Blog Archives


“Dangerously angry one minute… rockin’ and rollin’ the next!” Check out a trailer for 1958’s Dragstrip Riot, directed by David Bradley.


TRAILER TUESDAY! Halloween Edition

“He’ll hold you in a grasp of shock!” Grab your crucifixes and check out a trailer for the Hammer Films gothic classic Horror of Dracula, directed by Terence Fisher.


Attack of the 50 Foot Woman (1958)

Attack of the 50 Foot Woman #1

by Steve Habrat

Today’s audiences look back at most of the drive-in science fiction films of the 1950s with mean-spirited chortles and dismissive responses. A good majority of the negativity is aimed at the giant creature films that played mostly to an audience of teenagers who were too busy necking in the backseat of their father’s car to even care what was happening on the screen. While many of these films are deserving of a bit more praise than they receive (Godzilla, Tarantula, Them!, The Blob), there are still those B-movies that deserve the giggles that erupt at the mere mention of their title. One of those films would be the ultra-cheap and ultra-campy 1958 effort Attack of the 50 Foot Woman, a cult film that is so unbelievably bad, it’s actual sort of entertaining…if you’re inebriated to the point of being blacked out. Directed by the indifferent Nathan Juran for a measly $88,000 dollars, Attack of the 50 Foot Woman is comprised of some of the worst special effects you may ever see (yes, even worse than something you might have seen in an Ed Wood movie), tongue-in-cheek performances, and a warning to every male viewer that there is nothing more terrifying than a woman scorned. It is a genre film so laughable, not even a die-hard fan could show it any affection.

Attack of the 50 Foot Woman introduces us to the extremely wealthy, stunningly beautiful, but severely troubled Nancy Archer (played by Allison Hayes), who is just coming off a recent stay in a sanitarium and is battling a drinking problem. To make things worse on poor Nancy, who is also the butt of every joke told by the locals, her husband, Harry (played by William Hudson), is a drunken philanderer constantly hatching schemes with his side girlfriend, Honey Parker (played by Yvette Vickers), to milk Nancy of her millions. Late one night, Nancy is driving home through the desert when a strange orb of light suddenly appears in the middle of the highway. Nancy proceeds to investigate the ball of light and she discovers that it is actually a flying saucer. Suddenly, a giant alien emerges from the craft and reaches for Nancy, terrifying the poor girl almost to death. Nancy reports the sightings to skeptical Sheriff Dubbit (played by George Douglas) and his dimwitted Deputy, Charlie (played by Frank Chase), but everyone just waves the poor girl off. Spotting an opportunity to get rid of Nancy for good, Harry pretends to believe Nancy’s story, so he drives her out into the desert to help her look for the spaceship. To both Nancy and Harry’s surprise, they end up finding the ship and the alien, who emerges and tries to attack. The terrified Harry flees the scene, leaving Nancy stranded out in the middle of nowhere. Nancy manages to find her way home, but after a few days in a coma, she awakens to find that she has grown into a giant.

At a scant sixty-six minutes, Attack of the 50 Foot Woman seems to drag on forever. The film’s poster advertises a giant Nancy terrorizing a freeway overpass and snatching up terrified citizens but nothing like this ever occurs in the actual film. The action finally kicks in during the final fifteen minutes of the film and the special effects that accompany this action are just about as amateur as they come. We are treated to a looped shot of Nancy strolling from the left side of the screen to the right side, all while the landscape bleeds through her faintly transparent image. It is extremely clear that the filmmakers just layered a shot of Nancy and a landscape shot to give the illusion of a giant woman stomping around this small town. To make things worse, when Nancy reaches for someone or something, a giant papier-mache hand dips into the screen and shakes to fool the viewer into thinking the fingers are moving around. It is absolutely hilarious. While the action provides plenty of laughs, the bulk of the film finds the two uninteresting main characters trapped in a severely dysfunctional marriage. It is clear that Juran is attempting to make Nancy’s transformation all the more powerful and significant, but it is so tongue-in-cheek that it never hits with the force it intended to.

