on December 13, 2000
THIS IS THE WAY DVD IS MEANT TO BE! When I purchased this DVD, I was originally taken aback by the high price. I knew nothing of "The Criterion Collection" until this disc. What they have done is nothing short of a miracle...restore THE BLOB to its original cinematic glory. The digital remastering is the most pristine I have seen for any movie, THE BLOB or no. The mono soundtrack is so clean, I could have sworn it was dimensional. The extras are a real treat. This is a fully-loaded DVD and one worth every penny. Fans of THE BLOB will rejoice with this DVD. All others will probably shrug their shoulders. This is eye-popping fantastic, from a technical standpoint. Buy with confidence!
While I hadn't seen this movie in years, I remember it fondly from my youth. This is one of those that I saw several times on Friday Night Fright TV. Unfortunately I've been stuck with a VHS copy until now with Criterion's Blu ray update. The best that can be said about the film is that it represents the "B" movie genre of the day in good fashion. Bad acting prevails. I don't recognize any of the actors either by name or by face with the obvious exception of Steve McQueen.
McQueen got a lot of recognition for his role as "Steve" and became a breakout star on TV and in the movies. The special effects are nothing special. Essentially an object falls from space and lands in a rural part of Pennsylvania. After some poking and prodding, an ooze is released and slithers its way into town. As it grows it becomes even more menacing. That's pretty much it other than Steve and the other teens lead the battle against The Blob. The film has a certain cult status and is fun to watch. The Blob was remade thirty years later as an R rated horror film starring Kevin Dillon and Shawnee Smith.
The Blu ray is a dramatic upgrade over the tape of course and from what I remember on TV. I've not seen the DVD version that I recall. Criterion transfers the film with a 1080p resolution and uses a 1.67:1 aspect ratio. The restoration looks great. Rich colors prevail and the close ups look natural. Clarity is excellent including the many scenes shot in low light. I could detect no effects of aging (scratches, floating debris, etc.) This is really well done.
The audio has only an uncompressed LPCM mono track available. It has been nicely cleaned up and is clear with good range. This film also features an early collaboration between Hal David and Burt Bacharach on the title song. Extras are generous including 2 commentaries. One features the producer and the other the director, Irvin S. Yeaworth Jr. There is also a trailer, an essay by film critic Kim Newman and a host of memorabilia called "Blobabilia." I really like this movie but can't rate it much more than 3 stars from a production perspective. Criterion deserves 5 stars for bringing the movie back to life in such a memorable way.
on May 12, 2003
I hadn't see this movie in quite awhile, so when I saw it out with the 'Criterion Collection' treatment, I picked it up pretty quickly. The transfer is really good, and the colors come through brilliantly. Just seeing the blob oozing around, all bloated on the blood of it's victims is quite creepy. I do wish I could have seen this at the drive in, as that seems to be it's perfered format of venue, but this is the next best thing. I loved the part where the old man finds the small meteor and starts poking it with a stick. You just know something bad is going to happen. And then when he starts playing around with the blob on that stick, the ooze sliding down, getting closer to his hand....and the theme song...I had almost forgotten about that. It's so unlike a horror movie theme, but very catchy. Reminds me of that song 'Purple People Eater'. Anyway, the movie is a great piece of 50's sci-fi with great effects that's a lot of fun. Also included with this editon is a poster, and a few extras on the disc, but a lot less than I would have thought. I was expecting a little more, but what are you going to do? It seems odd that the Criterion Collection edition of Carnival of Souls should have as many extras it did and there not be more for The Blob. Anyway, if you like classic sci-fi, this one is a no brainer.
on October 17, 2001
One of the few pulpy movies that survived the 1950s Sputnik/Atomic glut of monster scares to become a true classic, The Blob comes to us on a packed, digitally pristine Criterion DVD. With a compelling commentary and a supurb transfer, The Blob never looked better. Really.
