BADass SINema Unearthed - Blu-ray Review
- Published Date
- by Loron Hays
Hilarious. That’s one word to describe the outrageous events in this cult flick. Another words would be awful. Put the two together and you have a recipe for immortality. So bad it’s good! Operating as a sequel to the 1958 classic with Steve McQueen, Beware! The Blob is played solely for laughs. Even the gelatinous goo at the center of the movie is no longer a frightening thing. The jokes; however, aren’t why we’re laughing. It’s the bad direction, the bad acting, and, well, the bad everything. Grab a 6-pack – preferably of Miller High Life since that’s what’s so heavily promoted throughout the movie – and kick back because Larry Hagman’s only directed effort is a hoot and a half and it’s just arrived on blu-ray.
Written by Anthony Harris and Jack Woods III, the chaos starts when the wife of an oil pipeline layer accidentally defrosts her husband’s souvenir from his Alaskan assignment. The canister is suspicious looking but we forgive her for making room in the freezer for all the ice cream she just bought. First, of course, we have to watch a kitten at play in a field of flowers while the opening credits roll. Couple this with the ONE electronic song of squawks and beeps that is the film’s score and you already know where this one is headed: straight down the shitter. Seriously. Sure, the kitten factors into the events – because it is, hilariously, the second victim of the freshly unfrozen blob (a fly being the first) – but why in the hell is this cute fur ball the focal point during the LONG opening credits.
Throw logic to the wind, my friends. Like I said in the beginning, Beware! The Blob is so bad it is good.
Anyway, the blob gets to work devouring the inhabitants of the house and when Lisa (Gwynne Gilford), a friend of theirs, arrives to invite them to her boyfriend’s (Robert Waker) party, it is accidentally unleashed upon the town as she drives frantically away. No one is safe. No dog. No hobo. No hippie. And, in a hilariously sequence where a long-haired freak gets bamboozled by a “hair beautician”, no barber. The space-born goo even oozes inside cars and trucks alike. With cameos galore, the science fiction gets stickier and sticker and, ultimately, replaces the movie theatre climax of the original with a location that is more in tune with the cheaper side of the early 1970s: a bowling alley.
Hagman’s film rehashes a lot of the same beats from the original but attempts to one-up them with more comedy and improvisational moments. Most of the cast is not up to the challenge, which makes the movie a helluva lot of fun to laugh at. The standout performances (if such a thing exists in this c-grade flick) would have to be from Richard Webb as Sheriff Jones, Cindy Williams, and folk hero Randy Stonehill, who play two strung-out hippies singing their hearts out in a large drain pipe. Burgess Meredith as a hobo and Sid Haig as a cop also make brief appearances.
It seems J. R. Ewing has called in a few of his friends from television for this one. The cast of misfits also includes stand-up comic Godfrey Cambridge, Larry Norman, Dick Van Patton, Shelley Bermen, and Carol Lynley. As it is thankfully the only film Hagman would direct, there are a lot of favors cashed in. And, honestly, it is no wonder. He needed all the help he could get. I have to guess that the entire crew was smoking a lot of doobie-doobie-doos while the filming was going on. That’s the only explanation. Hey everybody, let’s get stoned and make a movie!
There’s a nice twist ending to cap off the tale. And, of course, the constant beer reminders – Miller High Life everywhere!!! - makes this cult favorite one hell of a lot of fun at parties as a drinking game in and of itself. Resurrected in time for the Halloweenie season by Kino Lorber, Beware! The Blob lives again!
Think of it. With this release, now you can own the film that J.R. shot!
MPAA Rating: GP.
Runtime: 91 mins
Director: Larry Hagman
Writer: Jack Woods, Anthony Harris
Cast: Robert Walker Jr., Gwynne Gilford, Richard Stahl
Tagline: ... is back in a horrifying new adventure
Memorable Movie Quote: "It's gonna be a better world without this thing."
Theatrical Distributor: Jack H. Harris Enterprises
Release Date: June 21, 1972
DVD/Blu-ray Release Date: September 20, 2016
Synopsis: A geologist (Godfrey Cambridge) returns from a North Pole expedition with a prized piece of red glacier rock. When the frozen rock accidentally thaws, a transformation of the most terrifying kind takes place, leaving a blood-thirsty blood-red blob hell-bent on smothering the world with terror once more.
Home Video Distributor: Kino Lorber
Available on Blu-ray - September 20, 2016
Screen Formats: 1.85:1
Audio: English: DTS-HD Master Audio 2.0
Discs: Blu-ray Disc; Single disc (1 BD-25)
Region Encoding: A
The AVC encoded image (1.85:1 aspect ratio) presentation of Kino-Lorber’s transfer is full of great detail and, even if it isn’t the best of efforts, it is probably the only release this weird tale is going to get in HD anytime soon. Close-ups are solid and the surroundings, with fertile greens and level black colors, are supple with texture. The blob itself – sometimes a balloon, sometimes a mix of materials – is always a red, gooey mess. Minor print damage, at the beginning of the film, settles down after a bit. The 2.0 DTS-HD MA sound mix, while muffled a bit, is adequate for this release.
- Provided by film historian Richard Harland Smith, the commentary recorded for this release is informative and pretty fun to listen to.
Aside from the commentary, there’s a look at the film’s original trailer and an alternative title sequence, featuring more looks at that damn kitten and the title: Son of Blob. That is all. But, really, do we need more?
- Alternate Title Sequence (3 min)
- Original Theatrical Trailer