Sunday, February 3, 2013

The Blob (1958)

The Blob is an independently made 1958 American horror/science-fiction film that depicts a giant amoeba-like alien that came from outer space and terrorizes the small community of Downingtown, Pennsylvania. In the style of American International Pictures, Paramount Pictures released the film as a double feature with I Married a Monster from Outer Space.

The film was Steve McQueen's debut leading role, and also starred Aneta Corsaut. The film's tongue-in-cheek theme song, "Beware of the Blob", was written by Burt Bacharach and Mack David and became a nationwide hit in the U.S. It was recorded by studio group the Five Blobs—actually singer Bernie Knee overdubbing himself. The film takes place during one long night in a small rural Pennsylvania town in July 1957. Teenager Steve Andrews (Steve McQueen) and his girlfriend Jane Martin (Aneta Corsaut) are making out at a lovers' lane when they see a meteorite crash beyond the next hill. Steve decides to look for it. An old man (Olin Howland) living nearby finds it first. When he pokes the meteorite with a stick, it breaks open, revealing a small jelly-like blob inside. The man picks it up with the stick, but then it suddenly attaches itself to his hand. In pain and unable to scrape or shake it loose, the old man runs comically onto the road, where he is nearly struck by Steve's car. Steve and Jane take him to Doctor Hallen (Stephen Chase). Doctor Hallen is about to leave for a medical conference, but anesthetizes the man and sends Steve and Jane back to the impact site to gather information. Hallen decides he must amputate the man's arm since it is being consumed by the growing Blob. Before he can, however, the Blob completely consumes the old man, then Hallen's nurse Kate, and finally the doctor himself, all the while increasing in size. Steve and Jane return to the office in time for Steve to witness the doctor's death. They go to the police station and return to the house with Lieutenant Dave (Earl Rowe) and Sergeant Bert (John Benson). However, there is no sign of the creature or its victims, and Bert dismisses Steve's story as a teenage prank. Steve and Jane are taken home by their parents, but they later sneak out.

In the meantime, the Blob consumes a mechanic at a repair store. The Blob grows in size every time it consumes something. At the Colonial Theater, which is showing a midnight screening of Daughter of Horror, Tony (Robert Fields) is asked by Steve to chat about the Blob. Tony brings some friends only to warn people from a 1950's party, a couple making out and the bartender at a bar full of late-night drinkers. When Steve notices that his father's grocery store is unlocked, he and Jane go inside. The janitor is nowhere to be seen. Then the couple are cornered by the Blob; they seek refuge in the walk-in icebox. The Blob oozes in under the door but retreats. Steve and Jane gather their friends and set off the town's fire and air-raid alarms. The townspeople and police still refuse to believe Steve. Meanwhile, the Blob enters the Colonial Theater and engulfs the projectionist before oozing into the auditorium consuming an unknown number of people. Steve is finally vindicated when screaming people flee from the theater. Jane's young brother Danny (Keith Almoney) fires at the Blob with his cap gun before running into the nearby diner. When Jane and Steve go after him, they become trapped along with the manager and a waitress when the Blob – now an enormous red mass from the people it consumed– engulfs the diner. Dave has a connection made from his police radio to the diner's phone, telling those in the diner to get into the cellar before they try to bring a live power line down onto the Blob.

When it sounds quiet over the phone line, Bert shoots the wire, it falls onto the Blob, but the Blob is unaffected and the diner is set ablaze. Dave suggests to put the fire out but the fire chief asks how. Steve notices the Blob crawling down the stairs and blocking the windows. Steve picks up Jane's brother, then Jane tells him to lay his head down, kissing him and he is fast asleep. Steve, Jane and Danny join in a group hug. Later, the manager uses a CO2 fire extinguisher on the fire. Steve notices that it also causes the Blob to recoil. Then he remembers that the creature also retreated from the icebox. Shouting in hopes of being picked on the open phone line, Steve manages to tell Dave about the Blob's vulnerability to cold ("Hey, Dave! Hey, Dave, CO2 fire extinguishers! Dave, can you hear me? CO2!"). The message is finally heard on the police radio and passed to Dave. At first, there are few or no such extinguishers at the scene. Jane's father, Mr. Martin (Elbert Smith), knows there are twenty such extinguishers at the school, and leads Steve's friends to the high school to retrieve them. Returning, the brigade of extinguisher-armed students and police first drive the Blob away from the diner, then freeze it, as Steve, Jane and the others emerge from the burned-out diner.  - From Wikipedia

Dave requests an Air Force jet to transport the Blob to the Arctic, where it is parachuted to the ice. The film ends with the words "The End", which end up morphing into a question mark—suggesting that the Blob may return, ending the film with a cliffhanger.

82 MIN

No comments:

Post a Comment