Lively, entertaining reviews of, and essays on, old and newer films and everything relating to them, written by professional author William Schoell.

Thursday, November 2, 2017


Gwynne Gilford and Robert Walker Jr. 
BEWARE! THE BLOB (aka Son of Blob/1972). Director: Larry Hagman.

Chester Hargis (Godfrey Cambridge) brings home a frozen specimen that defrosts and turns into the Blob, and it rapidly devours the residents of a small town, including bowlers and ice skaters. Beware! The Blob could have been a perfectly good sequel to The Blob if the approach had been different. Larry Hagman, who was in-between I Dream of Jeannie and his career-reviving role on Dallas, decided to turn this into a free-wheeling borderline parody despite the fact that the whole premise already has black comedy aspects to begin with. So Hagman cast some friends and character actors and guest-stars -- such as Carol Lynley, Burgess Meredith, and Shelley Berman -- all of whom seem to be having fun, but not one of whom is actually funny. Most of the death scenes are also played for laughs. The shame of it is that the script is workable and there's genuine suspense in the situation at the climax, with hero Bobby (Robert Walker Jr.) trying to freeze the monster while the cops outside start to set fire to the building. Walker and Gwynne Gilford [Fade to Black] as his girlfriend, Lisa, wisely play their roles straight and are all the more effective for it -- there's also a good scene when their car is engulfed by the creature. The special effects are, if anything, even more low-tech than in the original. Veteran Richard Webb [The Invisible Monster] plays Sheriff Jones and Cindy Williams is a party guest who has one excruciating scene with a guy singing and playing guitar. Hagman directed a few television episodes, but mercifully this is the only film he ever helmed.

Verdict: Almost makes the original look like a masterpiece. *1/2.


angelman66 said...

Was not aware that Hagman ever directed, except for maybe an episode of two of Dallas...but he certainly got a lot of 1970s star power in this one with his connections! May be worth a look!

William said...

Watch at your own risk, LOL! Hagman probably had no idea that he'd turn into an icon because of just one famous role, and thankfully he directed no more bad movies!