1/03/2016

Quality and Hollywood formula - B-Movies - The Blob (1958)


When a B movie becomes such a classic the production standards and the low budgets somehow don't matter. But how is it that these terrible B-movies are so terribly brilliant, it's a cinematic paradox. What really was a B-movie, they were usually a shorter and cheaper film stuck on before or after the main feature to give more for your money (double feature), often at this point no one really cared about the second film or the plot, but even so the "B" doesn't always mean bad, often these add ons were far more entertaining than the feature. Even when double features started to die out, B-movies kept going, if anything they become more popular in their own right, the 60's and 70's become prime time for B-movies, grind house movies and exploitation movies, their low budgets and low expectations allowed them to use rebellious themes that the hollywood of the time wouldn't touch, they were the unrefined films that were waiting for a new generation to appreciate them.

This little B-movie however had a brilliantly simple, yet affective plot, involving a small amount of goo that hatches out of a meteor after crashing to earth, as soon as it's discovered it starts consuming everything and everyone it touches, growing larger and larger each time, the only people who really know whats going on are a bunch of teenagers that the rest of the town refuse to believe.

For a 50's B-movie the effects were pretty good, even when the blob gets bigger and bigger and consumes more it still retains a realistic look throughout, which is highly impressive for the time.
The acting of course is often terrible, but you wouldn't want it any other way, with a villain as ridiculous as some space goop the actors done well reacting to it, but the film does befit highly from having Steve McQueen as the lead. For the time maybe the goop is seen as creepy, especially once it consumes a person or two, however it still isn't that terrifying, nothing to really force you onto the eagle of your seats. During the attacks not much is actually shown, which takes away from the thrills.
The general panic of the film happens very late on, only when the blob has become so big it attacks the movie theatre and causes all the towns people to run out of the building screaming.

The film certainly deserves more credit than it's received in the past, even with the goofy catchy theme song, which makes it clear the film makers weren't trying to be too serious.

There was a seemingly good use of modern graphics to represent the blob and its growth.
So, yes, there are many laughable parts in this film, as with any B-movie, the blob isn't terrifying and never was but the special effects were passable for the time. But when there is such awful acting, low budgets and silly plot lines, thats when it becomes so good and a must watch.

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