The Blob (1958)

<strong class="MovieTitle">The Blob</strong> (1958)

(On Cable TV, July 2018) To put it bluntly, The Blob is not a good movie. And yet it endures even today, frequently showing up on retro movie channels and ranking high on the list of quintessential fifties movies. Part of it is certainly due to this being Steve McQueen’s first film—a 28-year-old actor playing a much younger teenager trying to save his town from alien invasion. McQueen being McQueen, the film largely revolves around his innate charisma, and it’s not a bad thing to see him as young as he gets in movies. The titular Blob almost steals the show … but not quite. Special Effects limitations being what they were, this is a fifties sci-fi horror film that is definitely not horrific even as some characters get dissolved by the alien menace. (The amusing title song is worth a listen.)  Aside from MacQueen and a rather droll tone, The Blob is perhaps most remarkable as a gentle visit to mid-fifties small-town America, where the grocery store and the local movie theater are important landmarks and the local police chief harbours small grudges against specific people. It’s not good, and perhaps it still works because it never was. A rather inconclusive ending takes on a new meaning sixty years and one climate change crisis later.

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