It feels harsh only giving one star here, but given the sheer number of good films out there and the fact that even though this is very entertaining, it really is quite rubbish, it seems only fair.
The Stuff was originally released in 1985, written and directed by Larry Cohen (Phone Booth, Cellular) and is quite refreshing in it’s approach.
When a security guard discovers a strange goop emanating from the ground, he does what any self respecting idiot would do and tastes it. Imagine his surprise (and mine) when it turns out to be not only delicious, sweet and tasty, but also low in calories and very moreish. The ideal product for the marketing people, i.e. Nicole (Andrea Marcovicci – The Hand, The Front).
However, as The Stuff is shipped out and delivered country wide on the back of a huge campaign, a rival company hires a specialist in industrial espionage, David ‘Mo’ Rutherford (Michael Moriarty – Pale Rider, Courage Under Fire) to begin to try to unearth it’s secrets. What he discovers is highly disturbing, The Stuff is not manufactured, it is harvested and it is more dangerous than anyone suspected.
Along with Jason (Scott Bloom – Smokin’ Aces, John Q.) a young boy who has seen The Stuff moving around in the fridge and taking his family over and with the help of Colonel Spears (Paul Sorvino – Romeo + Juliet, Goodfellas) they must try to stop an irresistible and lip smacking invasion of the good old United States of America.
Although the conversion doesn’t really do this many favours (it really highlights the super-imposing and they can’t seem to do anything at all with scenes shot in darkness), the special effects are actually good and some of them are pretty ingenious, like turning the room upside down to make The Stuff appear to be climbing the walls.
Don’t be fooled, this may be called a horror film, but there is nothing scary about it. However, it doesn’t really feel like there was meant to be. It is very of it’s era, horror films made in the eighties were more often than not wrapped in comedy and this is no exception.
Included in this Dual Format Release is a booklet and a new 52 minute documentary; Can’t Get Enough of The Stuff: Making Larry Cohen’s Classic Creature Feature.
A good popcorn film this, naff as you like, but so entertaining that it is probably worth buying anyway.
“I quite like the sight of blood, but that’s disgusting”
The Stuff is available to buy now on Dual Format DVD and Blu-ray.