Tuesday, 13 October 2009

The Stuff

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Writer/Dir: Larry Cohen (It's Alive, Deadly Illusion)
Cast: Michael Moriarty, Andrea Marcovicci, Scott Bloom, Paul Sorvino, Garrett Morris, Danny Aiello
USA, 1985

Originally Seen: I think this was another one from a Halloween Night circa mid-to-late 80's
Revisited: October 12, 2009 on DVD

Reason to see: Revisiting it for It Used to Scare Me Tuesdays

All I really remembered about The Stuff was that it was about food that was evil and possibly living. And that it scared me. Oh, that was so many years ago.

Revisiting the film now was a whole lot of fun. After buying the DVD I noticed some very familiar names on the cover: Michael Moriarty and Paul Sorvino of "Law and Order"? Are you kidding me? Add to that Danny Aiello? How on Earth did it take me over 20 years to give this one another go?

There is nothing like a horror film that is based on the evils of a food product. There are some funny nods to the food industry here and there and it plays beautifully into the marketing in the 80's right down to The Stuff commercials within the film that had people dancing with short shorts over grey track pants on in oh so very 80s swim wear. It's amazing how they worked in not only the jazzercise vibe but 80s excess as well!

Let's get to the peeps involved in the battle against The Stuff. First off, Michael Moriarty is amazing as David 'Mo' Rutherford, an industrial saboteur who is looking for answers on this product that has swept the nation. He plays a bit of a cad, which was awesome and worked a Southern accent that varied from time to time, presumidably due to him taking on different idenities. Or not. Either way, it worked and he had some of the best lines in the film. We have other skeptics as well such as the kid Jason played by Scott Bloom and scorned confectionary man Charlie Chocolate Chip Hobbs played by Garrett Morris. Oh my. Let's just say that name again. Charlie Chocolate Chip Hobbs. The interplay between Garrett Morris and Michael Moriatry was fantastic and hilarious. Andrea Marcovicci plays the Nicole, the promoter of The Stuff and she has some really great scenes with Michael Moriarty.

Normally I'd be unimpressed with the conveniences that push the plot forward pretty easily, but if there is the quotable goodness of things like "They are all Stuffies!" and the terror that is The Stuff, self-moving white edible goo I'm happy to let it slide. How will they battle the goo? Well, you will have to watch the film to find out but I'll say this - I was impressed by the majority of the effects. The effect of 'The Stuff' itself was great, I wonder what they hell they used because it looks something between yogurt and cream but more foamy.

But, was it scary? Truthfully, no - not really. I think what got me the first time round was the effect of The Stuff on people and the idea of The Stuff. For the non-stuff effects, I can see the practical effects quite clearly and they are pretty good but the scare factor isn't so high. They do get the gruesome spot on quite a few times. Overall, it was tons of fun, highly quotable and I already look forward to watching it again.

Shannon's Overall View:
I really enjoyed it
I'll watch it again
I'd recommend it to fans of 80s horror

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© Shannon Ridler, 2009

2 comments:

Francisco Gonzalez said...

I just posted a review on this film a couple of days ago on my blog (check it out if you want). The Stuff is so silly and so eighties. The make up effects were amusing though! Those zombies freaked me out when they would open up their mouth to vomit stuff all over you.

But like you, its the idea behind "The Stuff" that gets to me. The idea of something turning people into drones is scary.

Jay Clarke said...

Chocolate Chip Charlie FTW!

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