Thursday, January 26, 2006

The Blob (1958)

It's just silly enough to be endearing. Pretty standard sci-fi/monster-movie entry for the period is just as gawky and stiff as its teenage protagonists (who are probably the most clean-cut rebels in screen history), but the low-budget hijinx prove to allow plenty of room for undemanding entertainment. We know the big beastie (basically a carnivorous pile of Jell-O) will get rowdy and chomp some minor (read: adult) characters, we know the police will be slow to act, we know the young protagonists will prove heroic and save the day and we know that no real major characters or kids will catch their lunch. What matters is how the film works within that formula, and this film does all right. It's nice to note that the cops in this film have a friendly captain who tries to believes Steve McQueen, thus balancing out the stock abrasive skeptic (who, it must be noted, is of inferior rank); it's also nice to note that the filmmakers do try to make their ludicrous monster genuinely dangerous and almost succeed. That they don't do more to surprise the audience is a shame (more radical advances lay in the memorably nasty '80s remake), but their film is agreeable enough, if still unavoidably cheesy.

Grade: C+


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