Before Steve McQueen was being cool in movies like The Getaway and The Thomas Crown Affair (not the remakes), he was saving his own town from an angry gelatin that ate people in The Blob. One night Steve (McQueen) and his girlfriend Jane (Aneta Corsaut) come across an old man with some weird residue stuck to his hands. The local doctor has no clue about what it is but asks them if they could get more information from where they found this guy. When they arrive back to the doctor’s office, Steve notices that the small mold has grown larger and has swallowed the doctor. When the police arrive, they think it’s some kind of hoax because no bodies are anywhere to be found, although one of them seems to be a little more understanding than the other. The Blob is seen in other parts of the town, and Steve along with his friends decide to take some action in order to save the people.
I won’t argue with you that this movie does feel a bit dated, yet I found that to be part of its main appeal, from the cars to the clothes to even the slang the teens use. This is a 50’s picture all the way. I loved the scene in which the kids are at the movie theater The screen couldn’t have been large than 60 inches, yet they were having a blast watching a scary movie while scary things were happening for real. Whoa, was this our first taste of a meta feature? Probably not, but I’m sure there were a few people at that time turning around to see if anything was oozing from the vents. From this early role you can see why Mr. McQueen became the star that he was. His character is more well rounded than the others who are more just archetypes than anything else. He can be a bit mischievous and pull some pranks on people, but he never goes out to deliberately hurt anyone.
There’s something kind of charming and fun about B movies that were made from the late 50’s to the late 80’s. Their concepts and ideas were way more out there than today. I don’t think you could do a movie like this today without having a lot of people scoff at it. Yes, it’s true in 1988 a remake was done that amped up the gore effects, but the basic idea about a killer jello mold would turn off the general public today. Yes, computer effects have improved some elements in film-making, but having practical effects in a movie just makes it that much more impressive to watch especially in the real early days of film-making. Back then it seemed like people took more risks with their movies than they do now. If you are looking for a movie with a lot of great kills and gore, I would start with the remake. But if you’re in the mood for a campy fun sci-fi flick, you can’t go wrong with the original. Criterion thinks the same thing and has released a special edition Blu-Ray of it as well.