Oh, The Horror: 'The Stuff'
Scary Movie Reviews — Spoiler Alert!
I have a passion for horror movies. I’ve had this passion since my teenage years, around the time Cujo was in the theaters and my mom took me to see it. Been hooked since. I watch horror movies in the daytime, alone at night, all year round. And I just rewatched The Stuff, in order to introduce it to my boyfriend who’d never seen it. He was left fairly unimpressed, but I enjoyed it once again. Dale’s not always an easy one to impress, although he did enjoy the original The Evil Dead last week when I introduced him to that one.
So, what is 'The Stuff'?
It’s a movie about some weird stuff that bubbles up out of the ground. Some weird old guy feels compelled to taste it when he finds it. Who tastes random things they find bubbling from the ground? That seems pretty dumb and farfetched to me, but I digress. This guy tastes the white stuff, which isn’t snow, and he thinks it's delicious. He somehow convinces another guy to try it, and all of a sudden we’re watching commercials about how you just can’t get enough of The Stuff. It's in everyone's kitchen, and even restaurants are serving it.
Once The Stuff is on the market, there are skeptics out there that won’t eat it. One kid sees it move when he opens up the fridge to find a nighttime snack. But then his family tries to force him to eat it and he tricks them, although momentarily. The character played by Moriarty is off asking questions and looking into The Stuff after his own strange experiences and finds out that it makes people faster, crazier, and even seems to affect their pets.
Come to find out, the people that are eating The Stuff are being changed. They lose their skeletal structure, they don’t need to sleep, and then when the white goop is done with them it leaves their body, dead and empty.
With cast members like Michael Moriarty, Danny Aiello, Garrett Morris, Scott Bloom, and Brian Bloom, you can’t go wrong. The movie is a masterpiece from Larry Cohen.
Why did I LOVE this movie?
I’ve watched it three times now. I can’t remember now who suggested I watch it, even though the first time I saw it was within the last decade (the movie has been out since 1985 though). I’m not a gore fan, and the gore is pretty minimal in this one.
What I liked is that this movie is kind of a glimpse at what consumerism does to people. A new thing comes out on the market and we all chase after it until it consumes us, much like The Stuff ends up consuming the people that consume it. It’s a metaphor. I don’t know if that was the intention of the movie, or if they just thought that having a food you eat being evil was plot enough, but that’s what I got out of it.
The acting is good. There’s nothing really over-the-top when it comes to the characters, although it still sometimes has a little bit of a campy feel to it. It definitely deserves its place in the cult classics department.
There are some great lines in the movie. There are times when you’ll be sad that someone you like dies in the movie. There are killer dogs in the movie (well, one killer dog, anyway). People suffocate in piles of white goo in this movie. Romantic relationships happen quickly in this movie. And no one seems to care much about what happens to kids orphaned by The Stuff. That’s my rundown.
If you like horror films that will make you think the next time you take a bite of a popular snack food, watch this movie.