Be Wary of Movies about Blobs

DATELINE:  Robert Walker, Jr., Shines


Larry Hagman, the notorious J.R. Ewing of TV fame, directed only one movie in his career. Between stints in I Dream of Jeannie and Dallas, in 1972, he assembled his friends as cast. He chose to direct (and act in) Beware! The Blob, a sequel to the 1958 classic.

Robert Walker, Jr., hoped to ignite his career as a perennial juvenile lead with Beware! The Blob, figuring it might do what it did for Steve McQueen. Indeed, McQueen is on TV in a clip from the original in one brief scene.

Walker recently returned to the screen after 20 years to do some cameos, as the boyish actor is now in his mid-70s. His father was famous for Hitchcock’s Strangers on a Train—and his mother was the stunning actress Jennifer Jones. He played delinquents, boyish teens, and perpetually youthful characters from the 1960s through the 1980s.

Other notable faces and performers signed on to be “blobbed.”

Among the victims are Godfrey Cambridge, Dick Van Patten leading eight boy scouts, Shelly Berman as a hair stylist, Carol Lynley as a bon vivant, Burgess Meredith as a hobo hippie, and most famous unknown face, Richard Webb as the Sheriff.

It is played for laughs as the giant blob of raspberry jelly starts with a fly, goes in for a kitten, and then tries to eat the local bowling alley.

The Blob is always impervious to everything but cold. You won’t see a sequel in wintery New England.

The film looks like a low budget episode of an Irwin Allen series of the era. However, Hagman does manage to make many good effects with no money. He also gave his son Preston a role as one of the Boy Scouts.

As a time passer, the film may be better received today than any time in the past 40 years. It is an entertaining curio.