Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Beware of the Blob

A couple of weeks ago on a night in I decided to watch the 1958 classic “horror” movie The Blob, which was playing on for free on demand, and which actually turned out to be a surprisingly good film. As you would expect, the special effects were hokey and primitive, an aspect of the movie which I actually enjoyed for the humor and sense of nostalgia they provided. But the story and its progression were also unexpectedly well-done, and an early example of a now common format for thrillers, adventure, and scary movies alike, in that the story takes place against the backdrop of some small-town, terrorized teenagers whom the authorities think are just up to no good pranks, and who are inevitably forced to take matters into their own hands as the unsuspecting townspeople get picked off one by one (It comes to mind, but you get the idea).

Despite all this good stuff, the highlight of the film has to be the opening credits, which portray a pretty cool visual sequence set to an uncharacteristically suave and upbeat theme song for the movie’s tone and subject matter. While traditionally The Blob is known for launching the career of future star Steve McQueen, turns out the intro theme was done by another up-and-comer: Burt Bacharach (with long-time partner Hal David). The team would breakout in the ‘60s, writing songs for everyone from the Carpenters, to Dusty Springfield, to Tom Jones. However, they were most well-known for their long-standing relationship with diva Dionne Warwick, who would chart 38 of their singles. I happen to be a big fan, hence the reason for this posting.

It’s a cool video, check it out.