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Beware! The Blob

Entry updated 4 April 2017. Tagged: Film.

Film (1971; vt Son of Blob; vt The Blob Returns). Jack H Harris Enterprises. Produced by Anthony Harris. Directed by Larry Hagman. Screenplay by Anthony Harris and Jack Woods from a story by Richard Clair and Jack H Harris. Cast includes Godfrey Cambridge, Gwynne Gilford, Richard Walker Jr (credited as Robert Walker) and Richard Webb. 91 minutes. Colour.

Oil pipeline layer Chester Hargis (Cambridge) returns from Alaska to his home town in California with a small portion of a strange substance uncovered by his bulldozer, intending to have a laboratory examine it. Unfortunately the sample is allowed to thaw out and returns to life as the titular Alien menace from The Blob (1958), to which this is a somewhat inferior sequel. The Monster quickly proceeds to consume Chester and his wife. Family friend Lisa Clark (Gilford) appears just in time to see Chester devoured, but manages to escape. No one believes her story, though, not even her boyfriend Bobby Hartford (Walker); the creature works its way unhindered through the town, consuming a great many walk-on characters and a chicken farm. Bobby is at last convinced when the Blob attempts to invade his pickup truck, with he and Lisa both aboard; it is repulsed by the chill of the vehicle's air-conditioning, which provides a broad hint. Finally the now hugely swollen Blob attacks an ice-skating rink where Bobby manages to re-freeze it using the inbuilt refrigeration. A television news crew arrives to film the frozen Blob and interview Sheriff Jones (Webb); one of their camera lights thaws a small portion of the creature, which engulfs the Sheriff's feet at the fade-out.

This mildly effective dark sf comedy is the only feature film ever directed by the actor Larry Hagman of I Dream of Jeannie (1965-1970). According to screenplay co-author Anthony Harris, the cast improvised most of the dialogue, ignoring the script. Beware! The Blob later gained a cult following thanks to Hagman's 1980s fame as J R Ewing in Dallas (1979-1990); it has been released as a home video. [GSt/DRL]


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