Film: The Blob

Beware of the Blob!

It creeps
And leaps, and glides
And slides across the floor
Right through the door
And all around the wall
A splotch, a blotch
Be careful of the Blob!

The Blob is a horror/monster film from 1958, about a killer amoeba from outer space. The film is notable not only for its memorable villain, but also for being the film debut of Steve McQueen. It spawned a sequel in 1972 and a remake in 1988.

As the film begins, a small meteorite drops to earth near a small town. It contains a tiny, jelly-like substance which quickly attaches itself to a nearby hermit, who is subsequently brought to town for medical attention. Unfortunately, The Blob grows and consumes the hermit and the medical staff, observed only by a pair of teenagers. Of course, when they try to raise the alarm, no one believes them — until The Blob attacks a crowded movie theater. Eventually deducing that the creature can be defeated only by extreme cold, the town collects all available fire extinguishers and blanket it in CO2, freezing it solid. In the end, the frozen Blob is deposited deep in the Arctic, where it is presumed it will remain frozen.

In the sequel Beware! The Blob (also known as Son of Blob), a construction crew working on a new Alaskan oil pipeline has uncovered the frozen Blob. Not knowing what it is, the construction foreman brings a small chunk of it home to southern California with him, upon which it promply escapes, grows, and terrorizes the community, slinking through the sewers. Eventually entering the brand new bowling alley (and attached, still-under-construction ice-skating rink), the Blob is ultimately defeated by freezing the ice rink floor. A decidedly campy film, Beware! nonetheless plays many monster movie tropes dead straight, particularly the Cassandra Truth-spewing heroes and the Obstructive Bureaucrat who runs the bowling alley.

The Blob was remade in 1988, using the original story with a few minor changes. Another remake of the original film was announced in 2006, to be penned by the writers of the House of Wax (2005) remake.

For generic monsters (and Cute Monster Girl) made of slime and other types of goo, see Blob Monster.

Not to be confused with a certain X-Men villain, or any Wii games.

The Blob films in general provide examples of:

  • Antagonist Title: The eponymous Blob is of course the monster that tries to devour everyone.
  • Attack of the Killer Whatever
  • Blob Monster: Trope Maker.
  • Came from the Sky: How The Blob got to earth.
  • Cassandra Truth
  • The End... Or Is It?
  • Grey Goo: The Blob (in the original 1958 movie) could be either this or The Virus. No one's really ever gotten close enough to examine it without being eaten. All that's known about it is that it's of alien origin. Oh, and it prefers to devour organic life as opposed to inorganic matter. The 1988 remake of the movie had the Blob be the spawn of a secret government germ warfare project. There it acted less like mindless spreading Grey Goo and more like a malicious, semi-intelligent monster.
  • Immune to Bullets: The Blob is immune to this and pretty much any other physical weaponry.
  • Kill It with Ice: The Blob can be defeated by exposure to subzero temperatures, which can eventually freeze it completely solid.
  • Non-Malicious Monster:
    • Played straight in the original movie, where the Blob is a mindless Space Amoeba who simply consumes as much organic matter as it can find. It's no more malicious than any other predator.
    • Averted in the 1988 remake. The Blob is the accidental result of a secret government germ warfare project, and shows several signs of intelligence. It seems to enjoy stalking its food and even lays traps for them.
  • No Body Left Behind: The blob completely absorbs its victims, flesh, cloth and bones. Whether itís transforming the victim into it like in the original or dissolving them, like in the remake.
  • The Remake: One in the '80s; purportedly another in preproduction.

The 1958 version provides examples of:

  • Police Are Useless: Subverted. While initially skeptical, the police are actually helpful once they are presented with proof of the teenaged heroes' (admittedly wild) story.
  • Reasonable Authority Figure: Dave the cop, who instantly gives the kids the benefit of the doubt and decides to investigate their claims, despite them sounding unbelievable.
  • Soundtrack Dissonance: For what is supposed to be a horror movie, the opening theme to the 1958 film is rather upbeat and goofy.
  • Thematic Theme Tune: Written by Burt Bacharach and Hal David, of all people.
  • What Happened to the Mouse?:
    • The girls who accompany the guys to try to warn the citizens about the Blob. After everybody's been gathered and the Blob emerges from the movie theater, the guys stick around to help, but the girls are never seen again.
    • Averted with the old man's puppy, who is presumed killed when the two heroes are cornered in the supermarket, but is later mentioned as having been seen "running down the street, scared stiff" after they get out.