Attack of the 50 Foot Woman #2

To make things worse for Attack of the 50 Foot Woman, the cast of the film seems completely confused as to what the tone of the film actually is. Some of them play things completely straight while others seem like they are ready to burst out laughing at all the absurdity. Hayes goes full hysterical as Nancy, an emotional wreck that is pushed over the edge when no one will believe her saucer man story. Hudson doesn’t seem to know if he should fully embrace darkness or if he should just laugh as Nancy’s unfaithful husband. Douglas falls on the serious side as Sheriff Dubbit, who spends most of his time just looking confused or aiming a shotgun off screen. Chase is full on cheese as the corrupt Deputy who has a hard time refusing a bribe from the oily Harry. Vickers seems eager to prove her acting chops as the bombshell Honey, but she seems like she is ready to crack up with Hudson. We also can’t forget Ken Terrell as Nancy’s loyal butler, Jess, who is said to have been in her family for years but doesn’t look a day over forty. Otto Waldis also hams it up as Dr. Heinrich Von Loeb, a specialist called in to treat Nancy’s mind-boggling condition. Waldis spends most of his scenes stammering through a thick German accent and just shaking his head in astonishment.

As if confused performances, poor pacing, and bottom-of-the-barrel special effects weren’t enough to topple Attack of the 50 Foot Woman, the script itself completely levels the entire project. It is absolutely loaded with one idiotic moment after another. How exactly does a fifty-foot Nancy fit into her bedroom and more importantly, when did she have time to stop and make an outfit for herself? And how is Nancy so completely clueless to the fact that her husband is a giant scumbag? Oh, and what is the deal with the giant bald alien always reaching for someone? And how does a GIANT ALIEN manage to walk around in that tiny space ship?! Don’t trouble yourself with any of these questions; you’ll never get an answer. All you can do is laugh. Overall, while there is some thought put into the script, Attack of the 50 Foot Woman never shows a hint of the depth that some of the Atomic Age science fiction films possessed. It seems to be suffering from a severe identity crisis, wondering if it should just fully embrace its own absurdity or if it should remain straight-faced until the very last shot. This is a midnight cult classic that just doesn’t deliver the nacho-cheese fun that it should.

Grade: D

Attack of the 50 Foot Woman is available on DVD.

Fiend Without a Face (1958)

Fiend Without a Face #1

by Steve Habrat

As we look back on science fiction of the 1950s, most of the films that comprise the genre were filled with aliens attempting to make emotionless clones of human beings, extraterrestrials warning the United States to stop fiddling with the nuclear bomb, or giant mutated bugs attacking miniature cities and gobbling up terrified civilians. One thing you didn’t see much of was slithering and slimy invisible vampiric brains that suck out the brains and spinal cords of their victims. We can thank Britain for giving us the 1958 gem Fiend Without a Face, a moody, confining, eerie, and shockingly gory B-movie that certainly doesn’t shy away from reflecting the Cold War unease that was looming like storm clouds over much of the world. There is no doubt that Fiend Without a Face could have fallen back on its catchy title and awesomely creepy siege at the end, but the true terror lurks throughout the first half of the film, as a distrust of the U.S. government grips a small Canadian town. It is all nervous eyes and uneasy glances as satellites spin silently out in the woods and government planes roar suspiciously over the heads of simple small town folk looking to just be left alone. These images are far more chilling than invisible brains lurching through the foliage and curling around the necks of surprised victims. Well, those may be pretty creepy too.

