The Blob on DVD and Blu-ray

Sunday, 03 May 2015 23:00 Written by 

The Blob - the original out now on Blu-ray and DVDA teenage couple spy a meteorite come crashing down to Earth. Investigating further, they encounter an old man apparently being eaten alive by an insatiable, gelatinous blob. Rushing him to a doctor, they realise that this is the start of a terrifying attack on their town. Nobody will believe them, so they take matters into their own hands. Can they discover a way to defeat the monster before it grows out of control?

Steve McQueen of "The Great Escape" and "Bullitt" fame stars in this cult horror/sci-fi movie. Steve is a young man with a sensible head on his shoulders and a point to prove. His new squeeze is Jane (Aneta Corsaut - Days of Our Lives); together they must persuade a police Lieutenant (Earl Rowe - Kojak) that the threat is very real. The film has undergone a high-definition, digital restoration to introduce a new generation of fans to "The Blob".

This film is an enigma. For starters, the theme tune is an anachronistic, jaunty affair by Burt Bacharach that really does not sit comfortably with the topic of people being eaten alive by an unstoppable, alien mass. It is a catchy tune, do not get me wrong, but it feels very out of place.

There is also the strange, stop/start pacing that thrills and then gets bogged down in teenage chit-chat. Each time the menace of the life-form is established, the plot wanders into a cul-de-sac for ten minutes, dawdling when it should be maintaining the suspense.

On the plus side, the special effects are still quite effective. The creature oozes and flexes like it genuinely is a living entity, squeezing under doors and extending itself to envelope an unsuspecting movie projectionist. As an antagonist it is very successful: unknowable, uncommunicative and shapeless. It brought to mind elements of both "Invasion of the Body Snatchers" and "The Thing".

McQueen and Corsaut are capable leads, full of charm and quick wittedness, backed up by a bunch of other, less responsible teenage characters who eventually realise they need to stop messing around and get serious.

Interestingly, the music used to represent the impending threat of the blob is extremely reminiscent of that famous, two-note refrain from "Jaws". I think John Williams might owe this film a debt of gratitude!

"The Blob" is certainly an entertaining ride, but one cannot help wishing a little more focus and effort had been put into it to make it a true classic rather than an under-performing oddity. At the very least it sets the scene for the 2016 (second) remake.

The disc has five different picture galleries and a trailer that features the amusing line 'Starring Steve McQueen and a cast of exciting young people.' I suggest they should have fired the marketing people! The Blu-ray version is super-detailed, fully exemplifying the 4K restoration work.

“The Blob” (1958) is out now on DVD and Blu-ray, courtesy of Fabulous Films. The main feature has a running time of 90 minutes approx, carries a '15' certificate and retails for £14.99 on DVD and £19.99 on Blu-ray, or less from www.culttvstore.com

 

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