‘The Blob’ vs. ‘The Green Slime’ vs. ‘The Tingler’: Which Creature Feature Had the Catchiest Theme Song?
When it comes to creature features and other horror movies, you expect to hear scary music. But sometimes, you get a musical bonus in the form of a tune, often a title song, that may seem out of place at first given its whimsical, upbeat nature, but which ultimately adds to the enjoyment of the film.
That was the case with three classic monster movies from the 1950s and ’60s that feature my favorites from among such title tunes. Maybe you remember these, as well; you can give them a listen or a re-listen below and decide which one you might like best.
If you’re hard-pressed to pick a favorite, I understand. They are all bangers!
The Blob (1958)
The Blob, about to give the audience of a midnight “Spook Show” a real scare
Steve McQueen (billed as Steven McQueen) was in his late 20s when he played a teenager in the famous sci-fi/horror flick The Blob, one of the future star’s earlier roles. The title creature is a gelatinous and carnivorous amoeba-like creature that, after arriving on Earth via a meteorite, begins to envelop everything in its path as it grows ever larger.
Naturally, people should stay away from such a thing. Helping drive this point home is the movie’s bouncy opening title song, cowritten by Burt Bacharach, which boasts lyrics that, while admittedly being quite repetitive, do accurately convey the various reasons why you should “beware of the blob.”
The song is performed by a group called The Five Blobs, who to the best of my knowledge were only assembled for this tune and did not record any more Blob-related music afterward (not even for the Larry Hagman-directed 1972 sequel, Beware! The Blob).
The Green Slime (1968)
Kinda looks like The Green Slime are already here!
For this next theme song, we jump ahead to the psychedelic late ’60s and a title tune performed by surf music pioneer Richard Delvy for The Green Slime, a very weird Japanese/American co-production led by American actors Richard Jaeckel and Robert Horton, and Italian actress Luciana Paluzzi (familiar to fans of James Bond films as SPECTRE assassin Fiona Volpe in 1965’s Thunderball).
The song is as wild as the movie for which it was written. But it almost immediately becomes an earworm that can swarm your mind as quickly and thoroughly as the green slime invade Space Station Gamma 3.
The Tingler (1959)
Daryl Hickman, Patricia Cutts and Vincent Price looking up in dread at The Tingler
Okay, I cheated a little with this last song, which I only recently discovered, as I don’t believe that it was ever used as an official theme to William Castle’s The Tingler, led by Vincent Price.
Based on the label on the 78 RPM record played in the video below, “The Tingler” was played in the lobbies of movie theaters to help promote the film. I wouldn’t doubt that this was another gimmick dreamt up by the ever-creative Castle — along with wiring seats in certain theaters to vibrate when the Tingler appeared onscreen — to create buzz for his production.
Price’s inimitable voice is heard near the start of the record, using a bit of reverse psychology as he warns listeners that if they don’t like to be frightened, they should stay away from The Tingler.
He is heard again at the end of the bouncy, yet kind of ominous, tune, with another warning that “only the brave should enter this theater.” Who could resist such a challenge from the horror master? Would you want Vincent Price thinking you were too chicken to see his movie?
Each evening will feature a variety of horror films/thrillers divided into two themes, ranging from 'Women in Horror' and ''70s Horror' to 'Terror's on the Phone,' 'Vincent Price' and more.