Fiend Without a Face is set at an American airbase that has been recently set up in small town Manitoba, Canada. The airbase is far from popular with the local townsfolk, but fear really takes hold when one soldier is mysteriously attacked and killed by an unseen force in the woods that surround the base. An investigation is launched by Commander Major Jeff Cummings (played by Marshall Thompson) and base security officer Al Chester (played by Terry Kilburn), but neither man can find anything particularly suspicious about the soldier that was killed. Just as they are about to let local authorities handle the matter, the dead soldier’s sister, Barbara (played by Kim Parker), shows up and demands answers from Cummings and the local Mayor, Hawkins (played by James Dyrenforth). An autopsy is finally performed on the body and to the horror of the investigators; they discover that the man’s brains and spinal chord have been sucked clean out through two small holes on the back of his neck. As more and more townsfolk are attacked and turn up dead, the investigation leads to Professor Walgate (played by Kynaston Reeves), who is known for his interest in the paranormal. Cummings begins forcing answers out of Walgate, but much to the horror of the townsfolk, the unseen menace seems to be growing stronger and multiplying by the minute.

The highlight moment of Fiend Without a Face comes in the final fifteen minutes of the film, with a chilling siege that finds our group of desperate survivors boarding up the windows and doors of a secluded home. Outside, armies of gurgling brains are dangling from trees and leaping at the boards in attempts to rip the barriers away. It’s a special effects feast that is both tongue-in-cheek by today’s standards, oddly creepy, endearing, and abnormally brutal for a film released in 1958. The characters discover that a simple gunshot will stop the fiends dead in their path but once these creatures are struck, they ooze and spray a jelly-like blood that is pretty nasty. Yet director Arthur Crabtree doesn’t save all the good stuff until the very end. The first half of the film does a marvelous job at generating some seriously nerve-racking suspense. You’ll be at the edge of your seat while U.S. planes rip through the sky as suspicious citizens look up in unease and you can’t help but get a bit nervous as the soldiers experiment with a radar that is powered with atomic energy. The general aura of distrust that hums through the shadowy build-up is what really sticks with the viewer. This is all complimented with the hovering question of what is causing all the senseless murders.

Fiend Without a Face #2

Fiend Without a Face is also lucky enough to join the ranks of Cold War science fiction films that have some really awesome performances driving them. Thompson is levelheaded and likeable as the brave Major Cummings. You simultaneously root for him to get the girl and squash every withering brain that dares slither towards him. Parker is a strong and sharp heroine who, yes, needs to be saved quite often and shrieks in terror every time she sees one of the fiends, but her tie to the events taking place give her character some depth. Reeves is crack pot fun as the wild-haired scientist who may or may not be responsible for the carnage turning Manitoba upside down. Dyrenforth puts a bad taste in your mouth as the peeved Mayor Hawkins, who is quick to blame the air base for every single thing that goes wrong in and around the town. Robert MacKenzie also gets a chance to really freak audiences out as a local police officer, Howard Gibbons, who mysteriously disappears and then reappears in a very nightmarish way. He delivers a really great jump scene that will have you flicking on a nightlight or three.

As if the shadowy anxiety and gore-drenched action weren’t enough to catapult Fiend Without a Face near the top of the list of best Atomic Age science fiction films, wait until your ears are treated to the ungodly disgusting sound effects that will surely have you fidgeting. The victim’s screams could cut right through glass and the repulsive sucking sounds that the fiends make will have you battling to keep down your lunch. If you have a great home theater system, you are really in for a skin crawling treat when you hear some of the sound effects this film has to offer. Just make sure they are turned up loud for maxim effect. If there is anything to criticize within Fiend Without a Face, it would most certainly have to be the soundtrack, which sounds like stock music that was just stuck in to spice things up. Near the end, the music seems just a bit too cheery and upbeat for something that is supposed to have us leaking dread. Overall, it may not be as well-known as genre gems like Invasion of the Body Snatchers, The Day the Earth Stood Still, Tarantula, Creature from the Black Lagoon, Forbidden Planet, or Them!, but Fiend Without a Face is a B-movie that is more than deserving to sit proudly next to those films. It’s a creepy crawly treat with spirited special effects, above average performances, and an ending that could very well have been an inspiration for George A. Romero’s Night of the Living Dead. Watch with the volume turned all the way up.

