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New on Disc: 'The Blob' and more …

18 Mar, 2013 By: Mike Clark

The Blob (Blu-ray)

Criterion, Horror, $39.95 Blu-ray, NR.
Stars Steve McQueen, Aneta Corsaut, Earl Rowe.
The arrival of Steve McQueen’s frugally budgeted black sheep of a career-maker on a Criterion Blu-ray falls into the wonders-never-cease realm. We’re only looking at an upgrade from the 2000 Criterion DVD, but I never expected the pigments to look this striking; the Blob itself ends up looking remarkable. And the movie’s visuals prove striking from the very first scene, when The Blob (whose No. 33 Billboard title tune by then-novices Burt Bacharach and Mack David cracked the top 10 in the L.A. market) charts its course as one of the few creature features in history to open with a make-out scene shot in close-up. When the couple’s then unknown male turns around, and it’s McQueen, we witness a star being born.
Extras: Carried over from the DVD, this Blu-ray edition has two excellent commentaries: one with producer Jack H. Harris and encyclopedic film historian Bruce Eder, the other with the late director Irvin S. Yeaworth Jr. and featured actor Robert Fields.
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The Red Menace

Olive, Drama, $24.95 DVD, $29.95 Blu-ray, NR.
Stars Robert Rockwell, Hannelore
Axman, Barbara Fuller.
Republic Pictures wasn’t the first studio to exploit the Red Scare, but this not totally flairless cheapie was in the early class of movies that did. Its lead actor is Robert Rockwell, who spent all those CBS Sunday nights on TV tip-toeing around Eve Arden’s romantic plotting on TV’s “Our Miss Brooks.” Featured player Barbara Fuller plays a lapsed Catholic who seduces vulnerable ex-G.I. Rockwell into supporting the Red cause after he gets all chapped over a shady real estate concern that’s bilking war vets.
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