The Blob

1958

The Blob

Critics Consensus

In spite of its chortle-worthy premise and dated special effects, The Blob remains a prime example of how satisfying cheesy B-movie monster thrills can be.

66%

TOMATOMETER

Total Count: 32

52%

Audience Score

User Ratings: 31,608
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Movie Info

In his first starring role, Steve McQueen plays a typical oversexed, car-lovin' highschooler who can't get anyone to believe his story about a huge meteor, which crashes to earth and begins exuding a pink, gooey substance. Affixing itself to the body of an old man, the "blob" begins parasitically sucking the life out of several unfortunate humans, growing to an enormous size. Problem is, the disappearances of the victims can all be explained (one is supposed to be out of town, another is attending a convention), so the cops still won't believe McQueen or his girlfriend Aneta Corsaut (the future Helen Crump of The Andy Griffith Show). Rallying his teen pals, McQueen finally manages to get the adults' attention-but by now, the Blob is consuming entire city blocks. In 1972, the sequel Beware the Blob followed.

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Critic Reviews for The Blob

All Critics (32) | Top Critics (3)

Audience Reviews for The Blob

  • Oct 18, 2013
    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
    Cameron J Super Reviewer
  • Dec 15, 2012
    I doubt that "The Blob" had people running from the theaters in fright. It won't ever scare a single soul out there and that's okay. It's so corny and poorly-made and all of its scares are dampened by lackluster direction that it comes off as an unintentional parody of the kinds of horror flicks that it inspired, but even if it is pretty bad, it's bad in a strangely enjoyable way.
    Stephen E Super Reviewer
  • Feb 24, 2012
    The teen movie that started it all...without overdoing it on drugs and sex. Yes, this movie is a tad dated, but it's of of my favorite 50's movies and it's a classic horror movie. The special effects were really good for the time (The best part is no CGI!) and they're still fun to look at, even today. My favorite thing about this movie is not the blob attacking the town, but the lifestyle of a teen that I missed out on. I would do anything to live life as a teen in the 50's and not worry about what new technological thing is being released or the new overrated rapper that everybody likes even though he sucks. (Mac Miller, just saying.) Instead I'm stuck in a generation where teens use dumbass words like 'swag', 'dope' and 'sketch.' I even told one of my friends that I would have like to live in the 50's and his response was "Bro, that shit cray as fuck." WHAT DOES THAT MEAN?! I don't speak "gangsta" or "broseph" or whatever you call it! This movie displayed what a Friday night was like back in the 50's: Go to the movies, go to a nifty diner, order some burgers and shakes, listen to the jukebox blast some Elvis. But now a Friday night consists of idiots that state "Bro, imma get fucked up and blazed as fuck!" To be fair, places like Johnny Rockets can help recreate what a 50's lifestyle could've been like, but it's no help when people around you are texting and talking about Facebook and Jersey Shore...Anyway, back to the movie. I really think the exposition is great. The idea of a small town creates a good state of separation from other places that may be able to help. Steve McQueen is a badass. His character is so simple, yet likable. Overall, The Blob has great nostalgia value and that's really all that needs to be said.
    Tyler R Super Reviewer
  • Oct 12, 2010
    By the goofy, bossa nova-style opening theme song ("Beware of the blob, it creeps and leaps and glides and slides") you might think "The Blob" is going to be just a typical grade B, 1950s sci-fi cheese-fest, but it manages to set itself apart from the crowd with a slightly better than average story. What's so great about it? Well for starters, the disaffected youth aren't overly dramatic, rebels-without-causes, they're kind of actually believable human beings. And yet, the age-old generation gap is played up big for the kids of the fifties. Actually, I'd go so far as to say it's the adults who look cartoonish and the kids who are the realistic characters here. The film-makers certainly played up to their intended audience. The story starts off the way every sci-fi movie from the fifties starts off, with an unidentified flying object falling to earth from space. It turns out to be a meteorite, containing a gooey substance, or "blob", if you will. The blob begins eating people, and it's up to the teenagers of the town to stop it. Steve McQueen stars as the lead teenager (although he was apparently in his late 20s when this film was made). He and his girl rush the first victim back to the doctor in town (as a side note, the doctor bares an uncanny resemblence to Gregory Peck) and unwittingly unleash the creature on the whole town (you see, the blob grows bigger with each victim it consumes, so that eventually it's the size of an elephant). I'm not sure if the blob just consumes animal matter, or if it eats just anything it comes across: if it's just people, it must devour a lot of them, as it grows awfully big. I've read online the Blob is, whether consciously or sub-consciously on the filmmakers part, a communist parable. I suppose this is possible, but does it really mattter? The Blob taps into our innermost fears of being eaten by something that can't be forcibly stopped (admit it, you're terrified of being eaten by monsters). And it's a fairly clever B movie from the fifties.
    Devon B Super Reviewer

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