Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Shocktober V

Today's selection is the theme song for what I would argue is one of the most inventive movie monsters ever put on film. While the rest of 50s horror films were littered with essentially human-esque monsters like vampires, werewolves, and zombies, the blob is unlike anything we normally associate with being sentient. As the theme song says, it "creeps and leaps and slides and glides across the floor, right through the door..." To me, its amorphism makes the blob more realistic and interesting because who are we to know what monsters or aliens might look like?  In all likelihood, they wouldn't look a whole lot like us.

The movie was an independent production directed by a guy named Irvin Yeaworth, who had only directed motivational, educational, and religious films prior to making The Blob in 1958. It also featured Steve McQueen in his first starring role and the jaunty theme song was written by Burt Bacharach. The Blob is not just noteworthy for these reasons, however -- for the past eleven years, the movie has taken on a life of its own (in true blob form) in a suburb of Philadelphia! 

Phoenixville, Pennsylvania is the home of the theater where the blob once oozed through the projection booth windows and caused the audience to flee en masse. In 2000, the theater started Blobfest, which celebrates its association with the movie with a reenactment of the run-out (which one must purchase tickets for long in advance to participate), a scream contest, multiple screenings of The Blob, and an actual appearance by the blob itself! Turns out it's small enough to live in a bucket (the scenes of its attacks were achieved with miniatures) and is in the possession of a movie memorabilia collector. In addition, there is a plaque in the balcony with a brass replica of the blob on it that one is encouraged to rub for luck.  Check out this article from The Onion's A.V. Club for more about this ultra-cool event!

So here is one of the most unique monster theme songs I've ever heard for one of the most unique monsters I've ever seen. The director wanted a scarier opening song, but somehow a catchy Latin beat with trilling horns, handclaps, and cheek pops fits just right.


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