1988 remake). I would consider it appropriate for all ages. The horror here is the thought of an alien substance suddenly dropping in on a small town and engulfing it overnight. It could go on to cover the whole world. Thank goodness for meddling teenagers and CO2 fire extinguishers.
Oh, and for fun, check out the song that plays during the opening credits. It’s one of my favorite horror movie theme songs.
“Doctor, nothing will stop it!”