So welcome to our B-Movie Marathon. Jon Bon Jovi got us started with a 90’s teen heart throb take on the wild west. It may have been a huge commercial success, it may have been a studio picture with star power and a megastar soundtrack. But we’ve all seen Young Guns II. It’s a B-Movie.
Which is great news. I frikkin’ love B-Movies. I would rather watch a giant lizard stomp a city street than I would sit with a character study of a troubled genius as they find their way through the wicked world. I do however suspect that the giant lizard on screen is a troubled genius struggling to find his way through a city street and some wicked town planner has put all of these two story buildings and gas stations in his way.
So it’s not a kitsch chinsey little “ohh look at the funny losers films” season and it’s more “This is my culture Man, this is my crowd“. Alternative Rock, Punk, Metal, Greebo, Goth. They fucking hinge on this stuff. You can’t have Werewolves Of London, Bikini Girls With Machine Guns, Earth Vs The Wildhearts or I Was A Teenage Anarchist without B-Movies. Why would you want to?
Beware (of the) The Blob! Is B-Movie in the original sense of the word. Actually…
*Honking great Nerd alert* Beware The Blob! is the sequel. It’s named after the title song. From the original movie. Which was an early role for the massive star Steve McQueen in 1958. Before he got really famous. The title song from the sort of B-Movie that relies on a cheap in camera special effect a high concept and some eager scenery chewing acting talent. Just like Johnny Depp, George Clooney, Arhnolt. Many a Marquee Name started off in the land of the Killer-B’s.
So then, to The Blob and or the song about The Blob. The original 50’s movie was promoted by a hit single. Written by Burt Bacharach and his usual writing partners brother. The other David, Mack David. It was recorded by a bunch of session musicians who gave themselves the name The Five Blobs (or the studio did, it doesn’t really matter) they recorded something akin to skiffle (rock and roll’s less sexy younger sibling) and The Beach Boys early sound. Now I for one cannot stomach The Beach Boys. They get right up my nose. But The Five Blobs? I like those guys.
Really they were the work of Bernie Nee. A session guy who didn’t get his credit on the record. He got a bit bent out of shape about it and started some shit in the press by taking out a private advert calling out the label. Funnily enough that didn’t go well for him and he ended up making records that the industry ignored even though they had amazing titles like From the Top of Your Guggle (to the Bottom of Your Zooch) and Rockin’ Pow Wow.
As a callow youth I was hungry for movies about aliens, monsters, vampires, zombies, killers, shocking blood sucking freaks and weird cults. There was something very rock and roll about them. I bought The Blob on VHS from a stand in a corner shop for a couple of quid. Even the shop keeper knew it would lose out among the ex-rental copies of Rocky III and Beverley Hills Cop. I loved it though. It was authentic teenage stuff from the era that birthed rock and roll. I could tell the difference between this and the 70’s remake from the off (not that I didn’t have a good time with the 70’s remake, but this is the source). So much good stuff followed. The Day The Earth Stood Still, War Of The Worlds, White Zombie, The Wolf Man, Faye Wray, King Kong. I need a theme week like this to remind us all that our culture (or my culture at least) relies on three things. Cool ideas, enthusiasm and a suspension of disbelief.
That’s what rock and roll is made of.