Don't go out, kids, for you are being stalked by the horrible, catastrophic might of... some big ball of goo that reflected how easy we were to scare back in the '50s. Actually, I joke, but if there's some meteorite being going around absorbing people, I don't care if it's an alien, or goo, or, I don't know, Jiminy Cricket, I'm out. Shoot, this film, like most every other, really glorifies Steve McQueen, because in real life he was so freaked out by a blob that he bailed to Mexico, and his blob was only a medium-sized one in his stomach. Ouch, now that joke is just way too blasted soon... or something, even though it refers to something that happened well over 30 years ago. The demise of the King of Cool will always be too short of a while ago, but no matter which way you look at it, the joke is about as morbid as the blob's eventual state. Man, it's a good thing that this rascal can just grow against its prey, because if you think that it takes a while for it to crawl out of the meteor, imagine how lazy it gets when it blows up like Elvis, or better yet, gobbles up Elvis, if can handle the combined, rockin' powers of the King of Cool and the King of Rock n' Roll. It's a cheesy joke, I know (Oh, don't tell me that you haven't always kind of wanted to see Steve McQueen and Elvis have some kind of a Marvel team up or something), but hey, this is a cheesy movie, and while that isn't to say that this film isn't reasonably fun, it is to say that this thing, not unlike the blob's weight, has some problems.
I don't know if the film is quite as tonally messy as some b-movie enthusiasts say it is, but its leaps between fluff and thrills don't always work, even in a film that tried not to thrill a more vulnerable audience too much, yet more uneven than the tone is the focus, because even though this film's story doesn't have a whole lot of layers to soak up, the occasions in which focus really shifts feel a bit off-putting, forcing elements in exposition and plotting that shake your investment more than reinforce it. Okay, maybe the film isn't that structurally uneven, but it's not all that coherent either, and that particularly goes with the pacing, because at 82 minutes, this film's runtime is short, and sometimes trimmed down by hurried occasions, yet there are still draggy moments, or at least moments that seem draggy, due to some atmospheric bland spells. Pacing is reasonably brisk on the whole, but when it's not so much, momentum really dives down under the weight of some atmospheric cold spells that chill down the thrills, sometimes nearly to the point of dullness, and decidedly to the point of challenging your investment, though not quite as much as the cheesiness. Again, the film stands to be more tonally messy, having an adequate amount of moments that you can take seriously enough to get invested in the conflict, but this is still a b-movie, and if you wait long enough, anything from questionable, dated attempts at shocking, to unsubtle characterization and dramatic touches will limit kick, which, beyond the script and direction, has limitations. Even in concept, this film's story isn't really all that special, being refreshing and all, and therefore justly recognized, but not with a whole lot outside of uniqueness that's worth remembering, because at the end of the day, this thriller is kind of inconsequential. The final product entertains just fine, and is often downright fun, but it's all fun and games until you kind of forget what happened, for although this b-movie classic does its job as a fluff piece about as well as it can, not much in this effort is special. That being said, while the film is far from as absorbing as its antagonist, it'll get you by as an entertaining piece of filler, whose stylistic elements even play a pretty big part in keeping such entertainment value up.
A surprisingly impressive aspect to this film, Thomas E. Spalding's cinematography really bounces color in a way that was not simply relatively well-defined for the time, but really livens up the visuals of this film, perhaps too much, seeing as how this is ostensibly a horror film we're dealing with. Ralph Carmichael's and Burt Bacharach's score tries to compensates for the liveliness of this "thriller's" visual style, but it itself finds its effectiveness limited by conventionalism and limitations in the atmospheric scoring sensibilities of the time, so in order to be sold on the conflicts of this thriller, you might need to be sold by the effects, which have dated a bit in time, but impress nonetheless, having enough convincingness and style to its molding to help draw you in as technically lively. For its time, this film was stylistically and technically strong, and even to this day, the stylistic and technical value can be commended as aesthetically engaging enough to augment the liveliness that this project might need if it is to sustain a fair degree of your investment in substance. Like I said, cheesy elements limit the weight of a story concept that really only has so much meat to spare, so there's not a whole lot of potential here, but make no mistake, there is still potential, as this premise is genuinely unique, with plenty of intriguing attributes, if not colorful spots that go sold by a couple inspired performances, particularly the onscreen ones. There's not a whole lot for the performers to work with, but charisma is all but across the board, especially with leading man Steve McQueen, and considering that much of this film is driven by its characters, the charming performers add a lot to the film's color, which may not exactly grace this film with all that much compellingness, but endears. For such endearing color, credit is due to director Irvin Yeaworth, whose limitations in inspiration limit the bite of the film, yet are ultimately outweighed by a certain degree of briskness to pacing that cannot keep blandness all that far at bay, but keep a fair bit of entertainment value consistent, and often combining it with kicks in material in order to produce, not necessarily chills, but thrills that mark particular heights in entertainment value. Really, if the film has nothing else going for it, it's a fun factor, and while that doesn't get the final product that far, it gets you by, with enough charm and entertainment value to endear as a classic, if improvable b-flick.
Overall, there is some unevenness to tone, focus and pacing, as well as some cheesiness and inconsequentiality to the story concept that ultimately doesn't offer enough kick for the final product to escape underwhelmingness, which is still challenged enough by fine cinematography and special effects, charismatic performances - especially by Steve McQueen - and generally lively direction behind a unique and reasonably intriguing story concept for Irvin Yeaworth's "The Blob" to entertain and charm, maybe thoroughly, regardless of shortcomings.
2.5/5 - Fair