The film's opening could not be more atmospheric, showing darkly lit volcanic landscapes and spires and a man fleeing. The shapes of the Mayan-era volcanic masses compete easily with the vampiric Carpathians. It's like a much more intense reworking of the opening to "Kiss Me Deadly" (1955). A huge grotto accessed by a steep stone staircase weathered by age provides another stunning backdrop, in a remote way going back to sets in "Son of Frankenstein" (1939), a great sci-fi/horror movie with a relation to noir.
In the climax, the all-absorbing blob, a single-celled genetic throwback with a taffy-like interior and a glistening coat-like exterior, threatens the chief scientist's wife and child, subliminal symbols of the nation, justice, earth, fecundity and the future. Able to absorb bullets and tanks, it can only be destroyed by something mythically as elemental.