I had barely gotten my start on life, merely 4 years old when the classic horror, science fiction movie “The Blob” took hold like wildfire with audiences in 1958. In that era, people were concerned with aliens coming to earth, the possibility of nuclear war and “the Ruskies.” The anti-communist debate swept through Hollywood with screenwriter, producers and actors in the late 1940 and early 1950’s for alleged “Un-American Activities, rumors of communist ties generating a blacklist and prison that lasted though 1960.
With all of these threats and innuendo, the public needed a “fake blob” to distract them from reality. What was this all about?
It all started in a Pennsylvania based studio in Valley Forge known for 250 religious films. A group of devout Christians, “wanting to spread the Word” came up with this idea on a shoestring budget. What?? The exact origin of the Blob is best left to speculation. The creators were ministers. They were long on visual effects and short on money. But the $110,000 budget, combined with red vegetable dye and silicone came to be one of the most successful “monsters” ever! The blob’s purpose was to consume everything in its path.
Steve McQueen, an unknown actor at the time, took a comparative paltry sum up front, playing the part of teenager Steve Andrews and was never able to cash in later, due to his decision as a starving actor. Ahhh… the errors we make in life out of desperation! In fact, before I even began the spark of an idea for this blog, lo and behold, there was already a cold war connection made from a comic book writer-
“There’s also a subtle, weird, political message in the original Blob. Joe McCarthy had just been disgraced, and the Cold War was very much a fact of life … That’s what the Blob is – a creeping red menace – the Cold War.”
The Plot-Just the bare facts, as you really should rent this one!
A teenage boy and his girlfriend are on Lover’s Lane in a small town when they observed a meteor crash to earth over the hill. They investigate, and unfortunately an old man ‘pokes it with a stick” unleashing its ravenous appetite for the man and others in its path, including the local doctor, nurse, movie projectionist etc. In the meantime, no one pays attention to poor Steve Andrews who is treated like the “Boy Who Cried Wolf”. What can stop the blob from it’s all consuming horror? A few things seemingly slow it down…. But, you’ll have to watch it and see for yourself! Just a taste of the original Blob-
The Blob as Compared to True Crime:
This film could very well be a metaphor for crime in 2016. What can stop the all consuming terror of mass homicide shootings, intimate partner violence, human trafficking, and death from opiate addiction that plague us? I don’t know.
In recent times the initial deadliest mass shooting occurred in July 1984 a in San Diego suburb in which a gunman killed 21 people on a crowded McDonald’s Restaurant near the Mexican border-and it has continued as “nearly commonplace” to the present day, whether it is a lone disgruntled worker or a foreign terrorist, the “blob of crime” consumes all.
We go to the movie theater now and are forced to think about our surroundings instead of buying popcorn! We are in Active Shooter stance. Refer to this former blog- https://donnagore.com/2016/03/02/active-shooter/
Maybe the Blob that ate everyone wasn’t so bad after all in comparison.
You be the judge!
Regarding the San Ysidro McDonald’s, my newsroom’s black humor that day included more than a few jokes about suggested items for the restaurant’s menu: McBullets and Duck.