Movies in the Movies: 'The Blob' (1958)

Writing recently of "The Tingler" (1959), where the dastardly creature kills the projectionist in the movie theatre, reminded me the idea was a direct lift from a bigger horror touchstone, "The Blob," the previous year.

You remember "The Blob," starring, as the coming attractions trailer says, "Steve McQueen and a cast of exciting young people."

I don't know about the cast of young Blob, but it was pretty palpitating in its own right, dropping in from outer space to feed and grow on exciting young people and a few gristly, yucky, mindless oldsters.

After all, even The Blob needs to eat its vegetables.

"The Blob" Theatrical Trailer via YouTube

I never knew The Blob's real name. I've always called it Smuck.

Because, with a name like Smuck, it has to be goo.

"The Blob" was filmed in Phoenixville, PA, where the best remembered sequence takes place inside the local movie theatre, the Colonial.

During a late night terror flick, the behemoth Blob enters the building through the air ducts, stopping off in the projection room to dine on the operator.

He was a bookworm, which The Blob finds tasty. I think it belches, "Spillane molls," before coughing up the Nylon shirt and moving on, squeezing through the projector windows to dessert on the spunky chunkies watching the picture below.

I've heard tales of how 1958 projectionists yelled out of the portholes over their auditoriums at the exact moment the movie counterpart dies on film. It shook up the kids in the audiences.

The rampage sequence continues as the gang spots The Blob coming their way. In immense fear, the entire crowd sprints outside the cinema and onto the street in a frantic escape. Look:

"The Blob" (1958) Run-Out Sequence via YouTube

Classic stuff. Researching this article, I learned the Colonial Theatre still exists and conducts an annual BlobFest each July!

Why wasn't I told of this wonderful event? It is exactly something I would love to experience. Scary movies and live entertainment, highlighted by 35mm showings of "The Blob" in the same room where it was filmed.

A run-out reenactment is part of the festivities. When the crucial moment, described above, beams onto the screen, I'd be highly amused to rise up with the BlobFest attendees and rush through and from the theatre, hollering as if life depends on it.

BlobFest informs me, however, the reenactment does not occur during a presentation of "The Blob," which seems like a missed opportunity, but still fun. Peek:

BlobFest (2009) Run-Out Reenactment via YouTube

I did not know The Blob had its own advance roadie with signal lights to direct the screaming throngs.

Considerate carnivorous monster, we hardly knew ye.

I need to make the trip. Then, I want to swim with The Incredible Mr. Limpet....
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