Grade: A-

Fiend Without a Face is available on DVD.

Hammer Horror Series: Horror of Dracula (1958)

by Steve Habrat

Shortly after unleashing their bloody interpretation of Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein, Hammer Studios decided to tackle Frankenstein’s partner in crime—Dracula. While The Curse of Frankenstein is considered the film that introduced Hammer Studios to the world, Horror of Dracula is considered one of their finest films in their vault. Once again starring Peter Cushing and Christopher Lee, Horror of Dracula is a sexed up vision of the vampire, complete with plenty of cleavage to satisfy the male viewers. While adding a heavy layer of sexuality and allowing plenty of blood to flow in striking Technicolor, director Terence Fisher has been credited for laying the groundwork for the modern vampire film. It features a suave Lee as Dracula preying upon voluptuous women who all shriek in orgasmic terror as the legendary bloodsucker drains them of blood. There is plenty of seduction in Horror of Dracula, something that was only vaguely hinted upon in the Tod Browning’s Universal classic Dracula. Much like The Curse of Frankenstein, Horror of Dracula is very low budget, taking place primarily on two or three sets, which may have been left over from their previous offering, but there is plenty of misty atmosphere that would make Universal jealous. And then there is Lee as Dracula, who some argue gives the definitive performance as the iconic vampire.

Horror of Dracula begins with Jonathan Harker (Played by John Van Eyssen) arriving at Count Dracula’s (Played by Christopher Lee) castle, posing as a librarian. As he is taken into the gothic walls, a beautiful woman who is begging for help approaches Jonathan but is scared off by Dracula as he welcomes his guest. Dracula takes Jonathan to his room where it is revealed that Jonathan isn’t a librarian at all, but there to put an end to Dracula’s reign of terror. The next day, Jonathan is attacked by the same woman and bitten on the neck. Just as the woman is about to kill Jonathan, Dracula interrupts the attack and fights the girl off. Jonathan passes out from the attack and awakens the next day with strange marks on his neck. He slips down to the dungeon where he discovers Dracula and the woman in their coffins. Jonathan quickly dispatches the woman but Dracula wakes up and kills him. Shortly after the confrontation, Professor Van Helsing (Played by Peter Cushing) arrives at the castle looking for Jonathan and as he searches, he finds both the body of Jonathan and his diary. Van Helsing then sets out to deliver news of Jonathan’s death to his fiancé, Lucy (Played by Carol Marsh) and her brother, Arthur (Played by Michael Gough). But just as Van Helsing arrives to deliver the news, Dracula begins tormenting Lucy and Arthur.

Fisher’s Horror of Dracula doesn’t hesitate to jump right in to the action. There is no extended sequence of Jonathan traveling to Dracula’s gothic castle or whispers from the terrified villagers about the undead claiming the night. Right from the beginning, we learn that this Dracula is nastier and bloodier than anything we have seen before. Lee’s Dracula can be a gentleman one minute and the next; he is a red-eyed beast looking to tear the throat out of anyone who dares cross him. The first glimpse we get of the snarling Dracula certainly does shake the viewer up and it could very well be the most frightening scene of the entire film. The second half of the film finds Dracula largely absent from all the action and the main characters debating how to keep Dracula away from Lucy and Arthur’s wife, Mina (Played by Melissa Stribling). Many may deem this boring, especially since the middle section finds the characters pacing ornate dens while discussing vampire lore rather than tending to spurting arties. But it is these scenes that build the anticipation for Dracula’s return and in a way, make us fear him all the more. He could be anywhere, at any time, and we have no idea when he will choose to strike next.

