It's indescribable It's indestructible! NOTHING can stop it! Beware of...
|It creeps...it crawls|
Science fiction allowed the 50s obsession with science, technology, space travel and political threats to be played out on screen - films such as IT Came from Outer Space (1951), The Thing from Another Planet (1951), Invasion of the Body Snatchers (1956) and The Day the Earth Stood Still meshed with that decade's mindset by touching on the fears and concerns of the 50s psyche. It's often been suggested that some sci-fi stories were metaphors for something bigger or deeper.
The 1958 psychological cage rattler, The Blob, is a classic B movie of the era, directed by Irvin Yeaworth from a story by Irving H Millgate. The plot centres around a thick, red, gelatinous substance from outer space that threatens to devour a pleasantly conformist Middle American town. Local teens Steve and Jane, played by Steve McQueen and Aneta Corsault are among the first to experience the horror of the blob but their emphatic warnings and pleas for action are, at least at first, largely ignored by a sceptical townsfolk.
It's all very Freudian. What could the wobbly, perpetually expanding blob represent? Could it be communism..the red peril? Or is it a metaphor for the blood and guts of war? After all, the horrors of WW2 had only happened the decade before. could it be something deeper still...? A big placenta? Was it a portent of the sexual revolution of the next decade on, which was waiting in the wings; the libido let loose..a tangle of raw, red desire, bodily fluids and er...other organic matter? According to at least one of the scriptwriters, the Blob was simply meant to be taken at face value, ie; as a strange entity from outer space. Spoilsport.
|The Blob DVD at Amazon|
One of the more memorable scenes in the film involved the blob oozing into a packed cinema and naturally, freaking out the patrons and creating major havoc. With every fresh kill, the pulsating red mass grew redder and bigger, so it did well out of the movie theatre. As a by the by, every year in Phoenixville Pennsylvania, where the film was partly shot, residents hold a Blobfest which includes a re-enactment of the famous cinema scene.
The only way to stop the Blob is by freezing it (another allusion to the cold war?). An airforce jet is recruited to transport the massive alien to the North Pole where it lies dormant - harmless until global warming causing a thaw down and reactivates the creature. Perfect fodder for a contemporary sequel.
The Blob's upbeat, cheery theme song, incongruous as it was with the threatening tone of the storyline, also became a chart topper - written by Burt Bacharach and Mack David (brother of Hal) and recorded by The Five Blobs: