Movies that are slightly off.
Are you eating it... or is it eating you?
Weird yummy goo erupts from the earth and is discovered by a couple of miners. They taste it and decide to market it because it tastes so good. The American public literally eats up the new dessert sensation now known as the Stuff but, unfortunately, it takes over the brains of those who eat it, turning them into zombie-like creatures. It is up to ex-FBI agent David Rutherford and a kid named Jason to stop the spread of the mind-devouring dessert.
Perhaps the quintessential Reagan-Era horror satire, The Stuff offers a Capitalist Realist reimagining of 1950's Sci-Fi Horrors of being absorbed and controlled, primarily The Blob and Invasion Of The Body Snatchers, realizing however, that corporate control of the food supply and the manufactured desire for its consumption offer an American Totalitarianism just as pernicious as any prior iteration. That this New Wave of Capitalist Totalitarianism may be set at war with the Older Forms of Paranoid Militarism is one of this film's many keen insights. Michael Moriarty has never been as winning as he is in The Stuff, a joy to behold upon the screen. There is also not enough Garrett Morris, but what there is is totally awesome. My…
I had to knock off a star upon this re-watch of The Stuff for the obnoxious military angle/Paul Sorvino, mostly because those few scenes take me out of the cold, calculated and extremely '80s capitalist/corporate nightmare both in tone and pacing, every time. Paul Sorvino wasn't a good fit and when he tried to apply a hammy portrayal to his character, it overshadowed and diminished the perfect, subtle undertones supplied by Michael Moriarty, Garrett Morris and even Larry Cohen-regular, James Dixon.
This was probably my first time watching a blu-ray transfer/restoration of one of my classic, beloved horror films where I felt like maybe it's best left on DVD? While the special FX were always b-quality level (but endearing nonetheless), the cheapness is amplified on blu-ray, but, it remains charming and maybe it will only add character to a cult classic?
Either way, I love The Stuff and I L♥VE Larry Cohen!
Hoop-tober film #3
A hybrid government conspiracy/sci-fi film, Director Larry Cohen's The Stuff delivers most of the 'stuff' expected for a film of this kind. Action moves along at a decent pace, and the leads (Michael Moriarty, Scott Bloom, Andrea Marcovicci) provide adequate performances in this Body Snatchers/Night of the Creeps/The Blob hybrid. Paul Sorvino and Garret Morris, in supporting roles, help fill things in a bit and the practical effects and editing provide more value than expected. The film is a bit of a throw back that most of the director's champions would consider his last true hurrah. Long live Larry Cohen, and be careful with your yogurt.
Wine, Beer & Tequila pairings:
W: Boneshaker Zinfindel
B: Karbach Krunkin Pumpkin
T: Don Eduardo Silver
Michael Moriarty was drunk throughout?...right?
Larry Cohen's The Stuff possesses one of the greatest opening sequences ever captured on film - a miner quickly deciding to eat oozing soft-serve ice cream/yogurt straight from the ground, no second thoughts...nothing. I also love the fact that he is appalled by his co-workers thoughts that he's eating snow! It's not snow, it's shit oozing from the ground! Don't be so silly...snow! Then straight to the idea of selling the stuff.
Damn! Moriarty hasn't even been introduced yet! Then when he is, he says a bunch of bad-ass shit on a boat and punches a guy in the face, really for no reason other than he's Michael Moriarty and this is his fucking film!…
No one is as dumb as I appear to be.
I'm a little disappointed after watching The Stuff because I was expecting to enjoy a horrible film and instead ended up watching a movie that is by all means better then it has any right to be. It's as if despite Larry Cohen's efforts to make a B grade horror film, it ends up being great anyways. Did he even know that he crafted an incredibly funny horror film that satires 80s consumerism to perfection?
As technically inept as it is wildly imaginative, and utterly unpredictable. Features Michael Moriarty with Pat Sajak hair and an inexplicable Southern accent, Paul Sorvino as a horny, racist, batshit retired Army Colonel, and more mind-altering white material than a Bruckheimer-bankrolled coke party at Tone Lōc's beach house in 1989 - it's definitely a Larry Cohen movie. Not his best work, hobbled as it often is by obvious budgetary issues, but thrillingly alive as anything else in the man's exceedingly loony filmography. My only real disappointment is that, despite his magnetically slimy performance in Special Effects, Eric Bogosian has been downgraded here to cameo duty as a grocery store stockboy. Although, five years later Moriarty would be tethered to the…
Funny, more than scary (it's not really scary at all) with a brilliant oddball performance from Michael Moriarty, this is an well made, daft satire much like They Live, but played for laughs.
I'll say this about The Stuff: I didn't know going in that this was a satire. Even when I was watching the movie it didn't occur to me. Looking back, it makes sense now that some old man would dip his hand in some foreign gunk, then immediately shove his hand into his mouth.
Mmmm, that tastes really good!
That's consumerism. That's me when I see a new flavor of junk food in the store, or an energy drink I haven't tried yet.
To answer the million dollar question: yes, it's eating me.
Well, everybody has to eat shaving cream once in a while.
There wasn't enough of chocolate chip Charlie for my liking.
Equal parts homage to the Red Scare classics like The Blob and Invasion of the Body Snatchers and a punching-up satire about the cooperate greed that controls the food industry and by extent public health. Make no mistake, this isn't a film like Tremors which transcends its B-movie premise with a pitch-perfect script and top drawer chemistry, this is a B-movie through and through - and a damn good one at that.
Goofy (is this even horror?) movie with some fun effects and blunt commentary on consumerism and marketing. Extraordinarily silly, the sequence of events in the second half of the film is particularly ridiculous, but entertaining in the same way sci-fi films from the fifties might have been.
Part 1 of an "Evil Corporation" double bill.
(Viewing Format: 2016 Blu-ray, 1.78:1 HD)
Can't get enough! Love Larry Cohen and his sleazy low-budget filmmaking. This one features smaller roles from Danny Aiello, Paul Sorvino and Garrett Morris - along with some "It's Alive" alums.
Like a mixture of "They Live", "Invasion of the body snatchers" and an 80s Cronenberg movie (without the weirdness) this is a mildly satirical farce about the dangers of "The Stuff". Quite uneven (some setpieces are great, but in some scenes the framing seems totally off, also the acting is all over the place). But overall thoroughly enjoyable and funny.
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