Tuesday, May 15, 2018

A ghost, a blob, and other assorted characters

Over the past few days, I watched two fun old movies, both for the first time. As it happened, they were both black-and-white, kind of sci-fi spooky movies, that were made in the late 50s, with a mainly teenage cast. At least, the actors were supposed to be teenagers. The first was The Blob, which was the Svengoolie showing last Saturday. The second was Ghost of Dragstrip Hollow.

I'm guessing that many of you have seen The Blob. I hadn't before the other night. Strangely enough I thought I'd seen it, because I'd seen so many clips of the movie over the years. I was certainly aware of the thing that looked like a growing glob of jelly/jello and how it slinked around.

This movie was surprisingly good! I thought the actors were pretty believable. The Blob stars Steve McQueen, who looked like an older teenager because he was 28 at the time of filming! His little "teenage" girlfriend in the movie (Aneta Corsaut) was 25. An interesting piece of trivia about her is that she went on to be Andy's girlfriend/wife Helen Crump on The Andy Griffith show.

Speaking of the Andy Griffith connection... Svengoolie put together a funny little song comparing The Blob to The Andy Griffith Show:

A link to the video: Andy Griffith's theme for "The Blob"!

I'll try and not give much away about The Blob, because maybe some of you haven't seen it and would like to. So without spelling out the plot, I'll say that this movie has something to say about people coming together to solve a problem. Those who kept calm and kept an open mind about different solutions to solving the blob problem, did well. The frantic, paranoid, and close-minded characters had more challenges. It's interesting how even the most crusty characters could manage to work with the more likable main characters, when there was a common enemy. I think that's pretty realistic!

Now, onto the Ghost of Dragstrip Hollow. I'm as certain that most of you haven't seen this as I am that you have seen The Blob! I actually looked this movie up on YouTube after seeing the poster art on Pinterest:

I thought the poster was so cute that I had to see the movie! I'm really glad I did, because it was a lot of fun. This is one of those Rockabilly teen movies with hot cars and (according to a few mens' comments on YouTube) some hot chicks. Well, one girl in particular:

Some of you might agree that she could almost be a young Vampira, with a different look of course. I say that because she's tall and thin with high cheekbones and a certain confidence. This actress is Sanita Pelkey. She was hilarious and had some of the best lines in the movie. But my favorite character was Aunt Anastasia Abernathy:

Basically, the movie revolves around a group of kids who like to work on cars. A girl named Lois stands out as being incredibly cool and independent. She's the rare female who's working on cars like the boys, and also likes to race them. I'm guessing Lois would have been pretty rare in 1959.

Lois has an understanding mother and an insanely uptight (to the point of being funny) father. She also has an Aunt Anastasia, who she's riding in a car with above. Basically, Lois' father would like her to stop racing cars, dating boys, and probably age in reverse! He decides she shouldn't drive at all while Aunt Anastasia visits.

This leads to all kinds of hilarity as Lois has a party and then sleepover at her family's home, since she can't go out. At that point, Lois' father would probably have loved it if she'd driven away!

If you're wondering where the supernatural element comes in here, there isn't much of one. Aunt Anastasia has a haunted house, which she allows the kids to use as a meeting place/party central. A few haunted high jinx occur. Mostly, this movie is just cool teenagers with more old slang than you can shake a stick at. I mostly understood what they were saying. You'll get the idea. It's fun and cheesy. And like a lot of movies from this time, there's some music involved. I think this could actually have been a musical if a few more songs had been added.

So, if you'd like to just relax your brain and have a fun time, give Ghost of Dragstrip Hollow a watch! And if you haven't gotten around to seeing The Blob yet, definitely watch that too.

A link to Ghost of Dragstrip Hollow: Click Here

I couldn't find the entire Blob movie online, but I have the next best thing! Or maybe an even better thing? I happen to love this song. Be warned, though... This song will not leave your head for some time.

Click Here to allow that Blob earworm into your mind!

(I'm inserting those "Click Here" links because I know those who get my blog in email form can't see the videos.)

Can you believe Burt Bacharach was involved in writing this song?

If you listen to it while watching this gif, you can almost imagine the blob dancing along to the music! I'm doing that right now, actually. 😁 He's managing to keep the beat.

P.S. ~ I've been meaning to pass along a hilarious man's YouTube channel to you guys. The hilarious man is named Heywood Banks. He sings catchy songs and he's a real mood-lifter. I looked Heywood up online because I saw his photo in the paper. I thought the expression he was making in that photo was so funny that he was bound to be entertaining. I didn't even realize that he wrote songs until I looked him up! A link to his YouTube channel:

Click Here to Visit Heywood