THE BLOB Producer Jack Harris, 98

Jack Harris, the producer of the seminal 1950s monster movie The Blob, died earlier today at his home in Beverly Hills. He was 98.

Born in Philadelphia, Yeaworth got his start in show business at the age of six, as a child performer in Gus Edwards’ Kiddie Revue vaudeville show. As an adult he became active as a theatrical publicist.

Harris became interested in producing when he got into a argument with Rocketship X-M Robert L Lippert. Harris said that Lippert’s movies were “lousy” and hard to promote. Lippert responded that if Harris thinks he could do a better job than he should. While on tour promoting a Boy Scout-themed film Jamboree, Harris began cultivating the idea for what kind of movie he should make. He realized that both science-fiction and juvenile delinquency films were two genres that seemed to always turn a profit.

Teaming with Irvin “Shorty” Yeaworth, a director of short religious films based outside of Valley Forge who was looking to make a feature that could infuse some cash into his production company, Harris put the wheels in motion that would eventually result in 1958’s The Blob. The film was shot in the Philadelphia suburbs of Phoenixville, Downingtown and Royersford. Made for just $240,000, the film would go on to gross over $4 million.

Harris would reteam with Yeaworth a year for the science-fiction thriller The 4-D Man, which would again see them shooting in the Philadelphia suburbs.

Harris also exhibited an eye for upcoming talent, producing 1970’s Equinox, co-directed by future multiple Academy Award-winning special effects wizard Dennis Murren, Schlock, the 1973 directorial debut of John Landis, and Dark Star, the feature debuts of co-writers and co-directors John Carpenter and Dan O’Bannon.

Harris would return to The Blob for a 1972 sequel, Beware! The Blob, directed by Larry Hagman, the 1989 remake and reportedly had been in active in the more recent attempt to get a second remake launched.

FilmBuffRich on March 15th, 2017 | File Under News | No Comments -

BEWARE! THE BLOB! Coming To Blu-Ray On September 20

BewareblurayIt may not be as fondly remembered as the film that spawned it, but Kino Lober is bringing Beware! The Blob! to DVD and blu-ray next month as part of their Studio Classics line. This marks the first time that the Larry Hagman-directed sequel will appear in the format and Kino Lorber has remastered the film for High Def.

Here’s the release from Kino Lorber –

The Blob returns… more outrageous than ever in this 1972 sequel to the popular sci-fi classic! Plenty of familiar faces, including Robert Walker Jr. (Ensign Pulver), Larry Hagman (Dallas), Sid Haig (Busting), Burgess Meredith (Rocky), Dick Van Patten (Eight is Enough), Godfrey Cambridge (Cotton Comes to Harlem), Cindy Williams (Laverne & Shirley), Carole Lynley (The Poseidon Adventure), Gerrit Graham (Used Cars) and Shelley Berman (You Don’t Mess With The Zohan) add to the fun. A geologist (Cambridge) unwittingly brings home an unusual frozen piece of debris from the North Pole. But when it accidentally thaws, the hungrier-than-ever Blob comes to life again, consuming nearly everyone in its path and terrorizing the town. No one is safe as it crawls into a bowling alley, oozes its way across an ice rink, becoming grotesquely bloated with the blood of its victims… can this bizarre creature ever be stopped? TV legend Larry Hagman directed this cult classic, the only feature film he ever directed – upon its 1980s re-release, the film was tagged “The Film that J.R. Shot!”.

Look for the disc going on sale on September 20 in stores and via Amazon.

FilmBuffRich on August 22nd, 2016 | File Under News | No Comments -

Steve McQueen Bio-Pic Getting Financing

steve-mcqueen

Financing for a film that would look at the life of Blob star Steve McQueen, appropriately titled McQueen, is starting to come together, according to a report from Deadline.

The film is the project of The Immigrant director James Gray and could possibly feature Gray’s Immigrant star Jeremy Renner in the title role, though Deadline states that both Channing Tatum and Ryan Gosling have expressed interest in the part in the past.

The film will be based in part on on the 2010 biography Steve McQueen: The Life And Legend Of A Hollywood Icon, written by Marshall Terrill and ” a unique story that is being kept under wraps about McQueen’s life that he wrote about at the time of his death in his own hand,” according to Deadline.

In a quote to Deadline, producer Graham Kaye stated –

[There is a diary] that was kept by his nurse in Mexico who gave it to the author of the book that was done on him by Marshall Terrill. Something happened in McQueen’s life that has been kept secret for a long time. We think we have a very interesting way into this story.

No screenwriter has been hired yet for the project.

FilmBuffRich on March 14th, 2015 | File Under News | No Comments -

Simon West BLOB Remake To Be More “Along The Lines Of ALIEN And PREDATOR”

A couple of months ago we learned that Simon West is the latest director to take on a remake of The Blob. Now the folks at Den Of Geek have caught up with West and have asked him some pointed questions about how he envisions reinventing the Blob for 21st century audiences.

It seems that West’s idea is to use modern visual effects technology, i.e. CGI, to bring to the screen a film that sounds more epic in scope than the original film.

Yeah, it’s definitely going to be on a much bigger canvas than the originals, which were much more small, niche genre horror movies. My version of The Blob’s going to be more sci-fi…

The blob itself will be more sophisticated, more along the lines of Alien and Predator and things like that – much more science-based, the way Jurassic Park made you believe you could bring back dinosaurs with a bit of DNA from a mosquito. This will be much more explained on where the blob comes from and how it works. It’ll be a much more sophisticated creature – because it is a monster movie rather than a horror in that sense.

West goes on to draw a parallel with another classic science-fiction film trope.

This thing’s come from another planet, and also, we don’t know how many there are. It’s fun at the moment – while I’m prepping this other film, The Blob is a bit longer term. I’m having a lot of designing this creature, what its talents are, its attributes, how you can think you’ve defeated it, but you haven’t. It’s fun inventing a creature like that – like the new Alien or the new Predator.

Well, I certainly like his enthusiasm and it does sound like a much better approach than former Blob-remake director Rob Zombie’s “not to have a big red blobby thing” attitude. Let’s hope in all that enthusiasm he doesn’t forget to do what Alien and Predator did so well – make us care about the characters on the run from and trying to stop the Blob.

FilmBuffRich on March 11th, 2015 | File Under News | No Comments -

Simon West Directing BLOB Remake

Blob

Director Simon West (Con Air, The Expendables 2) will be directing a remake of the classic 1958 horror classic The Blob.

Deadline is reporting the film will start shooting this summer, though there is no word on any cast or who may have written the screenplay.

West is quoted by Deadline as stating –

With modern CGI we can now fully realize the potential of The Blob. The world I create will be totally believable, immersive and emotionally satisfying. It’s a thrill to introduce an enduring icon to a wider audience and a whole new era of fans.

There have been several attempts to get a Blob remake off the ground over the past several years. Screenwriters Carey W. Hayes and Chad Hayes, the team behind the 2005 House Of Wax remake and 2013’s The Conjuring, wrote one attempt. Rocker-turned-director Rob Zombie was also attached to oversee a new version of the film, though he never got to the point where a script was written. Zombie infamously had stated that his intention for his remake was “not to have a big red blobby thing.” So perhaps we’re all better off that this attempt has been grounded.

FilmBuffRich on January 22nd, 2015 | File Under News | No Comments -