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Beware! The Blob

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    Mark Tolch
    Senior Member

  • Beware! The Blob



    Released By: Kino Lorber
    Released On: September 20, 2016
    Director: Larry Hagman
    Cast: Robert Walker Jr., Gywnne Gilford, Godfrey Cambridge, Carol Lynley, Dick Van Patten
    Year: 1972
    Purchase From Amazon

    The Movie:

    In 1958, Steve McQueen and Earl Rowe temporarily disabled the gelatinous homicidal blob from outer space that landed in their small town by having it dropped into the Arctic, where it would hopefully remain frozen forever. But, because people can't leave things well enough alone, 1972 saw the return of the murderous purple goo in Beware! The Blob, also known as Son Of Blob; with TV's Larry Hagman in the Director's chair.

    Finally home after being away for months, working on a new pipeline that presumably took him to the Arctic, Chester Hargis (Godfrey Cambridge) is looking forward to setting his tent up in the house and breaking out his tackle box that features a stash of Miller High Life. His wife Mariane (Marlene Clark) is content to leave her man in his glory, downing gallons of the Champagne of Beers while she tends to things in the kitchen, but a clumsy attempt at a little action in said kitchen leaves her a little cold. Turns out Chester has brought back a canister...marked, "Specimen: Keep Frozen" from his pipeline work, and while he thought it would maybe make a fine decoration, has instead caused a chill to come over his wife's backside. The moment passed, Chester retires to the living room and his beers, and Mariane tends to feeding the kitten, forgetting about the canister that is now thawing on the counter. Bringing home the canister was not the smartest idea ever, and leaving out a canister marked, "Keep Frozen" isn't too wise, and the Hargis' and their cat pay for their stupidity by succumbing to the blob.

    Meanwhile, across town, Lisa Clarke (Gwynne Gilford) and her hippie friends are having fun preparing a surprise party for Lisa's boyfriend, Bobby (Robert Walker, Jr.), complete with balloons, a dancing apeman, and special brownies. But, while swinging by her pal Chester's place prior, she discovers the angry blob in mid-consuption of her friend. Panicking, she runs to Bobby, who is somewhat hesitant to believe her, and then the cops, who think that the young hippie is tripping on that LSD, but her terror at the site of the blob is quickly set to the side when Bobby's party starts up; a swingin' psychedelic affair.

    While Lisa may be placated for the time being, the blob certainly isn't; growing larger as it consumes the homeless (including Larry Hagman and Burgess Meredith), killing off cops and sending tuned-in witnesses on a bad trip, frightening old naked foreign men in their bathtubs, and resulting in the sacrifice of many cans of Miller. A roadside make-out session brings Bobby and Lisa back into the action, however, when an attack on their vehicle from the blob reveals a weakness; but with no way to transport the creature back to the Arctic, how will they defeat it?

    The Blob, written by two inexperienced writers who would never again write a feature film, and directed by newbie film Director Larry Hagman, is a film that will receive love only from fans of the crappiest of crappy films. Hagman's direction here could be called experimental, psychedelic, and unconventional, but truth is, it looks like amateur hour. Shakey cam, stuttered zooms, you name it, all of these techniques indicate a man who has no idea what he's doing. And whereas the classic original film may have suffered from the ill effects of having a lack of special effects available, this sequel makes use of a number of blob stand-ins that make it look like the lowest of low-budget efforts.

    As bad as Hagman's direction and the effects are, the worst part about Beware! is the dreaded improvisation; everyone involved appears to have thrown the script to the side to put their personal touch on their scenes, resulting in terrible dialogue, sometimes stilted, sometimes going on and on and on for no reason, and always colliding; actors cut each other off, talk over each other, and change direction in the middle of a conversation. If the aesthetic of the film wasn't budget enough, the collection of rambling actors throwing out random lines will certainly put a pin in the whole ordeal. Throwing out the horror element to approach a subject like the blob with comedy is a novel idea, but the novelty wears off in the first 2 minutes with clumsy, drunk Chester, leaving us with with another hour and a half of stupidly executed scenes that may or may not conclude with an unsatisfying attack of the blob. Is there anything to like here? No....not for most. Beware! The Blob isn't even "so bad it's good", it's just flat-out bad.

    Video/Audio/Extras:

    Kino Lorber brings Beware! The Blob to Blu-ray in a 1.85:1 AVC-encoded transfer that looks acceptable, with an overall 70's looking aesthetic...fairly muted with lots of browns and oranges. Print damage is essentially non-existent, and although moments of softness pop up frequently, detail is plentiful, dirt and debris is not.

    The English DTS-HD Master Audio 2.0 track is far less acceptable, with heaps of distortion, muffled speech, and other abnormalities. Dialogue frequently fails to be balanced well with the rest of the soundstage, often buried in the mix, and the score often comes across as grating as a result. The spoken word is still coherent for a good chunk of the running time, but it's a fairly flawed, and disappointing outing.

    No subtitles are provided.

    The main supplement on this disc is a commentary with Film Historian Richard Harland Smith, and anyone familiar with Mr. Smith's commentaries will be familiar with his exhaustive knowledge when it comes to cast and crew. Loads of trivia-worthy material to be found in this one, including how all of the major players got together to make this film, and Smith also talks about the improvisation found throughout the running time, and how Hagman cast most of his friends and family in the cast. There are a few gaps in speech here and there, and he doesn't get into a lot of technical detail about the film, like locations and such, but he can definitely point out the inconsistencies and errors in scout troop uniforms and fire-building techniques.

    An Alternate Title Sequence (2:42) features the title card "Son of Blob" as the film was originally to be named, and a Trailer for Beware! The Blob is also included. A few other Kino title trailers....The Incredible Two-Headed Transplant, Deranged, and Whoever Slew Auntie Roo? are here as well.

    The Final Word:

    A frustratingly bad and annoying film gets a decent video presentation with sub-par audio, a disappointment in the modern era of high definition transfers.


    Click on the images below for full sized Blu-ray screen caps!





















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