Relationship between the Thing and the Blob
both the Blob and the Thing being the subjects of classic 1950s science fiction
films, and both films having high quality remakes produced in the 1980s, the
biology of both creatures are eerily similar.
The Thing, as Blair described in Carpenter’s 1981 film, absorbs the cells of
living organisms and assimilates them for its own use. The Blob also consumes
and assimilates the cells of its victim but lacks the Thing’s ability to shape
its cells for the purpose of imitating the life forms it has consumed. As we
never discover the Thing’s true form in the 1981 film it could be argued that
the Blob is the Thing’s original form. Perhaps the Blob is nothing more than
the Thing before the evolutionary steps allowing it to perfectly imitate its
could be argued that the reason the Thing requires so much time to imitate its
victim is because it is no longer the simple and under evolved eating machine
that is the Blob. Many theories fly amongst Thing fans as to how long it took
the Thing to imitate Norris, Palmer, and Blair. In the film’s original script
Blair theorized it probably takes over an hour for the Thing to finish
assimilating a human, but the Blob, except for when it is first emerging from
its meteorite, consumes flesh at an alarming rate of speed. Take the 1958
The Blob as an example. The old hobo the Blob attaches itself to takes
nearly an hour to die, but immediately after the Blob has finished with the hobo
it attacks a nurse who is completely consumed in only seconds. But the Blob can
also prolong the absorption process as seen when it attacks the projectionist at
the town movie theater in the 1988 remake.
Combine those facts with the way the Blob, in the 1988 film, is able to disguise
itself inside the skin of a teenage girl sitting in the front seat of a young
man’s car. It doesn’t attack until the young man’s arms are around the girl
when, without warning, pink and purple tentacles erupt from the girl’s body and
immobilize the young man and the Blob entire flows from her face and onto the
young man’s body.
Think also of the primary way humans are able to render the Thing and the Blob
helpless: they freeze them. In both the original films and the remakes extreme
cold plays an important role in the neutralization of the threat. Of course in
both versions of The Thing cold is what has preserved the Thing for
millennia and allowed poor unsuspecting humans to discover it; contrast that to
all versions of The Blob, including the piece of crap Larry Hagman film
Beware the Blob, where cold neutralizes the threat. In the 1981
version of The Thing the Blair-Thing is intelligent enough to realize
that it should freeze again so that it can be located and recovered by a rescue
team that would surely be sent to Outpost 31 once contact with the outpost was
unable to be established. In all films about the Blob our monster fears cold
and wishes to avoid it at all cost. Even the promise of warm flesh isn’t enough
to make the Blob risk cold, as seen when Steve and his girlfriend have locked
themselves inside of the grocery store’s meat locker in the 1958 film.
I pointed out earlier I think it is a logical deduction to say that the Blob is
merely a life form a few evolutionary steps from the being the Thing. As many
know from nature’s rules of evolution the simpler life form is the most likely
to survive any form of natural or unnatural disaster. By that I mean that the
Blob seems to be unstoppable except by freezing it and storing it in a location
where it is unable to thaw. The Thing, by contrast, can be stopped by freezing
it like the Blob, but fire also poses a distinct threat. Though there is no way
to be sure you’ve killed the Thing by burning it you can at least see that fire
is an effective deterrent where as the Blob is entirely unaffected by flame.
Another similarity between the Thing and the Blob is that if you separate a
small portion of the Blob from the whole it can survive on its own. This is the
same as the Thing whose body can be separated into pieces and the pieces
continue on their own. Once again I point to the Blob and Thing films of the
1980s. At the end of Blob ’88 an old and clearly insane priest has a
small piece of the Blob in a mason jar and he’s awaiting a “sign from God” to
unleash it upon the world. In Thing ’81 Norris’s head detaches itself
from Norris’s body, sprouts legs, and proceeds to leave its burning body behind.
Naturally the ways both monsters hunt are quite different. The Blob prefers to
move throughout the sewers and stick to dark and isolated places until large
enough the attack with impunity. The Thing hunts via camouflage, imitating the
life forms that surround it. It isn’t afraid to be seen in public or in busy
areas so long as it is in its assumed identity. Yet if the odds are stacked
against it the Thing will attack isolated targets.
course the most lethal threat from both the Thing and the Blob is the danger of
physical contact. If the Blob is able to make contact with the skin of a victim
you may as well call the poor schmuck’s life insurance provider and ask when the
check will arrive. The rule is similar with the Thing in that a single cell is
enough to assimilate an entire organism.
I hope I’ve effectively demonstrated the possible evolutionary
relationship between the Thing and the Blob.