Irvin S. Yeaworth Jr.’s “The Blob” is a film with an impressive cult legacy, but one that yields few actual rewards upon viewing. This small-town teen versus space monster picture does distinguish itself from many of the grade-B (or lower) SF films of the Fifties in that, despite its shoestring production cost, it is rendered with an attractively colorful palette by Director of Photography Thomas Spalding, though it fails to disguise the stage bound origins of most of its necessarily miserly production values; a creative hazard which might be compensated for employing an advanced aesthetic eye- as demonstrated in the minimal but haunting 1953 film “Invaders From Mars” -but instead contributes to a rather unsettling sense of claustrophobic artificiality that permeates the entire film.
There is a maddening disconnection to the real world in this film; as if each moment is posed and staged with stilted sense of composition negatively enhanced by a general acting style of by-rote recitation; stiff dramatization as if in the service of imparting a civics lesson; not surprising as much of the filmmaking team’s prior experience had been in the production of educational and religious short films. During several critical points in what is promoted as a SF “thriller” narrative, what little action there is comes to a screeching halt in order to seemingly reproduce the amateurish exposition of lecturing instructional classroom shorts.
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