Starring B-Movie-Meister Steve McQueen as a 35-year-old high school student, The Blob details the adventures of a pile of Jell-O stranded on Earth after its spaceship, which looks like a pockmarked bowling ball, crash-lands outside of Smallville, USA. The Blob exists to do nothing but eat people, which leads to a slight interplanetary misunderstanding after it begins devouring the denizens of the town. McQueen and the girl he was trying to score with at the local "parking" place are the only two who know what's going on, and attempt to convince the town's adults, obviously influenced by propaganda films such as Reefer Madness, that a lump of cheesy monster effect is really eating everyone and growing larger.
From the campy music to the campy dialogue, The Blob practically oozes the essence of films like Plan 9 and Them!. Criterion has seen fit to give us a worthy addition to their library and ours, offering two commentary tracks and a transfer that makes the movie look and sound like it just came out of Skywalker Ranch. They also pack the case - literally - with an extremely thick (and entertaining) book, and a smallish, folded movie poster. And, of course, the usual Criterion "colored bars" option.
As far as discs go, this one is highly recommended, for the content as well as the obvious care taken with bringing this film to the DVD format. Sci-Fi fans and movie fans alike will want to add this release to their collection.
Watching the Criterion version of 'The Blob' I am amazed how vivid and brilliant the colors are on this very clean print of the film. This classic movie would look incredible in HD! The film itself is one of the best 50's Sci-Fi features of all time. From the opening title song which makes you tap your toes and wanna take bosa nova lessons to the "teenagers" who are clearly in the late 20's! You think your in for a typical teen movie, but...It doesn't matter......because the movie just works! Even the obvious miniatures don't take away from this classic 50's gem. Olin Howlin a great character actor has the honor of being in two on the best 50's Sci-Fi movie ever made....'The Blob' and 'Them' you remember him in 'Them' don't you?? "Make me a sergeant in charge of the booze! Make me a sergeant in charge of the booze!" This edition is very good, but it should of had some more features on it. This is a film that deserves a feature-ette at the very least and many of these actors are still around. I'm giving it 5 stars anyway because it does have a wonderful stills gallery, two commentaries and a beautiful DVD transfer. This is a must have for any Sci-Fi/Horror collector! "Beware The Blob"!
on May 13, 2012
OK, probably one star is for nostalgia, and one for "local color," but as old Sci Fi goes, this is a goodie. And it's relevant, too. In the last line, as Steve McQueen and the police chief are discussing the fact that the Air Force is sending a transport to carry the frozen blob to the arctic where "it will never thaw out," McQueen remarks, "Yeah, as long as the arctic stays cold." Hmmmm . . . did they anticipate global warming?
This movie was made in Phoenxiville, PA, near where I grew up. We used to go to the Phoenix theater, one of the places where the Blob goes, and Jerry's Market. The phony part is that, inexplicably, they used the Downingtown Diner for the finale instead any of the Phoenixville diners. Anyway, the Downingtown Diner now has "home of the Blob" souvenirs for sale. I think I'll put that picture up if I can figure out how.
Two teenagers are out parking in Steve McQueen's car, Steve and his girlfriend. They see a meteor land somewhere nearby, and go to investigate. Meanwhile, an old man who lives near where the meteor landed goes to investigate, and finds a round rock, pitted much like the moon, steaming in the bottom of a crater about the size of a small swimming pool. He pokes it with a stick, and it cracks open. Inside is a gelatinous substance, clear white, and he pokes that, too. It clings to the stick, crawls up the stick and clings to his hand, and next thing you know, it's turning red. Steve and his girl find the old man screaming in pain and rush him to a doctor, where the blob has grown, and is now bright red. Isn't long before it's absorbed the old man entirely, then the nurse and the doctor.
Most of the rest of the film is the tension between the police and the kids' parents who do not believe them about the blob, and the kids who are trying to save Phoenixville -- dubious motives at best, knowing Phoenixville as I do. There's a good cop/bad cop dichotomy over the sour war veteran who assumes the kids are playing some kind of prank and the police chief who believes they are sincere. Finally, the discovery that the blob can't handle cold comes when a CO2 fire extinguisher forces it to retreat.
