Cult film delights have recently been given the deluxe look. The Criterion Collection has done so with THE BLOB, 1958’s sci fi stoomper about a murderous Blob. In a small rural Pennsylvania town, teenagers Steve Andrews (Steve McQueen) and Jane Martin (Aneta Corsaut), are at lovers’ lane. A meteorite crashes in front of them. Steve decides to search for it. However an old man (Olin Howland), who is living nearby finds it first. It breaks open and a jelly-like blob jumps onto the man. The old man runs onto the road, where he is nearly struck by Steve’s car. Jane and Steve feel he needs help and take him to Doctor Hallen (Stephen Chase). When the doctor sees the blob, he is unsure what to do next…
THE BLOB succeeded in cinema, VHS, TV, DVD and the like, because it is just good fun (The remake made 30 years later, is darker, harsher and gore drenched). This is not to say it is far from technically clever, has a lukewarm script and average acting and directing. It is also not to say that it is not a B movie, a very average one in that. If you have seen it, then you know what you are getting. If you haven’t, go in cold. Do not expect as much as the campaign has suggested. Watch it like it would have been received at the time.
Having the previous Blu Ray in my collection, The Criterion Collection have developed a far more improved version of the film. This comes into its own with the colour hues and 50’s neon at the top of the list. Less dull than before. This is where this version excels.
The two commentary tracks have been around before I believe. The best is from director Yeaworth. He made the film as a B movie and seemingly is astounded by its success. The best extra is that Blobabilia!. Start there!
SPECIAL EDITION FEATURES
- New high-definition digital restoration, with uncompressed monaural soundtrack
- Two audio commentaries: one by producer Jack H. Harris and film historian Bruce Eder and the other by director Irvin S. Yeaworth Jr. and actor Robert Fields
- Blobabilia!, a gallery of collector Wes Shank’s rare trove of stills, posters, props (including the blob itself!) and other ephemera
- PLUS: An essay by critic Kim Newman