You know about the original The Blob, the classic film from 1958 that we keep blogging about. And you probably know about the 1988 remake The Blob, in which the alien jelly is not an alien jelly but a US experiment gone horribly wrong.
But what about…The Blob That Ate Everyone?!
That’s the title of the fifty-fifth Goosebumps book by R.L. Stine, published in 1997. Stine’s Blob and the Blob do have some cosmetic differences. As you can see in the original cover artwork by Tim Jacobus, the Goosebumps Blob is not just shapeless jelly. It’s a more congealed critter which “looks like a giant human heart…pink and wet. And throbbing.” It’s got giant veins on its head, “tiny black eyes” and a huge mouth with a “fat purple tongue” which “made a wet SPLAT as it hit the grass.”
As that eager hungry tongue and the title indicate, though, there are some similarities from Blob to Blob. Jelly or heart, they want to EAT EVERYTHING.
Another major similarity? Both Blobs are meta-Blobs.
Probably the most famous moment from the original Blob is the scene where the monster attacks a movie theater while the patrons are watching a horror film. The filmgoers onscreen and the filmgoers offscreen both recoil in panic from the same monster. The Blob is oozing out of the projection room to get you…and it’s oozing out of the projection room to get you.
The Blob That Ate Everyone is even more intensely self-referential. The protagonist of the story is Zackie Beauchamp, a kid who wants to be a horror writer. He comes up with a scary story about the Blob monster eating everyone in town. It especially goes after the mean kid who puts mice in his locker (Zackie is really afraid of mice. And the dark. And giant Blobs.)
One day Zackie finds an old typewriter. He starts writing his Blob story on it—and to his horror everything he writes comes true. When he writes about the Blob eating policemen, the Blob eats some policemen. When he writes about the Blob following him home, it slithers and bounces after him, tongue sliding out slick with drool.
Eventually of course Zackie figures out how to un-imagine the monster away, as you’d expect. But then in a final, final twist, it turns out that the whole book is written not by Zackie, but by a literary green-skinned Blob monster, who calls the story, “Attack of the Humans.” At the request of its friend, a pink-skinned Blob monster, the green Blob changes the finale to a happy ending where all the humans get eaten.
So did we make up the Blob or did the Blob make up us? It’s like the philosopher who dreamed he was a butterfly, but with more tongues and gross fluids.
The fact that the Blob is so emphatically a story about the Blob seems like an intentional beady wink to the source material. Stine wrote dozens of Goosebump books, which feature mummies and genies and evil scarecrows and haunted masks. But The Blob That Ate Everyone is one of the few that directly references a particular film. It’s like Stine is saying, “I wish I’d written that frightening tale—so I will!”
As for who would beat who in Blob vs. Blob—it’s hard to say. Both Blobs seem to be well-nigh indestructible. Maybe they wouldn’t fight at all, given what we see of Blob-land, where the green writer Blob and the Blob that’s pink like the one in the movie seem to be best friends. Or maybe one would eat the other down with a slurp and a gulp. Probably it would depend on who wrote the story.