Criterion released this film previously on laserdisc but it only had a couple of supplements: a trailer for this film and a trailer for the 1988 remake. The 1988 remake trailer didnít make it on here but they have added some new material.
There are two rather good audio commentaries on this disc. The first has producer Jack H. Harris and film historian Bruce Eder. The dominant member of the track is unfortunately Harris. Like almost all Criterion tracks they have been recorded separately and then edited together. Harris covers the history of the production and how it came to life, starting with his desire to make a horror film after seeing The Thing to the actual funding of it and his surprise of Paramount actually picking it up. Sometimes I found he droned on but it was still an informative bit.
Bruce Eder, whose contributions I always welcome to commentaries, only appears on the first track a few times, which I found very disappointing. It sounds as though he had listened to the other recordings first, because he is referring to the other commentary participants all throughout. For the most part he offers his own insight into the film but not much else, which I found fairly disappointing.
The second track features the director Irvin S. Yeaworth, Jr., or ďShortyĒ as he says he is nicknamed and also features actor Robert Fields, who plays Tony in the film. Yeaworth is the dominant one in the track and he offers some fairly interesting points as well (some of it repetitive from the other track) like the story how they came up with the title, which they wanted to sound just corny enough in the hopes comics or the press would make fun of it and end up unwittingly promoting it. I also found it interesting that the production company made religious films before this and this was the first endeavor in main stream films. Fields appears here and there and he actually spends his time commenting on working with Steve McQueen. Everyone else also mentions McQueen (either how great he was or what a pain he was, so I guess it depends on how you were dealing with him) but Fields focuses more on him, only once in a while commenting on himself, like his original distaste for the film.
A complaint I usually had with Criterionís group commentaries, specifically the one they did for their DVD of Sid & Nancy, was that there were too many people for the track and that I was sure good stuff got lost during the editing. Criterion was smart enough to spread all these comments over two commentary tracks so I feel we get most of the information. Each track, while not great, offers a lot of info and never has a dead spot.
Another extra is a section called "BLOB-abilia!" This section is a collection of stills showing some Blob collectibles. There are production photos, plus photos of the sets and models used for sequences involving the blob moving about. There is even a photo of collector Wes Shank with the blob model (which is the very last one). There are even posters, some original and a few for re-releases, either domestic or over-seas (I thought the one from Germany with a pumped up Steve McQueen was good for a laugh).
The other extras are basically standards. You get a rather campy theatrical trailer, which manages not to give away the whole film and then you get an insert featuring an essay by Bruce Kawin going over the details of the film in explicit detail, though you can't help but wonder if he's looking too deeply into. Judging from the commentary, the filmmakers weren't really trying to say much except teens are good and important as well as giving the audience a good scare.
Criterion has also stuck in a movie poster. I was hoping it would be a recreation of the original poster but it's actually just a blown up image of Criterion's cover art for this disc. I like the cover but I think it would have been better if it was a reprint of an original poster, which has been used as the insertís cover art.
There's still some things I would have liked to see on the disc, though, which is what mostly left me disappointed about this disc. There were obviously some scenes cut out (like an extended sequence of the doctor being devoured) and an inclusion, other than photos, would have been nice. As well, there wasn't really anything on this disc about the Blob song by Burt Bacharach. I'll be honest, I get a kick out of this song and I was hoping for something more on it, but at best itís only mentioned a few times in the commentary tracks.
But having said that both commentaries are great and offer a great deal of information about the filmís production. I wish we got more about other areas of the film (like that catchy song) and maybe more about its place in film history, a void Eder only fills briefly in his commentary, but what we do get is worth going through. 6/10