Then there is the fantastic Cushing as Van Helsing, a mere mortal who resorts to tricks to fight the relentless vampire. It is difficult not to admire the way Cushing approaches each terrifying situation he encounters, as he is always cool, calm, and collected. Cushing has great chemistry with Gough, who is probably best remembered for his work as Alfred in Tim Burton’s 1989 gothic superhero film Batman. Cushing and Gough team up for a final showdown with Dracula that I promise will satisfy in every way imaginable. It is morbid and action packed but forced to remain restrained due to Hammer’s limited budget. We also can’t forget about the ladies, who also get their chance to really spook us throughout the course of the film. Marsh is the standout as Lucy, who nabs another one of the film’s more effective spooks. As a young girl wanders the woods, she is coaxed further in by the terrifying apparition of Lucy, who reveals a full set of razor sharp fangs to the young girl. It is another one of those scenes that catapult Horror of Dracula to the top of the list of horror movies perfect for Halloween night. Stribling gets a hair-raising encounter with the king vampire as he enters her bedroom and slowly makes his way in for the bite.

While Horror of Dracula may have plenty of terrifying moments to go around, the film has some surprising moments of humor, which does alleviate some of the tension. Yet when Fischer wants to scare the living hell out of you, he does it with a vengeance. Behold the scene where Gough and Cushing wander a misty tomb and come face to face with the undead Lucy. The final showdown in Dracula’s castle is also pretty gripping as a rattled Van Helsing starts to loose control against the demonic force he is facing. The film ends with some rickety special effects that have not aged well but are still appropriately disturbing. Incredibly influential and scary, Horror of Dracula is certainly one of the finest examples of vampires at their most sinister. The film deserves to stand alongside classics like 1922 silent German Expressionist nightmare Nosferatu, the legendary 1931 Universal/Lugosi offering, and Werner Herzog’s surreal 1979 Nosferatu the Vampyre. Overall, Horror of Dracula is a small but scrappy homerun for Hammer Studios. You may find yourself hanging garlic on your door and sleeping with a stake and crucifix next to your bed. Make it a double feature with The Curse of Frankenstein.

Grade: A

Horror of Dracula is available on DVD.

The Blob (1988)

by Steve Habrat

If the 1958 Cold War science-fiction film The Blob wasn’t gory enough for you, then you need to seek out the spiffed up 1988 remake immediately. Yes, there is a remake of The Blob and you’ll be surprised to know that this version goes right for the throat. Director and co-writer Chuck Russell and writer Frank “The Walking Dead” Darabont scrub away some of the innocence that could be found in the playing-it-straight ’58 version and makes things nice and gruesome for the crowd hungry for entrails. While it may not have as much on its mind as the original film did, the film still makes a compelling statement about how the American people could be expendable to their own government in the name of science, making the film worthwhile for those seeking out a heady experience. To me, The Blob ’88 is more concerned about updating the technical side of things and in the process, making our stomachs a little queasy. The Blob ’88 does hold up surprisingly well and the film is a wickedly self-aware little horror offering, but the climax ends up getting tangled in action excess that stalls the film.

After a meteorite crashes to earth and lands out in the secluded woods of Arborville, California, an elderly man begins snooping around the crash site. The elderly man ends up discovering a strange, jelly-like substance that suddenly attaches to his hand and slowly begins devouring the limb. Three high school students, bad-boy Brian (Played by Kevin Dillon), cheerleader Meg (Played by Shawnee Smith), and jock Paul (Played by Donovan Leitch), stumble upon the elderly man and rush him to the hospital. Paul soon discovers that the strange goo has gruesomely devoured the man’s stomach and then finds himself getting attacked by the substance. Meg narrowly escapes the hospital and meets back up with the skeptical Brian, who soon sees the blob in all its horrific action. The two begin trying to warn the local sheriff, Herb Geller (Played by Jeffery DeMunn), who refuses to take their story seriously and instead blames outcast Brian. As the body count racks up, a shadowy government organization led by Dr. Christopher Meddows (Played by Joe Seneca) appears in Arborville, looking to find the blob so they can trap it and study it. Brian and Meg soon discover that the government may not be there to protect them and that there is more to the horrifying organism than they could have ever imagined.

