Teenager Steve (Steve McQueen) and his best girl Jane (Aneta Corsaut) have a major problem on their hands when a comet crash-lands in their town and leaves behind the Blob. It tends to do unpleasant things like eat people alive. As per usual for ‘50s sci-fi/horror movies, the kids run to the authority figures, who initially refuse to believe them, concluding that “It’s part of their plan to make us look silly.” But eventually the blob rears its goopy head in front of the whole town, which unites to stop its reign of terror.
I find a lot of the sci-fi/horror of this era boring, but I have a soft jelly-like spot in my heart for The Blob. The special effects are pretty good for the late ’50s. It’s entertaining not only because of the corniness, but also the characters are likable. From the cheesy but lovable theme song to the actors who are clearly not teenagers to the wacky lingo (“Hey, what gives? I thought you cats didn’t dig spooky shows”) this movie is just fun.
It’s also an interesting study of 1950s sociology, for example how the Blob preys on a man who wants to get drunk and encourages his friend to lie to his wife about his whereabouts. Then there are the gender roles. Jane is pretty spunky; when Steve tries to call her “Janey-girl,” she corrects him: “My name is Jane.” There’s also a minor character who’s so desperate to clean a messy crime scene that she begs the police, “Can’t I just dust around the fingerprints?”
Check it out if you’re in the mood for a time when people were named Mooch, movies cost eighty cents, and teenagers were constantly asking what gives.