Aka – In-Natural
Ah “The Stuff”. I’ve tried to watch this movie a few times, and probably succeeded at one point. “Scream” used to SEEMINGLY play this movie, but it was never actually what the guide said it was. I’m not sure what movie it was, but it sure as hell wasn’t a movie about an alien snack-treat. Sadly.
As mentioned, “The Stuff” is about a bubbly white goo that some guy finds on the ground and puts in his mouth for some reason. It turns out to be delicious (and addictive) and quickly becomes a hit dessert craze, even outselling ice cream ! In retaliation, the Ice Cream conglomerates hire an industrial saboteur to find out the secret behind The Stuff, and to destroy it !
This is a pretty awesome movie backed by an intriguing (and not completely out of the question) story. It has a bit of a “Soylent Green” angle to it, and also reminded me of the Futurama episode where McNugget-like baby aliens become a fast food craze (http://youtu.be/GOAS-g5EXUo). It also has a bit of a Blob aspect to it, another excellent Horrorthon entry !
The cast is mostly great, especially Michael Moriarty as former FBI agent turned Saboteur David “Mo” Rutherford (because he always wants “Mo” money. Seriously). Also a big fan of his quasi sidekick (and junk food mogul) Charles “Chocolate Chip Charlie” Hobbs, played by Garrett Morris (SNL, Martin, 2 Broke Girls). This role was originally supposed to go to Arsenio Hall, but the producers wanted a bigger name. Also Danny Aiello is in it. So there’s that.
While not strictly a horror film, “The Stuff” has its fair share of gross out effects. Interestingly, the same room used in this film was also used in the original “Nightmare on Elm Street” to suck in and blast Johnny Depps’ blood everywhere (http://youtu.be/2-frM2Lf8KE). Gotta get your money’s worth out of those revolving rooms I guess.
“The Stuff” was written and directed by genre darling Larry Cohen (It’s Alive trilogy, Maniac Cop trilogy, Q, Salem’s Lot 2, Uncle Sam, Phone Booth, etc). While he’s definitely hit and miss, I really enjoyed the tone of “The Stuff”. It’s knock on consumerism reminded me of George A. Romero, another hit and miss genre darling actually.
All in all, “The Stuff” is an underrated 80’s gem. It’s got dark comedy, imaginative effects, catchy jingles and a (quasi) believable plot (for a movie like this). It also has a plethora of great posters and (when originally released) a giant cardboard standee of a tub of “The Stuff”.
This movie is one tasty treat that you won’t mind sinking your teeth into ! Maybe wait till’ after dessert though …