Beware! The Blob provides examples of:

  • Billing Displacement: Beware! The Blob was directed by Larry "J.R." Hagman, resulting in the recent Tagline "The Film That J.R. Shot!"
  • Black Dude Dies First: Well, technically it's a black woman, but her husband soon follows.
  • Body Horror: In the sequel, when the Blob kills someone and we see them being killed.
    • Although it isn't as bad as the '80s remake.
  • Camp: The '70s sequel.
  • Infant Immortality: A junior campers troop is attacked (offscreen) by The Blob. The scout leader is killed, the kids escape.
  • Recursive Canon: Beware! The Blob has the Blob devouring a man while he's watching the original film on TV.
  • Sealed Evil in a Can: A foreman for an oil pipeline construction crew brings home a chunk of the Blob from Alaska ( where it had been deposited in the original film) in a sealed thermos.
  • You Have to Believe Me: Particularly notable in this one, in which the leading lady is not believed... mainly because she just keeps mewling "It came after us!" ad infinitum.

The 1988 version provides examples of:

  • Absurdly Spacious Sewer: It's wide enough for a bike to go through. The sewers being so absurdly spacious is actually explained in an easy-to-miss bit of dialogue. The "sewers" are actually an aqueduct system built to prevent flooding from the mountains.
  • Adult Fear: The cheerleader Meg Penny learns from her parents that her brother Kevin and his friend are missing while the town is under quarantine, thinking they snuck out to see a slasher movie. What makes this terrifying was the fact that Meg's little brother is now in danger of being eaten by the titular monster now getting bigger by eating anyone that gets too close. She arrives to find the theatre is in a state of panic with Kevin and his friend desperately trying to use the emergency exit and while she does save them, they wind up having to evade the Blob in the sewer. The Blob follows them down there and Kevin's friend then gets pulled underwater. Meg tries to save him only to later see him rise up from the water half-eaten; imagine dying by drowning and being eaten/dissolved alive at the same time. What makes this all the more horrifying was the fact Kevin's friend has an older brother that let them both into the movie and we saw his mother hoping he was going to come home safe. At least Meg and her brother survived... The guilt the kid's older brother is going to feel for the rest of his life knowing that his little brother would still be alive if he hadn't helped him sneak into the movie.
  • Anti-Hero: Flagg
  • Anyone Can Die: In this version, this cannot be more true.
  • Asshole Victim: A few, especially Dr. Meddows.
  • Badass: Brian, Meg. Also Colonel Hargis, who elects to remove the grenade pins before getting munched so that he can kill the Blob. Unfortunately, it doesn't work.
  • Battle Couple: During the climax, Meg and Brian.
  • Better to Die Than Be Killed: Subverted. After a failed attempt to blow up the Blob by dropping some bombs down the sewer, Hargis is about to be crushed and consumed by the Blob. He pulls the pins from his grenades, but the Blob eats him anyway. We briefly see two flashes inside of the Blob, making it clear that it did nothing to it.
  • Big Bad: Meddows, who created the Blob and is responsible for its rampage, using it to test its power.
  • Bloodier and Gorier: Thanks to the improved special effect by the time. The deaths were considerably more gruesome, because we see some of the victims dissolve on-screen.
  • California Doubling: Inverted. The movie is implied to be set in California, with the Sheriff mentioning shipping the remains of a Blob victim to Sacramento for testing, but was filmed in Louisiana.
  • Conspicuous CG: Several scenes showing the enlarged Blob, notably the "man gets swatted like a bug" shot.
  • Date Rape Averted: The girl in question doesn't have a choice, because the boy got her drunk first. But there's beautiful poetic justice because when the slimy boy goes to get his hands in her bra, he finds only the Blob, which had gotten into and consumed most of her insides already, leaving it gelatinously filling her empty flesh sack. Eww. However, though the would-be-rapist gets a nice comeuppance, the girl is still just as dead.
  • Death by Sex: A guy gets his date drunk on alcohol so she'll pass out. The Blob gets to her, sucking her innards out, while he's mixing another batch. When he sees she's passed out, he goes in for the Date Rape, only to discover there's nothing there but the Blob.
  • Decoy Protagonist: Paul Taylor is the likeable jock dating the heroine Meg while Brian Flagg is a James Dean-like anti-authority dude with more than a few run-ins with the authority. Then Paul gets munched on by the blob and Flagg takes over the Hero role.
