TNB Night Owl–Beware! The Blob

A slice of Strawberry Cheesecake from the Carnegie Deli. Photo by Pilauricey.

“It looks totally improvised. It’s an absolute mess. My god, it was MADE for you!”

This is how a friend recommended tonight’s movie to me.

I’d seen BEWARE! THE BLOB (1972) floating around video stores but, for some reason, I never stopped to watch it. Sure, it’s the sole feature film directed by Larry Hagman (yes, the DALLAS Larry Hagman). Sure, features Dick Van Patten, Cindy Williams, Burgess Meredith, and a host of other A-/B+ stars. But it took that kind of suggestion from a friend to get me off my butt and look it up.

Imagine if you will, someone taking ATTACK OF THE KILLER TOMATOES, tripling the budget, and getting together a cast who can actually act, and you’ve come close to BEWARE! THE BLOB quality.

The movie starts out with a man coming home from his construction job in the arctic circle. A friend dug up a thermos with the label “Beware! Sample! Keep Frozen!”. This thermos, which had no problem staying frozen in his luggage on the trip from the arctic to suburban Los Angeles, suddenly defrosts the moment he and his wife start getting romantic. The giant blob of strawberry Jell-O wastes no time in eating their cat, the wife, and the husband. It’s while the husband is being eaten that a teenage neighbor discovers the sight.

Of course no one believes her, nor the partying hippies who later spot the gelatinous menace. While the kids are trying to get anyone to listen to them, it eats a Boy Scout camp, some hobos, people at a gas station, and eventually a bowling alley’s worth of people.

The story is minimal. There isn’t much in the way of character development. My suspicion is they couldn’t afford too many days with those actor’s pay rates, so they brought them in for a day, got them eaten, and moved on to the next person. Most of the big names were friends and neighbors of Hagman’s. Reportedly he was able to convince them by asking “Want to get blobbed?”.

This is not a good movie by any means. I can understand why no one let Hagman direct another feature film. But what it is is good, pure, silly fun.

Question of the night: Do you like bowling?

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