It's fun mostly because it's so old, so obviously low budget, and yet very entertaining.
on June 9, 2008
George A. Romero uses social commentary in his Dawn of the Dead as zombies are used as metaphors for American consumerism. The Blob is used more literally. Instead of zombies attacking, a ball of space goop falls from the sky and begins to devour people, getting bigger and redder with their blood as it does. You can't kill it only freeze it. You could make a case for this being a teenage rebellion picture along the lines of Rebel Without a Cause (Two-Disc Special Edition) but for me besides being just plain old B horror movie fun it was the consumerism angle I found most interesting and I could see influencing Romero. The Blob's consuming could destroy the whole planet and the people in it and our consuming as we deplete our resources and battle our own blobs (obesity epidemic) could destroy it as well. I found it even more ironic at the ending when they mention were safe as long as the arctic stays cold, guess were not safe. No need to remake this one again for our generation (88 Blob remake is also highly recommended) like The Body Snatcher movies, just pop in this 1958 version the message is scarier now then 1958. Oh No! BEWARE! THE BLOB COULD BE UNLEASHED 2008!!! DUH DUH DUH.
In the jacket you get an interesting write up and a good sized poster of the dvd art.
Two Audio Commentaries: One by producer Jack H. Harris and film historian Bruce Eder; the other by director Irvin S. Yeaworth, Jr. and actor Robert ("Tony) Fields.
Blob-abilia!: collector Wes Shank's rare trove of stills, posters, props (including the blob itself!), and other ephemera
Special Collectible Poster (mentioned above)
on October 22, 2015
One of the sci-fi classics from the late 50s, The Blob is a guilty pleasure of mine. It features an early screen appearance by the great Steve McQueen, playing a high school kid even though he was twenty-nine at the time. The female lead is Aneta Corsaut, better known for her portrayal of Sheriff Andy Taylor's girl (and Opie's teacher) Helen Crump on The Andy Griffith Show. The film is quite a snapshot of Eisenhower era life, where the worst thing kids did was drag race their cars. The Blob arrives in a meteorite and starts attacking people with an absorbing passion, eventually sopping up dozens of local folks; the Blob is one hungry gob of goo. Of course, only the teens in the small Pennsylvania town seem to know what is going on, and have a hard time convincing the grown ups that something is up. There is tension between the kids and the cops of course, particularly the "hard nosed" cop whose wife was killed in an accident involving teens racing their cars. From today's CG standpoint, the film's effects are a bit laughable, but the story is the star of this thriller, and it is a fine add to the sci-fi collector's video library.
on December 16, 2006
First of all, I want to say that 1958's The Blob is a landmark picture and a fantastically fun sci-fi/horror film. Steve McQueen is perfect in it, and it's quite possibly the best sci-fi cheese to come out of the 50s.
HOWEVER, I'm fed up with the Criterion Collection. What this company seems to intend to do is snatch up the rights to many, many great movies, "class" them up with minimal special features, and sell them at obscene prices. This edition of The Blob has ONE DISC, and the only special features are two commentaries. And we have to cough up $40 to have it.
There are no other options; If you want to own this masterpiece, you have to be able to fork up forty dollars to do so.
Criterion is trying to target great films that should be enjoyed by everyone to a wealthy group of people.
on May 18, 2013
It was 11:00 PM On Channel 4 on a Warm and Breezy Saturday Night. The insects where singing their SUSURROUS Chorus Outside in the Moon Dappled Dark, and Driving Me Mad, The fan was Blowing Tepid Air at me as I lie on the Couch Covered in Sweat and fidgeting, My legs were Aching for Sleep, When the Movie the Blob Came on, I was Transfixed to the TV! Never had a Creature in a Movie Been so Dissimilar than the Oozing Organism of The Blob, absorbing its Victims and melting them like an acid, Oh I paid the Price the Next Morning For staying up Too Late, But it had Been More than Worth it!
There are only Two other Movies like the Blob, "Caltiki, The Immortal Monster," 1960 and "X The Unknown!" 1956 Check Them out!