The Blob ’88 has an undeniably effective build-up that erupts in brutal encounters with the alien organism. You see arms eaten off, torsos dissolved, and other revolting injuries from the destructive force. While some of the effects may be showing their age, the gorier aspects of the film are still pretty well done. When the film is keeping the blob largely off screen, with only slight glimpses of it, Darabont and Russell manage to create a seriously creepy B-movie. Naturally, the ending of the film sees the organism in all its goofy glory, causing this shapeless terror to become unintentionally hilarious. The Blob ’88 is also aware of its teen appeal, having the viewer root for two teen heroes who, naturally, morph into barely legal superheroes by the last stand. This is what ends up throwing The Blob ’88 off, the typical 80’s staple of molding the protagonists into unstoppable heroes that can make it out of any situation thrown at them. Yet this teenage perspective also has a number of shining moments, especially an awkward encounter in a drugstore that involves condoms and the local reverend.

The Blob ’88 does have some mighty fine acting for a drive-in update, mostly from stars Kevin Dillon and Shawnee Smith. Dillon, who wears a magnificent mullet, is the stereotypical bad-boy who wears a leather jacket, works on motorcycles, and apparently never attends any school functions. It takes him some time to gain some momentum with Smith, who gets to have some fun as a tough cheerleader. They are a blast to watch in the final crazed moments of this romp. I also enjoyed Jeffery DeMunn as the local sheriff who has a crush on a waitress on the town diner. Things perk up even more when Joe Seneca takes to the screen as Dr. Meddows, who isn’t concerned with helping the townsfolk at all, instead hungry for personal gain. He ends up stealing the movie as a secondary villain who is willing to allow innocent people to perish so he can claim the ultimate prize: A new discovery. The final moments of the film belong to Del Close as the unstable Reverend Meeker, who gets his hands on a frozen sample of the blob and then threatens to use it to end the world.

Director Russell and Darabont refuse to tinker with the handful of iconic moments that made the original film into the classic that it is today. Still firmly in place is the movie theater sequence that features beefed up special effects that swoop down on fleeing audience members. Also, they stage the hospital sequence marvelously and blindside us with a ghastly reveal. Russell and Darabont smartly go ahead and create a few new classic scenes (the sewer encounter is awesomely grim, the sink death is nice and bloody) all while putting their own spin on that question mark that was stamped on the final frame of the original film. The end of The Blob ‘88 descends into full-blown chaos that ended up throwing the pace of the film off, a pace that I thought was utterly perfect and effective. The Blob manages to find it’s footing in a world that isn’t gripped by communist fears and nuclear tension, instead using fear of our own government in its place. There is obvious care for the original film as well as an understanding that the original was silly even if it didn’t want to admit that it was. Overall, I prefer The Blob ’88 to the ’58 version, one of the few remakes I like a bit more than the original film. I’m a sucker for that self-aware grin and its tendency to dump fake blood and guts all over me when I least expect it.

Grader: B-

The Blob 1988 is available on DVD.

The Blob (1958)

by Steve Habrat

For a science fiction film about a giant gelatinous blob from outer space, Irvin Yeaworth’s 1958 chiller The Blob is an awfully tedious film. Sure, it is a goofy concept and the idea of it makes it a film that would be great for a campy sleepover double feature but it is a surprisingly disappointing experience. The main attraction of The Blob is the drive to see something that is the true definition of cheap. Shockingly, the special effects sequences in The Blob are not nearly as primitive as you would hope they are. Believe it or not but The Blob is played pretty straight, another science-fiction film from the Cold War that uses a big red consuming mass to mirror the fears of communism spreading throughout the United States. All that is missing is a giant yellow hammer and cycle stamped on the side of the blob! In my opinion, there are more 50’s and 60’s science fiction/horror films that mirror the times better than The Blob, but you’d think The Blob would put a slight creative and fun spin on the subject matter. Oh well, at least it stars a young Steve McQueen and has a pretty awesome theme song!

