“By the 70s,” writes Kevin Candela in his introduction to this volume, “blob stories had run their course.” Especially in movies, monsters made of Play-Doh couldn’t compete with vampires, werewolves, space aliens, zombies and exorcists.
Spineless, faceless, gelatinous, icky creatures are still around, of course, but they’ve never been able to scare a generation of moviegoers like they did back in 1958 when the original titular Blob debuted in theaters.
In their respective intros, both Candela and co-editor Raymond Johnson do a wonderful job expressing their love of the gooey genre while giving readers a quick history lesson at the same time. Unquestionably, these two men love “shapeless slimes, blobs and evil oozes,” and their enthusiasm will get you pumped up to read the ensuing stories in this collection.
Beware the Blobs! starts strong with stories by Candela, Johnson and Essel Pratt. “Shapeless In Seattle,” begins with an attempted rape and escalates quickly to the end of the world. “Sometimes you win the wrong lottery,” admits Mary the blobissa.
“The Ectenic Force” features a string of tragedies leading to an unwonted conclusion. Tobin Grace (not Topher Grace) inadvertently gives a blob access to a secondary reality. “Grace hadn’t doomed the world,” says the author. “He had damned it.”
And finally, “This Is How It Ends” is an apocalyptic downer with a kooky ending. The world is destroyed in 11 pages—only the rancid stench of death and the sweet aroma of gelatin desserts remained.
The collection concludes with another excellent story by Johnson. Unfortunately, readers have to suffer through a handful of wince-worthy efforts before getting to it—in particular “Nu-Goo!” and “The Ooze King of the Planet Xanorior.” Both are desperately in need of a line edit, and it makes me wonder what type of services the book’s two editors provided—if anything.
I agree with Kevin Candela when he says the blob mirrors our “formless and incomprehensible origins in the cosmos.” Blob mania may have ended 50 years ago, but I suspect it’s ready for a big amorphous comeback. Like the tagline from the original movie says: “Nothing can stop it!”
[Beware the Blobs! / Edited by Raymond Johnson and Roma Gray / First Printing: May 2021 / ISBN: 9798512454275]