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This hungry, hungry heap landed in theaters in 1958, and audiences were just as hungry to see the monster terrorize a small town. Earning more than 100 times its production costs, The Blob proved to be a formative sci-fi flick.
1. The Blob wasn’t always the blob.
It was also known as “The Molten Meteor” and “The Glob”. In fact, “The Glob” would have been its name but it was believed that cartoonist Walt Kelly had the copyright after using it for one of his books. Interestingly, the shooting script refers to the monster as “the Mass”.
2. The Blob was inspired by The Thing.
“I must say with great thanks to The Thing that it helped me get started,” said producer Jack Harris. Inspired by the tale of another invader, Jack Harris pursued doing his own serious sci-fi film in color and that capitalized on the rising (and profitable) trend of “juvenile delinquency” movies. Irvine Millgate later conceived the monster which was fleshed out by the screenwriters.
3. Aneta Corsaut was a late addition.
Jack Harris and company had a hard time casting the female lead, despite many interviews with theater actresses. They finally found their Jane the day before shooting began, hiring her around a brief audition in New York. She began two days later.
4. It was Steve McQueen’s first leading role in a film.
After seeing understudy McQueen in A Hatful of Rain, producer Jack Harris knew he was the right fit. As coincidence would have it, director Irvin Yeaworth had a run-in with the actor when directing McQueen’s wife. According to Harris, footage from The Blob helped secure McQueen’s spot on Wanted: Dead or Alive.
5. McQueen and Corsaut weren’t teenagers.
At the time of filming, McQueen was 27, and Corsaut was 24. Corsaunt later confessed to having a hard time playing a teenager, especially when reacting to a monster which was added later via special effects. McQueen decided to play the part with the energy of a teen, rather than trying to play "young".
6. The Blob was supposed to be a second feature.
Paramount was nervous about releasing their science fiction film I Married a Monster from Outer Space and packaged it with The Blob. However, when the “A” feature wasn’t shipped, The Blob proved to be strong enough and took the lead.
7. The cast teased a “hammy” actor.
In the 1950s, Earl Rowe was known for Amor Ham television commercials, where he said the tagline “Now that’s good ham.” Rowe who played the police chief, was teased by his cast mates who echoed the tagline after the director said “Cut”, making him laugh.
8. The doctor had a different death scene.
Originally, the blob was shown to consume the good doctor in his office. However, later producer Jack Harris decided it would be scarier for the deadly encounter to be seen through the window by Steve McQueen, rather than in full view.
9. The special effects took six months.
Inflatable balloons were used to give the blob life while it was in its “baby” stages. To create the oozing effect, miniature sets were built and controlled by hydraulics, and then gravity forced colored silicone (aka the blob) through the small spaces. Other tricks included showing film in reverse and using air-brushing to touch up the monster.
10. The theme song helped promote the film.
With music by six-time Grammy winner Burt Bacharach and lyrics by Mack David, “Beware of the Blob” rose to #33 on the Billboard Pop Chart. Despite some initial resistance from the Blob makers, the song helped promote the film and get people on their feet. Lyrics include “A splotch, a blotch/be careful of The Blob”.