The Blob picks up in July 1957, with teenager Steve Andrews (Played by Steve McQueen) and his girlfriend Jane Martin (Played by Aneta Corsaut) enjoying a romantic evening parked at Lover’s Lane. Suddenly, they see a meteor streak across the sky and land somewhere close to where they are parked. Meanwhile, an elderly man (Played by Olin Howland) hears the meteor land near his home and he ventures out into the woods to investigate. When he finds the meteor, he pokes the space rock with a stick, which causes it to break open and reveal a strange gelatinous substance that attaches itself to his stick. The goo quickly slithers its way up the stick and attaches itself to the terrified man’s hand. Steve and Jane stumble upon the old man and quickly take him to the local doctor’s office. They show the man’s hand to Dr. Hallen (Played by Stephen Chase), who quickly determines that he will have to amputate the man’s arm. The blob hastily gobbles up the old man and everyone else working at the clinic, leaving Steve and Jane running to the local police station to inform the authorities about what they have seen. The authorities dismiss their story but soon, more people begin mysteriously disappearing and the blob begins growing to a devastating size.

The Blob is the furthest thing from spooky, scary, or thrilling, which I guess shouldn’t surprise anyone considering the monster is essentially rolling Jell-O. Director Yeahworth makes fairly decent use of small town America under attack and he does construct one memorable sequence in a movie theater. The movie theater sequence is probably the most iconic scene from The Blob, the one that is the most effective in making us feel helplessly claustrophobic and making our skin crawl. It also helps that we get to see the blob in color, allowing us to really get a good look at all the nastiness of the alien antagonist. The Blob does get by with what it is saying underneath the reddish surface, making it smarter than you ever thought it would be. The blob itself becomes a metaphor for consuming communism and increasing fear of the atomic age, as the blob literally consumes any poor sap that happens to be in its path. At the same time, The Blob gets lost in the other science fiction films of the time, most of which were intellectually superior.

For those of you dying to catch a glimpse of a younger Steve McQueen (or Steven McQueen, according to the opening credits), The Blob is the film for you. The Blob is the first staring role for the action hero and he plays his part like he may never get another shot to be in front of the camera again. McQueen takes on the role of All-American hero, a cliché that was incredibly popular in films like this. He isn’t emotionally complex or deep, just a teen begging to be heard by the skeptical adults around him. He gets his typical partner in crime, the damsel in distress Jane. Jane doesn’t ever really leap out at you, as she is just there to be the love interest of Steve. McQueen and Corsaut do get a number of fairly romantic scenes throughout The Blob, all which are more effective than any of the scare scenes. John Benson shows up as Sergeant Jim Bert and Earl Rowe shows up as Lt. Dave, both who are reluctant to believe Steve and Jane but finally do come around, especially as events get more and more bizarre. All of the acting in The Blob is what you would expect out of a 50’s B-movie, all a bit over dramatic, cliché, and gung-ho heroic.

The Blob is without question for die-hard science fiction fans, those who have a soft spot for atomic age alien invaders. Originally released as a double feature with I Married a Monster From Outer Space, The Blob would make for a fun retro double feature night that is complimented with lots of beer. The climax of the film does gain some momentum and it does get a bit tense, but overall, the film is completely devoid of anything resembling tautness. Another reason to see The Blob would be to check out the above average special effects, all of which have held up with age and are surprisingly convincing. There are only brief moments where things look a little dated but they pass just as quickly as they showed up. While it is a cult film, The Blob does devour the intellectual crowd and could be called essential viewing for film students or those who have a strong interest in the history of cinema. As someone who has a sweet spot for B-movie schlock, I really wish that The Blob had some shoddier moments but I have to applaud the sturdy ingenuity on display. I may put up a fight but there are a handful of consuming moments to be found in this lumpy blob of a film.

Grade: C+

The Blob is available on DVD.

The Blob does have one hell of an opening jingle by The Five Blobs. Give it a listen below. Warning: Anti-Film School is not responsible for any sudden dancing that may occur while listening to this song.