Watching the Blob – A True Learning Experience

25 Jan

The other night, I was skimming through the television guide and came across The Blob, the 1950s Sci-Fi/Horror movie. I have never seen a 1950s Sci-Fi/Horror movie that I did not like, so I tuned in to see what this one was all about. I had heard of it but, honestly, had gotten it mixed up with The Thing, which starred James Arness in the title role.

The movie was almost over when I turned it on. A group of people were trapped in a diner as the Blob engulfed it. Police and a group of teenagers were watching helplessly. It was typical 1950s Sci-Fi/Horror fare. That is when I started noticing some things that I did not anticipate.

The young man trapped in the diner was taking charge of the situation and seemed to be a major character in the movie. Then, the realization hit that he looked familiar. He looked like a young Steve McQueen. Hitting the Info button, I found out that it was Steven McQueen. I never knew that he was in The Blob or that he ever went by Steven.

With that information out of the way, I settled in to see what was going to happen to Steven and the rest of the group. There was a little kid; the owner of the diner; a woman who looked like the owner’s wife; and Steven’s girlfriend. At some point, the girlfriend said something, and I thought, “I have heard that voice before.”

It was Aneta Corsaut, who played Helen Crump on The Andy Griffith Show.

Here is the cute couple.The Blob

For those who do not know, The Andy Griffith Show is my favorite show of all time. I own a model of Mayberry and was a member of The Andy Griffith Show Rerun Watchers Club. Heck, I even shook hands with Don Knotts. As you can probably tell, seeing Helen Crump in The Blob was pretty cool.

That is when I started thinking. Helen Crump went from being Steve McQueen’s girlfriend in high school to being Opie’s teacher in Mayberry, North Carolina. She also went from being Steve McQueen’s girlfriend to Andy Taylor’s wife.

Getting back to the movie, the people trapped in the diner are saved when Steven figures out that the Blob is afraid of the cold. He sprays it with a fire extinguisher and yells to the guys outside that they need to get more extinguishers. the high school principal hops into a hot rod with some juvenile delinquent looking dudes and heads to the school. This brings us to the most dramatic scene that I saw.

As they rush to the schoolhouse door, the principal cannot find his keys. Everyone looks at each other trying to figure out what to do. Nevermind that a cop is standing there with a gun and could shoot the lock open. Instead, the principal picks up and rock and stares at it. With lives at stake, should he dare break the glass to open the door? After a dramatic pause, he does, and the schoolhouse gang comes to the rescue.

The people trapped in the diner are saved, and the Blob is completely frozen. Steve realizes it is not dead, and the police officer tells him that the military is going to take it to the Arctic.

Police Officer: At least we’ve got it stopped.

Steve: Yeah, as long as the Arctic stays cold.

I am sure this movie had some deep, underlying meaning from the time period. Probably something about how authority figures should listen to young people and not view them as a bunch of troublemakers. However, I learned a few more things.

1. You never know where life is going to lead. One day you are dating Steve McQueen, and the next day you are marrying Andy Taylor.

2. For many reasons, 1950s diners do not last forever. We have a great one in my town that could be on its way out. I promise that there will be a future post about that.

3. In the 1950s, juvenile delinquents drove some nice cars. These hot rods were top of the line.

4. Like them or not, principals have to make tough decisions – like saving lives instead of saving a pane of glass.

5. If Al Gore is right about global warming, then we are screwed. Stop worrying about a heat wave and start worrying about the return of the Blob!The Blob Ending

That dot landing behind the big question mark could thaw out at any time.

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11 Responses to “Watching the Blob – A True Learning Experience”

  1. El Guapo January 25, 2014 at 22:10 #

    I believe this is the most in-depth dissertation I’ve ever seen about the blob.

    • Rick January 25, 2014 at 23:37 #

      Thank you. And I only watched the last 10 minutes.

  2. paintlater January 26, 2014 at 00:24 #

    I remember The Blob in black and white- I was terrified little girl! I think there was Return of The Blob so maybe the artic didn’t stay too cold after all.

    • Rick January 26, 2014 at 03:59 #

      I didn’t know there was a return. Maybe they’ve already killed it. Threat averted.

  3. Marilyn Armstrong January 26, 2014 at 06:20 #

    That was McQueen’s debut. Actually, considering one thing and another, not bad. He had a certain “je ne said quoi” even in this. It’s one of Garry’s favorite guilty pleasures being a McQueen fan. Surprised you never saw it. He went by Steven in one other movie, also in 1958 … Never Love a Stranger with John Drew Barrymore (this piece from Garry … I don’t know this kind of stuff).

    • Rick January 26, 2014 at 16:39 #

      I thought McQueen did a good job. He had an emotional range that later critics said he didn’t have.

      • Marilyn Armstrong January 26, 2014 at 17:41 #

        He wasn’t much of a human being, but he was a decent — and sometimes better than that — actor. I think the restrained emotional range was an intentional part of his “image” as a tough guy. He showed a good deal of range in The Great Escape, for example.

  4. jcalberta January 27, 2014 at 10:21 #

    You missed the start of The Blob?!! when that things grabs the old guys arm? and he can’t get it off? Scared the crap outta me. Another movie that gave me nightmares was Invaders from Mars (1953). It had this big needle thing that implanted something in your head and you became a zombie. I think that explains my parents.

    • Rick January 27, 2014 at 13:43 #

      I missed the beginning, but I have plans to watch it. That era had some great movies, but I never knew they could turn parents into zombies.

  5. John January 27, 2014 at 15:03 #

    I find great humor in The Blob. Anything that moves in top gear at 1 mph that people cannot run from tickles me to no end.

    • Rick January 27, 2014 at 15:49 #

      I feel the exact same way about slow moving zombies.

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