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Wednesday, February 05, 2014

Beware Beware! The Blob

In 1972 Beware! The Blob was unleashed upon an unsuspecting world. Directed by Larry Hagman of I Dream of Jeannie and Dallas fame, this strange little movie is ostensibly a sequel to the original Steve McQueen vehicle of 1958 - and yet it cannot be a true sequel, for reasons I'll explain below.

The film opens with the mundane daily routine of a middle-aged couple and their kitten. Chester, the husband, has brought home a cannister containing a sample of something strange one of his crew unearthed up north. There's a warning on the cannister to keep the contents frozen, so naturally Chester keeps it in the freezer section of his refrigerator, which upsets his wife, who places it on a countertop. Of course the container houses the dreaded Blob, dispatched in the first film when teenagers and the military discovered it was vulnerable to cold; they hauled it to the frozen Arctic for safekeeping.

The Blob runs amok, killing Chester's kitten, his wife, and then Chester himself. The Blob has returned, and -

But wait! Just before he's killed, we observe Chester watching television. A harried Steve McQueen is explaining to a policeman that this is no practical joke -

Wait a minute. Chester is watching The Blob, a work of science fiction. The Blob of the 1950s isn't real in Chester's world; he just happens to fall victim to the unhappy irony of being killed by a brand new Blob while watching a film about people being eaten by a Blob.

Of course, there is another explanation; perhaps the events of The Blob did happen in the world of Beware! The Blob and 1950s filmmakers of that world made a movie about those real-life events in 1958.

There. The integrity of this fictional universe hangs together after all. 

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