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Friday, July 12, 2013

The Blob (1958) d. Irwin S. Yeaworth Jr.

Steve McQueen in the Blob directed by Irwin S. Yeaworth Jr.

Movie Review
The Blob
d. Irwin S. Yeaworth Jr.
1958
Criterion Collection #91

  It's hard to really get into a groove with the Criterion Collection because the numerical sequence on the spine has no relationship to chronology, or really to anything, it just represents the order in which the films were released.  One aspect of the Criterion Collection is clearly to provide a solid DVD release for titles which haven't already gotten one.  Thus, the early part of the collection (1-100) is filled with older foreign movies and more recent American movies that are almost uniformly what you call "cult classics."

 One attribute of the Criterion Collection that I infer from the selection of titles available on Hulu Plus is that Criterion obtains different rights for different titles.  I get the sense for the more well distributed titles in the Criterion Collection that they only have the right to make the DVD- no permission to stream on line.  On the other hand for the more poorly distributed films they "own" the movie- and can do whatever they want.

  The Blob stars an unknown Steve McQueen as the hero- a borderline "delinquent" teen (in the tradition of James Dean in Rebel Without a Cause, and by "in the tradition" I mean "direct copy of the performance of;")
who is the only one who believes that their sleepy town is being terrorized by a gelatinous, slow moving Blob.

   As the description over at the Criterion Collection helpfully points out:  Strong performances and ingenious special effects help The Blob transcend the schlock sci-fi and youth delinquency genres from which it originates.  For me, the real joy is in how The Blob features as a cross over between sci fi and the "youth delinquency genre."  Were it not for the Criterion Collection, I never would have known the pleasures of this film.

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