Also knows as Son of Blob, or The Blob 2, Larry Hagman’s sequel requires a stern warning; this is one bad movie. Quite literally a footnote in film history books, Beware The Blob is usually dismissed with a phrase like ‘a sequel followed in 1972’. But what a sequel! Producer Jack H Harris waited some 14 years after the original Steve McQueen hit, and came back with a movie that’s smaller and worse than the cheap original in every way. Largely forgotten about since release, Beware the Blob now turns up on streaming to appal cineastes around the world.
We stats with footage of a cat frolicking in a field, not quite on message, but at least something. The cat is eaten off-screen by the blob. Then we join the suburban household of Chester, played by celebrated comedian Godfrey Cambridge, hot at the time from racial comedy Watermelon Man. Chester is described by his wife as a ‘dingleberry’ and so events prove. Chester is living in a tent in his front room for reasons I couldn’t quite understand, and after what seems like hours of comic monologues, is eventually consumed by a blob-like creature he’s brought home in a milk-churn. This punch-line is only delivered after ten minutes of painful vaudevillian shtick. This is all truly awful, but in retrospect, it’s arguably the best bit of Hagman’s film, for which he seems to have invited his neighbours to contribute party pieces rather than construct anythiing more formal.
After a dated musical interlude that defies description, Hagman reverts to music hall comedy with a sketch about a hippie getting a hair-cut; when the hirsute drop-out puts his head in the basin, the Blob comes through the plug-hole and eats it! Whether this is meant to be funny or scary, it falls so far short the scene registers as some kind of performance art. Hagman pulls in more favours; Burgess Meredith doesn’t even put his joint out to appear rambling on camera, Sid Haig, Robert Walker Jr and Carol Lynley wander uncertainly in front of the camera, and eventually the Blob takes over a local bowling alley despite the film-makers having no visual effects to depict this scene.
After scene after scene of extras running down wooden corridors with BOWLING ALLEY written on sheets of paper and attached to the walls, the Blob is defeated by turning on an underground ice-rink and freezing it; the Blob’s fatal mistake was to go to the one building in town which can be frozen. Such idiocies barely matter when Beware the Blob has no budget for effects; all the action is moved forward by the characters discussing it in between 1972 hippie jokes and truly awful music. This is a film made by dingleberries, for dingleberries, and despite several warnings, lives up to it’s reputation as one of the worst celluloid atrocities ever committed. Beware indeed.