Thursday, June 11, 2009

What to say and THE BLOB (91).

I staring off in to space right now at a bro-y coffee shop near my house, my brain still a little clogged with mucus, surrounded by equally disconnected laptop zombies, and I can't think of a single interesting thing to start this blog with. It's just one of those days.

Perhaps I could attempt to scrounge something from this sort of booze-soaked brain of mine, really dig deep to enlighten you with some sort of golden nugget from this hallowed brain pan. But, I'm not going to do that.

I'm going to speculate a bit on The Blob (91) and call this a short one.

It's a strange jump for Criterion to move from Kwaidan (90), the sort of end-all-and-be-all of 1960s Japanese horror films to The Blob (91), easily one of the more American films made in the pleat-pants death throes of the 1950s. Where Kwaidan (90) is nearly a think piece, a quiet, spooky, immaculately pieced together bit of psychological horror, The Blob (90) is a small, dumb, gee shucks wedge of Americana that just doesn't exist anymore. It's a drastic change, but there's something really interesting about seeing what a few thousand miles and decade can do to the way we perceive horror.

A few thoughts on The Blob (91):

Steve McQueen is in this film. Yes, that Steve McQueen. The crease-faced hero of films like Papillion and The Getaway and Bullitt, a sort of defining male icon in Hollywood for many years. And in this film he plays a slump shouldered, honest to goodness, American youth who just can't make those darn adults believe him. McQueen had been in a handful of television shows before this, and one movie, but this was one of his first starring roles, and it's an absolute shock that in the constricting land of 1950s Hollywood he was ever able to find a way out of that role.

- This film, as it was marketed, was less a horror film and more a film about teen angst and rebelling against your parents. It's awesome, Steve McQueen and his sweetheart (whatever her doe-eyed name might be) keep telling parents that there's this rolling jellybean of death picking off the townsfolk, and they keep failing to listen and the barbeque bag that is The Blob continues to kill people, old people that is. Lesson to you old-timers: believe the children or face death by a gelatinous mass.

- I'm enjoying the shit out of this old, stupid little film. Criterion, my faith in you grows with each day. I will build you an alter, a gigantic alter that features stacks of your film glued together with, er, super glue, and there will be a frilly liner made of shaved troll hair in a variety of neon colors. I will stand in front of this alter and I will scream out loud each day the name of my favorite Criterion films and hopefully you, sweet Criterion Gods, will look down on me and smile ... and give me free shit.

Friday: The Blob (91)

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