Bold text highlighted in red that reads, "The Blob."

The Blob (1958) Review

In the late 1990s, I noticed this weird movie on television called The Blob. The scene in the kitchen lives in my head to this day. It scared the hell out of me. Everyone in the house, including myself, spent significant time cleaning dishes. What transpired on that screen changed me and fascinated me. My grandmother told me it might be too scary. Perhaps she didn’t see me pretending to be asleep when she watched horror films at night. Either way, I appreciate her concern for my mental state. This is not The Blob, released in 1958, but the 1988 remake of the same name.

A red, translucent, organism is visible through a cracked meteor on the ground.

Fast-forward to October 2022; it’s the season of the witch. I composed a list of horror films and TV shows for The Story Monster. I intended to revisit this film, only to discover the first release of The Blob (1958). I like watching entertainment from the past, including old movies. So, I added it to my list, titled 31 Days of Despair. The Blob is available in full-HD color to stream on HBO Max. Although it’s been a while since I’ve seen the 1988 version, it still holds up.

An elderly White man stares in horror at a large mucus-like substance on a stick.

Written and directed by Irvin Yeaworth, it’s an immersive story in the 1950s. A group of teens in a small, quiet town discover a fallen meteorite in the woods. They take it to the local doctor for examination, and that is when things go very wrong. One of the so-called teens is Steve McQueen in his acting debut. I don’t know what the teenagers ate back then, but they all looked old enough to be in their 30s. McQueen is one of the most popular male actors of the 1960s. He is accompanied by Aneta (Jane Martin), the Old Man (Olin Howland), and Lt. Dave (Earl Rowe).

Steven McQueen looks worried next to a young woman and a male police officer.

As the title implies, the antagonist is an ambiguous, slimy creature from outer space. It is unclear how intelligent the lifeform is, as it is never explored. One thing that is made clear is that the more it eats, the more it grows. The plot is simple enough; however, the plot threads make this story enjoyable. Law enforcement is made up of veterans who are angry all the time. Each time they crossed paths with the male teenagers, the threat of bodily harm or jail time commenced. I’m like, damn, what did these kids do before the movie started?

Two policeman question an elderly woman in a robe, while a male and female teenager stare in disbelief.

There’s also the issue of the townspeople themselves. It’s full of annoying and flawed characters who play a vital role in allowing the creature from outer space to flourish. The adults disregard the youth, writing them off as untrustworthy troublemakers without reason. It’s infuriating to witness but relatable to anyone who has been a child. “It’s all in your head, they say,” or “you have an overactive imagination.” Perhaps I need to speak with a therapist. Many lives would have been saved if the police officers had listened. One of the things I observed about The Blob is how it became more aggressive.

A giant red blob slithers down the street of a small town.

The creature from outer space moved silently, choosing to lurk in the shadows. Left to its own devices, it moves on to bigger prey. In the final act, people get picked off with ease. Bodies are dropping left and right. Panic spreads as the alien mass enters the open streets to wreak more havoc. The Blob is a tale of caution highlighting what could happen when humans “grow” stagnant and naive of danger. The Blob (1958) gets a 6 out of 10.

A red blob seeps through the holes of a basement window, its tentacles writhing in different directions.

Stay tuned for my review of the 1988 remake by signing up for The Story Monster newsletter to receive weekly updates. If you like what you read, share this post and use #TheStoryMonster.

Leave a Reply