Tuesday, October 7, 2014

A Splotch, A Blotch

The 1958 horror/sci-fi movie The Blob gets tossed into the pile of it's kitsch/camp peers too often. It's a surprisingly funny and self-aware film that still delivers the cheap thrills of a good drive-in distraction.

The Blob probably isn't the first movie of the era to have adults doubting teens who deliver stories of wild goings-on. But it executes the trick well, and in doing so, must have endeared a fair portion of its target demographic by saying: "Yes, new social class, you teenagers, you. We believe you. We think you have something to say."

Perhaps that's giving the filmmakers too much credit. But it's hard not to think that way when Steve McQueen, in one of his first big screen roles, does such a sly impression of James Dean in Rebel Without a Cause -- the ultimate in teen validation cinema. 

In Rebel it was the need to be understood -- that the violence the teens were engaging in was a cry for attention, a cry for help. With Blob, it's the need to be believed -- for the adults to accept that two teens saw a protoplasmic monster crawl out of a meteorite and eat a hobo.

And if all else fails, watch The Blob for the nifty opening credits music -- a beach-blanket pop treat written by Burt Bacharach and pretty much designed to get teen feet on the dance floor.