A Tale of Two Blobs

On Film / Short Takes — Jun 8, 2012

Has there ever been a more pliable villain than the title character in The Blob? The sticky star of Pennsylvania minister–turned–movie director Irvin S. Yeaworth’s 1958 cult classic—one of the titles highlighted in this week’s festival of free Criterion films on Hulu, all of which were later remade—oozed its way into viewers’ hearts again in 1988. There’s just something about that unlikable lump of goo: faceless, mindless . . . timeless.

Made of silicone and red dye, the blob makes its most memorable entrance when it seeps from a projection booth into a movie theater crowded with thrill-seeking teens. This was shot in Phoenixville, Pennsylvania’s Colonial Theater, a still vital cinema that every summer hosts the special event Blobfest (this year’s dates: July 13–15!), complete with a “Run Out,” in which moviegoers are encouraged to emerge in a screaming panic from the theater’s front doors. Check out the original movie theater scene below, a master class in slime.