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August 21, 2014

Flicks: Son Of Blob (1972)


A chip off the old Blob directed by Larry Hagman? Yes, this really happened.

In 1958, the first Blob movie crept into theaters nationwide. A bright-eyed Steve McQueen, who was 28 at the time, starred in a James Dean type role as the world's oldest misunderstood teen, "Steve". The film made $240,000 or roughly $1.9 million in today's dollars.

In 1972, the first Blob sequel, Son Of Blob (1972) or Beware! The Blob was released to a much different America. No longer was the illusion of a perfect nation intact as it was in the post WWII years. My 1972, many cultural leaders that had catapulted to meteoric heights had been snuffed out, assassinated or succumbed to drug abuse. America had watched it's President die live on television in Dallas in 1963, his brother murdered in 1968 in LA, Malcolm X murdered by the very people he was trying to free from segregation in New York and MLK Jr. killed by a sniper's bullet in Memphis after years of persecution for the same cause. Viet Nam was raging out of control. Jim Morrison, Janice Joplin and Jimi Hendrix had each died due to drugs or alcohol before a larger "revolution" could take place. The King himself had mutated into a bad Las Vegas lounge act and was wearing sequin adorned super-hero costumes.

This America had seen it's best and brightest die before their appointed hour and the rest huddle for shelter in the ashes. The revolution, although truly transformative for the country, was seen as a failure. These events left a deep emptiness in America's psyche that could not be over-looked. Consequently, there were no more "golly gee whiz" or "hunky dory" attitudes present from American films from the 1950's.

Now, the youth and the hipsters were isolated "freaks" whose leaders had all vanished and whose revolution had crumbled. This is the era of the early 1970's. As the Watergate break-ins were happening (May 28 and June 17th 1972) and in the years after Woodstock was a strange time for the country. This is the time when Son Of Blob was released.

As if all the aforementioned catastrophes were made into an unstoppable giant creature made of globs of acidic pink and red goop, the Son Of Blob came to life. As a low-budget picture, the film used cheap locations in Venice, California. Although a comedy, this film features the disenchanted remains of a counter-culture that collapsed under the weight of it's own expectations.

References:
IMDB, Beware! The Blob (1972)
IMDB, Steve McQueen
Wikipedia, Elvis Presley


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