Beware! The Blob
Beware! The Blob (a.k.a. Beware the Blob, Son of Blob, Son of the Blob, The Blob II or The Blob Returns) is a 1972 American independent comedy science-fiction horror film. It is a sequel to The Blob. The film was directed by Larry Hagman. The screenplay was penned by Anthony Harris and Jack Woods III, based on a story by Jack H. Harris and Richard Clair. The film originally earned a PG rating from the MPAA, though it is now unrated.
|Beware! The Blob|
Theatrical release poster
|Directed by||Larry Hagman|
|Produced by||Anthony Harris|
|Screenplay by||Anthony Harris|
|Story by||Richard Clair|
Jack H. Harris
|Starring||Robert Walker Jr.|
J. J. Johnston
|Music by||Mort Garson|
|Edited by||Tony de Zarraga|
Jack H. Harris Enterprises, Inc.
|Distributed by||Jack H. Harris Enterprises Inc.|
Picking up fifteen years after the events of the first movie, The Blob, an oil pipeline layer named Chester (Godfrey Cambridge) returns to his suburban Los Angeles home from the North Pole, bringing with him a small sample of a mysterious frozen substance uncovered by a bulldozer on a job site. The original release began with the scene of the bulldozer's encounter with the frozen Blob in the Arctic. Without this scene there is no explanation of Chester's job on the pipeline, or of what is in his container, or where did he obtain his sample from. Prior to taking the substance to a laboratory to be analyzed, he places the storage container with the substance in his freezer, but he and his wife Marianne (Marlene Clark) accidentally let it thaw, creating a second Blob. It starts by eating a fly, then a kitten, then Marianne, and then, in an intentional anachronism by the film makers, while Chester is watching a television broadcast of the film The Blob, it eats him, too.
Lisa (Gwynne Gilford), a friend, walks in to see Chester being consumed by the Blob. She escapes, but cannot get anyone to believe her, not even her boyfriend Bobby (Robert Walker Jr.). Meanwhile, the rapidly growing creature quietly preys upon the town. Some of its victims include a police officer and two hippies (Cindy Williams and Randy Stonehill) in a storm drain, a barber (Shelley Berman) and his client, transients (played by director Hagman, Burgess Meredith and Del Close), a Scoutmaster (Dick Van Patten), a farm full of chickens and horses, people in a gas station, and various townspeople who turn up "missing".
At one point, Lisa and Bobby find themselves trapped in Bobby's truck with the creature attempting to find a way inside. While panicking, the truck's air conditioning is accidentally switched on and the Blob retreats because of its vulnerability to cold.
The now-massive Blob then invades a bowling alley and a skating rink, consuming dozens more people in the process. It is finally stopped when Bobby activates the rink's ice mechanism, freezing it. While the frozen Blob is being filmed by a television crew, one of the crew's bright lights is positioned on the ground, melting a small portion of it, which oozes toward the sheriff and envelops his feet as he is speaking on camera to a nationwide television audience.
