New Blob Film: Remake or Sequel?

For years there has been word floating around that The Blob was going to be remade by Hollywood, but no concrete details have ever emerged. That is until recently, when it appeared at the end of last year that producer Scott Rubin, who has also overseen the recent remakes of Shaft (2000), The Manchurian Candidate (2004) and The Stepford Wives (2004), was attached to the project.

Now, more news has come out, courtesy of Bloody Disgusting, during an interview with screenwriters Chad and Carey Hayes who were out doing promotion for their upcoming film The Reaping. According to the report, the brothers have completed a screenplay for a Blob remake for Rudin.

According to brother Carey, “It’s a B.L.O.B: Biological Lethal Organic Bomb. It was created by our own government in the 50s, they beta tested it, it almost got out of control, but they confined it. Now it’s back. But it’s a fast blob, there’s nothing slow, it’s got major attitude. It’s like Shaun of the Dead or Tremors.”

The idea of the Blob actually being a weapon harkens back to the 1988 version of The Blob. The idea that it was created in the 1950s suggests that the Hayes brothers have cherry-picked both versions for their film’s backstory.

The brothers also let slip that rather than the film have one lead hero a la Steve McQueen or Kevin Dillon (the star of the 1988) remake, their version of The Blob will have mostly an ensemble cast headed up a female character. “We like having female leads,” Chad Hayes admits.

Despite the fact that it is now confirmed that a Blob remake has gotten at least as far as the scripting stage, the fate of the film is still in limbo. Rudin has recently left his long-time home at Paramount Studios for Disney, leaving the film’s future uncertain.

FilmBuffRich on March 28th, 2007 | File Under News | No Comments -

The High School

320 Second Avenue


Sgt. Jim Bert (John Benson) shoots at the wires, but the attempt is unsuccessful at killing the Blob. The diner catches on fire.

As Steve tries to put out the fire, which has spread to the basement, he realizes that the Blob cannot tolerate the cold produced by the fire extinguisher. AH-HA! That’s why it didn’t follow them into the meat locker at Jerry’s Market!

He yells up to the telephone (which fortunately was left off the hook) to Dave to tell him about his discovery.

Jane’s father (played by Elbert Smith) realizes the best place to get a supply of CO2 fire extinguishers is at the high school. With the help of Steve’s friends, he breaks into the school to get all the CO2 extinguishers they can find.

They freeze the Blob, save the world, and live happily ever after.

This is the Samuel K. Barkley Elementary School in Phoenixville, PA. To the left you will see the same entranceway that was used in the filming of the movie. A fan wrote to me and told me that in 1957, when the movie was filmed, the school’s name was Memorial Junior High School (courtesy of Gerry Fox).

Some locals believe the school used in the filming was the old (now demolished) Downingtown High School. However, these pictures show conclusively that it was the Barkley Elementary School. Built in 1930, the school was known as Memorial Junior High School until 1964 a new middle school was built and Memorial Junior High was renamed Samuel K. Barkley Elementary.

[googleMap name=”The High School” directions_to=”false”]320 Second Avenue, Phoenixville, PA[/googleMap]

FilmBuffRich on March 27th, 2007 | File Under Locations | No Comments -

Jerry’s Market

While traveling through town, Steve and Jane see the old man’s dog huddled by the doors of the market owned by Steve’s father. When they approach the dog, they discover the doors to the store are unlocked and the lights are on, even though it’s after midnight. They go in to investigate. The Blob begins to chase them and to escape they retreat to the meat locker. For some unknown reason, the Blob doesn’t follow them in.

At the time that The Blob was filmed, there were two Jerry’s Markets – one in Phoenixville and one in Royersford – both owned by Jerry Fahringer. Although some feel that the scenes were shot in Phoenixville, the Royersford store was the one that appears in the movie.

The case of Jerry’s Market (and to a lesser extent the Cadillac/Downingtown Diner) is an example of the sadder and more frustrating side of location hunting. In the half-century since the production of the film, the building the once housed the Royersford Jerry’s Market has undergone numerous renovations, making it difficult to identify today, unless one knows what they’re looking for. In this case, you’d be looking for what is now the Lewis Road Plaza in Royersford, with a string of shops added onto the old Jerry’s Market, turning it into the anchor for a small strip mall.

For several years, through the 1990s and into the new century, the former Market section of the plaza was a Drug Emporium drug store, with a blue facade erected that blocked the distinctive arched roof of the market. (I wonder if the original Jerry’s Market sign still hangs underneath that facade, waiting to be rediscovered.) However, if one gets to the right angle in the parking lot, you can still catch a glimpse of the original roof. Compare the roof with the black and white picture taken during the filming of the scene and you can see the same rounded structure.

In November 2004, the Sly Fox Restaurant and Brewery opened on the spot. The original market appears to have been subdivided, with the Sly Fox only taking up half of the space that the Market originally inhabited. The other half, which contains what appears to be the remnant of the Market’s original entrance, is a Dollar Bargain store. The Drug Emporium’s blue facade has been painted brown.

Several of the Sly Fox employees are aware of the building’s place in cinema history. A walk through the restaurant suggests that where the Market’s meat locker was is now the restaurant’s microbrew.

