Friends often ask me to recommend indie horror films on Netflix Instant. (American Netflix, sorry!) Now I can just send…
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.
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!…
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…
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?
My favorite Larry Cohen movie. Add some malevolent ice cream (Invasion of the Body Snatchers-style), a dash Michael Moriarty with a southern accent, and mix it with pure 80's cheese. If that's not a great meal, I don't know what is.
Invasion of the blobby snackers.
The Stuff reminds me of an episode of the incomparable Quack Pack called Tasty Paste, where Huey, Dewey and Louie begin to sell an amazingly good and addicting paste that turns people ravenous. It's clever satire but I think the execution leaves a lot to be desired.
In what is sure to be the most brilliant opening sequence in a post-Hitchcock cinematic landscape, an old man is wandering around in a construction site or landfill somewhere when he discovers a big puddle of white goo. He does precisely what any one of us would - he tastes it, and of course it tastes delicious. Not a minute has passed before he realizes "hey, this can…
"No one is as dumb as I appear to be."
I get that this was low budget and while it did have some cool scenes of "the stuff" blobbing around and someone's face getting punched off, it was far too slow, boring, and full of weird nonsense to wade through even with it having an 87 min run time.
More like "The Shit."
What the fuck was this? This was one of the strangest movies I've seen in some time. The editing was horrendous, the dialogue atrocious, and it had one of the blandest leading actors I've ever seen for a medium budget film. But I will say that "The Stuff" commercials were actually pretty sweet.
First of all, why did that willingly bring that kid along when they knew there was going to be a gun fight? Second, why is there a large, armed militia just hanging out? And how did that man own multiple radio stations??
Well, the special effects were sometimes kind of sweet, and mostly awful. Heads sometimes explode for no reason.
I wanted to like it, but I just couldn't. I'll show this film where to stuff it!
I'm gonna go ahead and just assume that this was a biting satire of health food culture in the 1980's (frozen yogurt was once considered health food and diet coke, once aspartame was essentially green lighted through the FDA, was marketed as a weight loss drink) because that will help excuse the comically crummy acting and editing that seemed to have no sense of time continuity. The actual stuff in The Stuff was marvelous looking though, the movement and action of it was an absolute beauty. The pacing was definitely hills and valley, when it was running full steam it was a marvel, but when it wasn't I couldn't help but feel it.
This was like an 1980s version of the Blob except these people were stupid enough to eat it. I really enjoyed this (but I enjoy most 80s horror films). It had some gore, but it could have had a lot more. Plus it had the underlying message that capitalism was evil, so that was pretty cool.
Well, I guess if I learned one thing from this movie it's to not eat shit that you just fucking find bubbling up out of the ground.
I feel like if The Stuff had a bit more of a budget, it would have benefitted from it greatly. The few scenes with heavy effects are pretty fantastic, but there is quite a few stretches of nothing really happening. Also, what exactly is going on with the 'Stuffies'? For some of the film it seems like they're hive minded, then they sort of throw that idea out after one botched murder attempt. It's best not to think too much when watching The Stuff. The grocery store destruction scene alone makes this film worth a watch. Plus, those ads!
One of the best bad movies ever.
The screencaps on Netflix kinda spoiled it, but the 'spoiler' pic is also the one that convinced me to watch the film. It looks like they took that cap down.
The Stuff. It's delicious. It's addictive. It's...deadly? It's a neat idea for a horror movie, but there's a raggedness to it that keeps the premise from reaching any potential. (Of all the 70s and 80s horror movies that have been remade, it's puzzling that no one thought to even attempt another crack at this.) It's no Invasion of the Body Snatchers, but it's strangely watchable, from its hot-and-cold visual effects to its off-kilter sense of humor. Best of all is Michael Moriarty's amusing performance as industrial saboteur 'Mo' Rutherford.
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***EDIT (March 30, 2014)***
Wow! I never would have expected that I'd get anywhere close to 100 likes on this…
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- The Stuff
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- The Texas Chain Saw Massacre
I would like to do 31 horror films in October, but that doesn't seem possible at the moment so I…