- Robert Walker as Bobby Hartford
- Gwynne Gilford as Lisa Clark
- Richard Stahl as Edward Fazio
- Richard Webb as Sheriff Jones
- Marlene Clark as Mariane Hargis
- Gerrit Graham as Joe, Ape-Suited
- J. J. Johnston as Deputy Kelly Davis
- Dick Van Patten as Scoutmaster Adleman
- Tiger Joe Marsh as Naked Turk
- Fred Smoot as Mike Pinsetter, repairman
- Randy Stonehill as Randy Guitar player, singer
- Cindy Williams as Hippie
- Preston Hagman as Preston, a Boy Scout
- Larry Norman as Blonde Teenager
- Bill Coontz as Bowling Alley Manager
- Shelley Berman as Hair Stylist
- Godfrey Cambridge as Chester Hargis
- Larry Hagman as Hobo
- Carol Lynley as Leslie
- Burgess Meredith as Hobo (uncredited)
- Conrad Rothmann as Fireman (uncredited)
- Danny Goldman as Bearded Teenager [Note 1]
- Rockne Tarkington as Deputy Williams
- Sid Haig as Deputy Ted Sims (uncredited)
- Del Close as Hobo (uncredited)
- John Houser as Hair Stylist's Customer
- Robert N. Goodman as Henry - Security Guard
- Patrick McAllister as Al - Repairman's Assistant
- Byron Keith as Bowling Customer
- Margie Adleman as Party Guest with Joe
Larry Hagman previously directed episodes of I Dream of Jeannie and The Good Life and went on to do the same for several episodes of Dallas and In the Heat of the Night (the only series for which he directed, but never acted). This would be his only feature film as a director. To cast the film, Hagman recruited friends from the motion picture industry, (some of whom were literally his neighbors in Malibu, California, including Burgess Meredith and Carol Lynley) who were asked if they would like to be "blobbed". Gwynne Gilford was cast as the lead via the traditional auditioning process, while Robert Walker Jr. was an early hire by Jack H. Harris.
Budgeted at slightly more than the 1958 version at $150,000, filming began in the spring of 1971, primarily on the property of a horse stable and ranch home in Diamond Bar, California, as well as in Pomona, California, both 30 miles east of Los Angeles. The climactic finale at the bowling alley and ice skating rink was filmed at two separate locations. The former Grand Central Bowl in Glendale, California stood in for the bowling alley (the building still stands as part of the Disney Imagineering complex, and was also filmed as Jack Rabbit Slims in Pulp Fiction), while the ice skating rink scenes were filmed at the former Rollerdrome in Culver City, California (immediately prior to the building being torn down in August, 1971 to make way for Tellefson Park). The party scene was filmed in a loft in Venice, California. In an interview in Fangoria magazine, screenwriter and first time producer Anthony Harris stated that a good portion of the filmed material was improvised on the set, and that his script was ignored. While in production, Harris was also in the process of preparing a second sequel, Curse of the Blob, but these plans were never implemented.
Contrary to the original 1958 film, in which the Blob was largely portrayed by gallons of silicone dyed red, which needed to be repeatedly stirred to maintain the consistent red color, the Blob in Beware! the Blob was mostly created from a red-dyed powder blended with water to form the desired consistency. The Blob was alternately created from other materials as well, including a large red plastic balloon, semi-transparent red plastic sheeting illuminated with a backlight, and a large rotating red drum of hard red silicone placed in front of the camera lens.
Renowned cinematographer Dean Cundey, who would later go on to be a cinematographer on such films as Halloween, The Thing, the Back to the Future series and Jurassic Park, worked on Beware! The Blob alongside two other special effects technicians responsible for creating the Blob effects, supervisor Tim Baar and Conrad Rothmann. Cundey was also the camera operator on second unit shots of the Blob eating the fly, the kitten, etc.
Beware! The Blob was intended as a December, 1971 release, but was held back until June, 1972 to capitalize on the lucrative summer movie and drive-in theater audience. An exceptional film marketer, Harris later paired the movie with other films he to which held the rights (notably Equinox), and renamed the film Son of Blob in some markets as a test title. The film premiered on television in 1974.
In 1982, the film was re-issued with the tagline "The film that J.R. shot!" in an attempt to capitalize on the success of Hagman's television series Dallas, using a twist on the show's popular meme, "Who shot J.R.?"
As Son of Blob together with The Blob, the film was released on DVD by Umbrella Entertainment in September 2011. The DVD is compatible with all region codes. Beware! The Blob was transferred to HD in its correct 1.85 ratio and released on Blu-ray by Kino Lorber on September 20, 2016.
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Film historians Kim R. Holston and Tom Winchester considered the film was "... Now viewed as a relic of mid- to late-hippiedom ... overall, there's some tension, and some nods to the predecessor."
- Goldman is often confused for similar-looking actor Bud Cort, who does not appear in the film.