  • Disconnected By Death: The waitress is chased into a phone booth and absorbed. Along with the entire booth.
  • Drool Hello: Just before The Blob kills Decoy Protagonist Paul.
  • Family-Unfriendly Death; Much of the scenes show that being dissolved by the blob even partially doesn't kill you instantly. Shown horrifically when the yoyo-playing projectionist is seen still trying to move even after the back of his head and body is dissolved already.
  • Faux Affably Evil: Dr. Meddows comes across as friendly and helpful at first glance, but we see soon later who he truly is.
  • Giving Them the Strip: One of the boys gets his jacket caught in a door with the Blob on the other side. Meg struggles with the jacket's stuck zipper until she can get him out of it.
  • Government Conspiracy: In this film this is the source of the Blob.
  • Heel-Face Turn: After Dr. Meddows' death, the other soldiers, several of whom were already on the fence of sacrificing the entire town to capture the Blob, quickly change their plan to try and destroy it and save the town instead.
  • Hockey Mask and Chainsaw: In a movie shown in a theater.
  • Hoist by His Own Petard: Dr. Meddows, the Big Bad of the film responsible for creating the Blob, is eaten by his own experiment.
  • Infant Immortality: Horribly averted. The heroine rescues her child brother and his friend. Right before they climb out of the sewer, the friend is pulled underwater screaming. Moments later, he pops out of the water again. Half melted. Still screaming.
  • It Can Think: The titular creature, instead of mindlessly oozing everywhere chooses ambush tactics like a predator instead. The Jerk Jock was killed when the blob consumes his date from the inside out and waits until he moves in before it reveals itself and kills him. Another example is when it attacks a flamethrower-wielding soldier and blocks the end of his flamethrower, causing the fuel tank to explode and kill him.
  • Jerk Jock: Scott, who progresses from lying to a preacher and a pharmacist that the condoms he's buying are actually for his buddy Paul (making Paul have a really, really awful first meeting with the pharmacist, who is his date's father, when he goes to pick her up) to getting his date drunk so he can date rape her. It's almost a Karmic Death when the Blob devours him.
  • Karmic Death: Dr Meddows, who is snatched and devoured right after ordering his squad to execute Flagg.
  • Knight Templar: The scientist Dr. Meddows, who wants to control the Blob so that he can create a weapon that can put US Military ahead of Russian Military. All patriotic and stuff but then he deems the town expendable.
  • Mexican Standoff: Before the final fight with the Blob, Brian gets into one with Meddows, his men and Deputy Briggs. During this time, he reveals Meddows's true nature, and the distracted Meddows gets killed.
  • Mythology Gag: There's a scene which hearkens back to the '70s sequel, in which The Blob slinks up through the sewer lines into a sink and pulls a hapless victim literally down the drain.
  • Noisy Nature: A sewer rat squeaks very loudly as it floats past the characters on a broken piece of board.
  • Novelization: A rather decent one by David Bischoff (who also wrote the Novelization for Gremlins 2). The book not only contains elements from the original script, including different character names (such as Meddows being called Bruno Trimble), it even has some scenes told from the blob's point of view. Somehow.
  • Police Are Useless: Subverted. Sheriff Geller comes across as quite reasonable... but unfortunately is one of the Blob's early victims, leaving his churlish deputy, Briggs, in charge. Who also comes around in the end and dies trying to help.
  • Red Shirt Army: The soldiers accompanying the scientists are useless, though their poorer performance compared to the main characters when fighting the Blob might be attributed to the heavy NBC gear they are wearing.
  • Sealed Evil in a Can: Reverend Meeker has kept a small sample of the Blob at the end.
  • Sequel Hook: See Sealed Evil in a Can above.
  • Terror At Make Out Point: This trope is played with. The Jerk Jock has driven to a secluded spot and gotten his date drunk so he can have his way with her. He looks away for a minute, then begins to unbutton her blouse. When he reaches in, the Blob, who has eaten the girl from the far side, out of his immediate view, grabs him and consumes him.
  • Took a Level in Badass: Meg starts the movie as a happy, innocent cheerleader living an obviously sheltered lifestyle. During the climax, we see her climbing atop a crashed snowmaker truck, firing an M16 full auto against the titular monster while screaming at it, and then setting up a satchel charge to blow up the trucks liquid nitrogen tanks and take the creature with it.