November 6, 2009

Beware! The Blob (1972)

HERE’S A RUNOFF REVIEW from the Halloween season, one I couldn’t fit in to my October postings…

Plot:
Pipeline worker Godfrey Cambridge brings home a frozen specimen of something he found on the job. The specimen is foolishly left out of Cambridge’s freezer, so it thaws and proceeds to feast on Cambridge, his wife, their cat, and a housefly. The Blob then heads across the countryside and into the local town, dining on the denizens and growing to gigantic proportions. Can young lovers Lisa (Gwynne Gilford) and Bobby (Robert Walker, Jr.) convince the authorities that the town is danger – or will everyone just think the couple’s on a bad trip? (It is the post-hippie ‘70s, after all.)

Critique:

Beware! The Blob director Larry Hagman (Dallas’ J.R. Ewing) is in no danger of taking his film too seriously. For nearly the entire running time, he alternates scenes of supposed terror with hokey, non-sequitur interludes featuring a string of oddball characters who are basically there to be served up as Blob food.

The film is plagued by poor lighting, a strange lack of close-ups, and an atmosphere that gives it a documentary or improv feel (that’s my nice way of saying the script was an afterthought).

Not only would I say avoid Beware! The Blob, but for a real Blob fix, skip the original 1958 Steve McQueen “classic” and go right to the underrated 1988 remake, co-written by Frank Darabont (The Mist). Hurry, before Rob Zombie delivers on this threat to direct his own “reimagining” of The Blob.

Trivia:
• Before the Blob snacks on him, Cambridge is watching the original Blob on TV.
• Look for cameos by Dick Van Patten (Eight is Enough), Cindy Williams (Laverne & Shirley), Burgess Meredith (the Rocky films), and Hagman himself as a doomed, drunken bum.
• Actress Gwynne Gilford (Lisa) is the mother of Star Trek star Chris Pine.
• Despite the awfulness of the film, it made this child of the ‘70s smile based on some items that appear. Push-button car radios! Pull-off beer can tabs! Ker-Bangers!
• The DVD cover for Beware! The Blob says, “Directed by Larry Hagman – The Movie That J.R. Shot!” For those old enough to remember, that line is hilarious.

aka Son of Blob.

Rating:

Will your kids want to watch it?
It depends whether your kids think the concept of a killer Blob is silly or cool. As far as objectionable content, a young couple smokes a joint and lots of people are eaten by the Blob (albeit sometimes comically and nearly always with poor FX).

Will your FilmMother want to watch it?
Not worth her time, even if she likes horror films. Rent the ’88 Blob like I mentioned earlier.

M’yeah, see, you’ll never take me alive, copper! M’yeah!

Beware! The Blob
• Director: Larry Hagman
• Screenwriter: Anthony Harris
• Stars: Robert Walker, Jr. Gwynne Gilford, Richard Stahl, Richard Webb, Marlene Clark
• MPAA Rating: PG


Buy Beware! The Blob at Half.com >>
Rent Beware! The Blob from Netflix >>

4 comments:

James (SeattleDad) said...

Beware indeed.

Tom said...

Could have been called "The Blob vs. the Hippies"

Geof said...

I remember wathcing this with my Dad when I was a teeny tot. Even back then when I was on the bubble with horror films, this one never scared me. Thought it was funny and entertaining.

"The film that J.R. Shot!" - oh that's rich.

Luke said...

Ha, I've seen the two other Blob movies but never even knew this one existed!

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