[googleMap name=”Jerry’s Market” directions_to=”false”]Lewis Road & Oak Street , Royersford, PA[/googleMap]

FilmBuffRich on March 27th, 2007 | File Under Locations | No Comments -


Kate Phillips was paid $125.00 for receiving a co-writing credit for The Blob.

The monster is referred to as “the mass” in the shooting script.

The film was originally going to be called The Glob. It was changed when it was discovered that cartoonist Walt Kelly had already used that title.

The Blob was created with a modified weather balloon in the early shots, and in the later shots with colored silicone gel.

The last time Steve McQueen was billed as “Steven”.

Steve McQueen was offered $2,500 or 10% of the profits. He took the $2,500 because he wasn’t expecting the film to make much. It ended up grossing over 4 million dollars.

The producers originally signed Steve McQueen to a three-film deal with this being the first project. McQueen was so difficult to work with during filming that he was released from his contract for the other two films.

The barking for the little dog was provided by Sound Director, Gottfried Buss (information provided by Steven Buss, son of Gottfried Buss).

Pamela Bickel (now Mrs. Gottfried Buss) watched Steve McQueen’s dog while he was on the set. She also turned down the opportunity to take a motorcycle ride with him (information provided by Steven Buss).

Royersford resident, Rosemary Neal, was asked to stand in for Aneta Corsaut for a scene in Steve McQueen’s car. Corsaut was ill that evening, and Rosemary Neal had the same hairdo. She was paid $25.00 for her participation (information provided by her son, Richard Neal [via message board], and Barry Miller).

The old man who discovers and becomes the first victim of the Blob was played by veteran character actor Olin Howland. This would be his final film in a career than spanned almost 200 films going back to the silent era.

When Steve and Jane go to the police station to report the death of Dr. Hallen, the calendar on the wall reveals that it is July 1957.

Barry Miller, a former Royersford resident, wrote in about the Jerry’s Market scene. Barry, along with some friends, were extras in the scene. The scene was shot about 7:00 p.m., shortly after his Little League baseball game ended at Lewis Road and Washington Streets. If you look closely in the Jerry’s Market parking lot scene (which was supposed to take place in the early morning hours), you’ll see a few kids in their Little League uniforms. Extras in the scene were “paid” a hoagie for their participation.

The newspaper being sold outside of Jerry’s Market is the Inter-Borough Press (information provided by Barry Miller).

The fire stations participating in the Jerry’s Market scene were the Humane Fire Company and the Friendship Fire Company in Royersford. The fire station in the Downingtown Diner scene was the Downingtown Fire Department. Yet these two scenes were supposed to take place in the same town (information provided in part by Barry Miller).

The Colonial Theatre sequence shows a poster for a film titled “The Vampire and the Robot”. Although this was one of the proposed U.S. titles for Mother Riley Meets the Vampire (1952), the movie is a phoney. It is a doctored poster for Forbidden Planet (1956)

The movie being shown at the Colonial Theatre was Daughter of Horror, originally released as Dementia (1955). According to Jack Harris’ attorney, Jack purchased Daughter of Horror from the estate of the filmmaker. The movie was silent, so Jack added a narrator, Ed McMahon. He inserted McMahon, wearing a stocking over his head and walking through a cemetery as he spoke. Jack told Johnny Carson about it one day when they were getting a haircut together at the Beverly Hills Hotel. Carson surprised McMahon on The Tonight Show with the clip that Harris provided (information provided by Michael Ravnitzky).

Although producer Jack H. Harris always claimed that this film cost $240,000 to produce, years later director Irvin S. Yeaworth Jr. said that the actual cost was only $120,000.

In some of the promo material, the character played by Aneta Corsaut is referred to as “Judy”. Her character in the film is named “Jane”.

Dick Powell, who was the head of Four Star Productions, asked to see a rough cut of this film. This led to the casting of Steve McQueen in the television series Wanted: Dead or Alive (1958).

This independent production was originally picked up by Paramount for use on the bottom half of a double bill with their in-house production of I Married a Monster from Outer Space (1958). Early marketing tests and initial bookings indicated that a larger share of the ticket buyers were coming for this film rather than I Married a Monster, so it became the main feature and more money was spent on its promotion.

In 1986, Ray Keim (a former Phoenixville resident) and his fiancé (now wife) entered a gingerbread house competition at Exton Mall (in Pennsylvania). They chose the doctor’s house to recreate in gingerbread, and won first prize. The gingerbread house was pretty huge (The base was 4 square feet). After the competition they had this 20 lb gingerbread house, and didn’t know what to do with it. It became a minor celebrity in town, making temporary homes at the Phoenixvilleville YMCA and the Phoenixvilleville Public Library. Finally, the current owner of the house, bought it from them. He placed it under glass in one of the front rooms. In 2003, Ray and his wife took their kids trick or treating around the old neighborhoods. They ended up at the house. The owner was having a little Halloween party in the living room. They unmasked themselves, and re-introduced themselves as the “gingerbread people.” The room lit up, and the owner asked us if they wanted to SEE it! He took them into the front room, and there is was! A beautifully preserved, 17 year old gingerbread house!

FilmBuffRich on March 25th, 2007 | File Under Blob Facts | No Comments -