***EDIT (March 30, 2014)***
Wow! I never would have expected that I'd get anywhere close to 100 likes on this…
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!…
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…
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…
"Everybody has to eat shaving cream once in a while"
Citizen Kane, step the fuck down.
Cohen takes a swing here at Invasion of the Body Snatchers, updating it with contemporary social relevance and plenty of chuckles, but far fewer scares. His can't-miss concept starts out so strongly that it's no surprise when it turns out that he doesn't really know how to end the film (two or three of the 5 endings offered are great, though). Really, one watches a Cohen movie to see the thinly veiled political subtext mutate and spin out of control as it butts heads with genre-imposed clichés, and on those grounds this one doesn't disappoint. The "and the people did believe us" epilogue is vaguely inspiring.
considering how much i love "q: the winged serpent", i'm surprised it's taken me this long to watch "the stuff" - but it's ace. a big, broad, teen friendly satirical horror film - it's in essence "quatermass 2" remade with yoghurt. not sure i enjoyed *quite* as much i liked "q" but then that's a hard film to surpass....
Larry Cohen does not mess around.
Not quite as violent when it came to the effects as I recalled it to be, I was sure there was more heads bursting open and The Stuff
forcing its way out of poor victims bodies... Actually this movie could be PG today so kind of put off by that... I really wanted it to be grosser. As said I recalled it to
But you know what, it's a Larry Cohen flick and I love Cohen's films. He's a much better writer than he usually is given credit for, and if you choose to look at The Stuff as a comment on government controlled drug, instead of jus a schlocky horror, then this one is awesome.
Also Michael Moriarity is hilariously slick, Danny Aiello has a small part, Andrea Marcovicci is pretty hot and the various effects used to show The Stuff's progress are fun.
A lot better than expected
I've read somewhere that American conservatives are often sceptical about Hollywood and Hollywood pays them back. This movie does not contains any mention of Ronald Reagan, that would be to easy, yet it obviously has the giggles of people facsinated by the corporate world.
"The Stuff" is the brand name of a rapidly growing food corporation that produces a tasty thing, smth like yogurt (quote of "Soylent Green", yes). Every person who ate a portion soon become brain damaged and a part-time zombie. The film ends up with a mock anti-commie paranoia.
Michael Moriarty's David "Moe" Rutherford: The hero we deserve against the monster we bought.
So bad it's good.
***EDIT (March 30, 2014)***
Friends often ask me to recommend indie horror films on Netflix Instant. (American Netflix, sorry!) Now I can just send…
Contains every horror film made that is not lost and is found on the letterboxd database.
If there is any…