The Blob (1958)

A few weeks ago, my son and I were able to see this classic in the theater. It was… something? It was over the top cheesy. We giggled through most of it. It was not really a “thriller”. I am fascinated by the thought of this being a scary movie – back before the world of CGI and actors who could act.

Basically: something crashes in the woods from another planet. There is a big dollop of jelly. The people of a nearby small town refuse to listen to teenagers who have witnessed the blob’s destructive power. In the meantime, the blob just keeps on getting bigger.

When I asked Alex for a few words to describe his thoughts on the movie, he said: “simple but fun”.

iMDB Synopsis: An alien lifeform consumes everything in its path as it grows and grows.

Would I recommend it? Ehhh maybe? Well, if you had the opportunity to see it in the theater like we did, then yes. Just remember: this is not your modern day horror flick.

However, because I love all things silly – I am considering going to Phoenixville PA in July 2023 for the Blob Festival. They hold it at the Colonial Theater, the location of filming the movie house scene.

Steve McQueen: Steve Andrews (as Steven McQueen)
Aneta Corsaut: Jane Martin (as Aneta Corseaut)
Earl Rowe: Lt. Dave
Olin Howland: Old Man (as Olin Howlin)
Stephen Chase: Dr. T. Hallen (as Steven Chase)
John Benson: Sgt. Jim Bert
George Karas: Officer Ritchie
Lee Payton: Kate the Nurse
Elbert Smith: Henry Martin

The actual Blob, a mixture of red dye and silicone, has never dried out and is still kept in the original five-gallon pail in which it was shipped to the production company in 1958 from Union Carbide. It was put on display over the years as a part of the annual Blobfest, held over a three-day period each summer in Phoenixville, PA, which provided a number of the shooting locales for the film. In addition to displaying the Blob and miniatures used in the shooting, the event features a reenactment of the famous scene in which panicked theatergoers rush to exit the town’s still-functioning Colonial Theater, as well as several showings of the film.

Steve McQueen was playing a teenage high-school student, but he was actually 28 years old.

Partially filmed in Phoenixville, Pennsylvania. The theater everyone is seen running from is the Colonial Theater.

Steve McQueen was offered $2,500 or 10% of the profits. He took the $2,500 because the film wasn’t expected to make much. According to producer Jack H. Harris when being interviewed by film historian Tom Weaver, the film ultimately grossed $4 million.

The strange movie being shown in the theater was not created for this film. It was an actual movie originally released as Dementia (1955). The scenes shown are from the re-cut version titled “Daughter of Horror”, which had narration added. The voice doing the narration is that of Ed McMahon.

The movie poster just outside the theater of “The Vampire and The Robot” is actually for Forbidden Planet (1956), with different titles pasted over the original info.

Steve McQueen so disliked this movie that for many years he refused to discuss it.

Before the Blob attacks the movie theater, Steve and Jane are standing in front of the theater. Across the street you can clearly see the dark windows and sign of The Bootery shoe store. The owner, Meyer Shusterman, was working there that night, saw the filming and decided it would be good promotion. So, later, when you see the crowd running out of the theater, the windows of the store are brightly illuminated and the sale signs are easy to see.

And yes, this IS the theme song to the Blob sung by The Five Blobs (Burt Bacharach….) The popular title song that was used over the opening credits was credited to the Five Blobs. There was only one Blob, studio singer Bernie Knee, whose vocals were recorded five times.

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