Beware! The Blob (1972)

LARRY HAGMAN

Bil’s rating (out of 5): BB

USA, 1972. . Screenplay by , , based on the story A Chip Off the Old Blob by , . Cinematography by . Produced by Anthony Harris. Music by . Production Design by , . Film Editing by .

Larry Hagman directed this low-budget sequel to the 1958 classic, his only time venturing behind the camera on a feature film.  The story more or less copies the original, beginning with a sample of the gelatinous substance with murder on its mind being brought back from the Arctic (where it was sent for safekeeping at the end of the original).  A container of Blob is accidentally allowed to defrost (whoops!) and begins killing people and animals in a small town, growing larger with every victim it consumes.  is the first to figure out what is going on, finding the first victims dead in their home and running to her boyfriend () to tell him what is going on.  It’s not until he witnesses it himself that he stops telling his girlfriend to calm down and sets out with her to warn the town of what is coming, but to no avail.  As always, the adults don’t take them seriously, but neither do their super cool hippy friends who happen to be throwing a groovy party.  Most of this film is incredibly boring, a number of scenes feel like endless improvisation with no one to yell cut, but the special effects are much better than you’d expect them to be and the gruesome factor is stepped up a bit from the original.   What’s not improved is the look, the film looks as cheap as it is and lacks the brightly hued charm that made the first one so appealing.  If you are the least bit interested, though, its faults are redeemed well enough by a conclusion in a bowling alley that contains whatever firepower Hagman had to give it as director.  The blob makes its way into a recreation center, pouring down bowling lanes and across the floor, forcing the main characters into a claustrophobic booth while, outside, authorities try to figure out how to stop this thing and decide that blowing up the entire building is the best way to go; the sequence of Walker figuring out the trick to beating the creature and getting the news to the men outside in time provides for an exciting close-call ending that might see you forgiving the rest of the film for being so listless.  The cast abounds with brief cameos including , , and Hagman himself.

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