Saturday, December 13, 2008

Oozing Charm

Let me explain this so you don’t think I’ve made a permanent sojourn into Bat Country. It all started with Sham AKA Dave’s excellent look back on the Little Brown Books. Amongst this week’s offerings, he ruminated upon the “clean-up crew” of the various oozes, slimes, puddings and jellies that plague the dungeon depths. While these beasties have no direct correlation to monsters of myth or literature, it was generally agreed that the 1958 film “The Blob” served as inspiration on some level.

This reminded me that I had watched that film again a few months ago thanks to its inclusion in my local library’s video collection. It was every bit as goofy and great as I remembered it to be, plus you can never, ever go wrong with Steve McQueen, so it turned out to be an enjoyable 86 minutes of my time. But the real pleasure was the film’s theme song. I had either completely forgotten it or never paid much attention the first time around, but on this go-around I thought that I could stop watching immediately after the opening credits and still be satisfied. At a game session a few weeks back, I tried to expand the horizons of my fellow gamers by singing a stirring rendition of the theme song, but my hazy memory of the lyrics – the single repeated stanza that it is – and lack of any natural talent failed to convey the greatness of the piece.

It has come up once or twice since that time, and I kept meaning to track it down to play for them, but I kept forgetting to find it. Now, thanks to a twisted train of thought that started at Sham’s intellectual train station, I’ve finally arrived with the goods. So if my DM is reading this, play the below video for Karis. Everyone else, I dare you to listen to this – composed by Burt Bacharach! – and not hear this in your head the next time you run into a black pudding or ochre jelly in a game.


Mike Mearls said...

I listened to the clip.

10 minutes later, I'm dancing to the tune in my head while cleaning the kitchen.

I hate you.

David Larkins said...

Oh. My. God.

I haven't seen that movie since I was a kid, and far too callow to appreciate such awesomeness. Thanks for bringing it back to my attention!

That's a great theme song not just for encounters with oozes, but dungeon crawling in general. In fact, now that I think about it, "elevator music" might just be the best mood music for descending into the depths. I am completely serious about this.

(I'll be sure to forward all hate mail from my players on to you if I end up implementing this mad scheme.)

Anonymous said...

That is just too happy a tune for creature that dissolves the flesh from your bones!

I don't recall much of the original movie, but was it campy and made humorous on purpose? That song is just too upbeat for a serious sci-fi horror movie.

Sham aka Dave said...

Great find. I haven't seen The Blob in ages. Thanks for sharing the awesomeness of Burt Bacharach. And yeah, I'll be humming this one all night.

Michael S/Chgowiz said...

Just because your post would not be complete without lyrics...

Beware of The Blob, it creeps
And leaps and glides and slides
Across the floor
Right through the door
And all around the wall
A splotch, a blotch
Be careful of The Blob


Michael Curtis said...

After getting a chance to play this for the gaming group and seeing the responses to it here, I'm beginning to suspect that the filmakers had some clue as to what they were doing by using this as the theme.

The song is simply infectious. It just creeps up and grows on you, much like the central character of the movie - Mr. Blob, not Mr. McQueen, that is.

The initial response was that it was simply out of place for a sci-fi horror movie, but as the song went on, the grins just started growing and hips began to sway. By the second play-though, people were just shaking with laughter. And yes, it did keep creeping back into the head during the game session. Luckily we were dealing with a mausoleum full of undead and not oozes and jellies. I don't know what we would have done in that case.

@sirlarkins: You idea of using elevator music in the dungeon intriques me and I would like to learn more. Please keep me posted if you impliment this.

@Chgowiz: Thanks! I meant to try and find the lyrics, but since it took me months just to getting around to tracking down the theme song, that might never have been done.

Anonymous said...

My boss has accurately tagged it as a cross between "Adams Family" theme and "Do You Know the Way to San Jose?".

If the moment arises please watch the "Blob Trailers" that YouTube recommends. The Son of Blog trailer is a polished gem.

David Larkins said...

It has been mulled over, it has been acted upon, it has been posted about.