The Blob. A horrid orange lump of an alien comes from outer space to wreak havoc upon the lives of a small rural Pennsylvania town. The 1958 science fiction-horror film (re-made in 1988) was distributed by Paramount Pictures as a double feature with I Married a Monster from Outer Space. Prophecy?
Sixty-two years later, it’s hard not to think the film was exactly that. In 2016, the orange blob was elected President; Melania found herself married to it. We have been living that double feature for four years.
I decided to come to America on the eve of my 50th birthday, November 4th, 2008, which was the day Barack Obama was declared the next President of the United States. I so wanted to be part of history; to live in a progressive country that had the foresight to elect a black man to the highest office in the land. I cried tears of joy and, just weeks later, found myself in Los Angeles at the start of an adventure that sees me still here 12 years later.
In 2016, I found myself sobbing in a bar as the election results were announced. The orange alien had descended and was among us. In the film, the blob grows redder as its power increases and, since Joe Biden was announced as the winner, the orange one’s redness has increased to the extent he looks as if he’s on the point of self-combustion. If Covid didn’t get him, his internal anger eventually will. The heart can take a lot of beating from external forces; what it can’t sustain is being its own punchbag.
I recall seeing The Blob in 3D – the first time I had ever been given 3D glasses to wear in the cinema – but nothing could have prepared me for the three-dimensionality of the past four years. Can this be real, I have asked myself over and over, reading Trump’s deranged rants as he conducted foreign policy on Twitter? Did he genuinely not care about the American people as they faced the terror of Covid, the monster blob, whose chief job was maybe to take out the lesser blob (and succeeded)? Did he really refuse to recommend mask-wearing, say 13 times that the virus would just go away, and it would be “beautiful” – then have the audacity to say that the development of a vaccine happened on his watch? No, Mr Blobby: it happened in spite of you, not because of you.
But now, there is hope, and we can look forward to that future feature: Return to Outer Space. We’re not quite there yet. At the end of The Blob, the creature is frozen and transported to the Arctic, and Dave says that although the monster is not dead, it will at least be stopped. “Yeah,” says Steve, “as long as the Arctic stays cold.” As the blob is lowered onto an arctic ice field, the superimposed words “The End” morph into a question mark.
Climate change could yet see the orange alien descend upon us yet again.