John Ary's Aint It Scary Reviews #25 Of 31!! THE STUFF!!
John Ary here with another installment of Ain’t It Scary Reviews. Today, consumers can’t eat enough of a strange white substance that spews from the earth.
Don’t eat goo that comes from the ground. That’s just one lesson I learned while watching The Stuff. This movie will not only conjure up nostalgia for 80’s pop culture with its hot pink corporate logos, Madonna-inspired theme songs, and Return of the Jedi sheets, but it also pays homage to classic sci-fi b-movies of the 1950’s like The Blob and Invasion of the Body Snatchers.
When a delicious white substance starts bubbling up from the ground, a corporation quickly packages and sells it to the public. People can’t get enough of the stuff. It’s everywhere. Michael Moriarty charismatically plays a sleazy private investigator, assigned by the ice cream industry to find out what’s in this white goo. His investigation leads him to the grizzly discovery that people don’t consume the stuff... the stuff consumes people.
Everything about The Stuff is goofy, from Garrett Morris playing a martial artist/fallen cookie barren named Chocolate Chip Charlie, to the old-school special effects, to the advertising campaign for this addictive creamy substance. You could describe the film as schlocky or dumb, but there’s no denying how much fun it is to watch. Writer and director Larry Cohen uses b-grade horror to discuss issues like drug addiction, consumerism, and corporate greed. These themes seem about as subtle as Michael Moriarty’s terrible southern accent. Also like Moriarty’s performance, with a wink and a nudge throughout, The Stuff overflows with charm. All of the actors, and there are some really good ones that show up like Danny Aiello, Paul Sorvino, Abe Vigoda and Eric Bogosion, do their best to give strong performances while sharing scenes with evil dogs, rampaging children and yogurt.
I’m surprised there isn’t a bigger contingent of The Stuff fanatics out there. It’s a faithful homage to the b-movies of the 50’s with something to say about the culture of the time. Sure it’s hokey, but it has a lot of heart. Be careful though, because once you start watching, you may find it difficult to stop.
The Stuff is streaming on Netflix. It’s also available on DVD here.
Check back in tomorrow for another Ain’t It Scary Review as we follow a scientific expedition that is stalked in the water by a prehistoric humanoid.
Here’s a look back at the Ain’t It Scary Review installments that you might have missed:
The Ground Rules to the Project
#1 Son of Frankenstein
#2 Scream, Blacula, Scream!
#3 Black Sabbath
#5 Behind the Mask: The Rise of Leslie Vernon
#6 Invisible Invaders
#7 The Mummy’s Curse
#8 Lord of Illusions
#9 Night of the Demons
#10 Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde
#11 The House of the Devil
#12 Dr. Phibes Rises Again!
#14 The Catman of Paris
#17 Werewolf of London
#18 Tales from the Hood
#19 The Keep
#20 The Lodger: A Story of the London Fog
#22 Night of the Living Dead
#23 Pit and the Pendulum
#24 Tucker and Dale vs Evil
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Oct. 25, 2012, 10:37 a.m. CST
Oct. 25, 2012, 10:49 a.m. CST
Turned me off of eating Marshmallow for about a day.....maybe a day and a half.... Just saying'
Oct. 25, 2012, 11:12 a.m. CST
I caught this when I was aged about 7 or 8. After a long trip to visit the grandparents, arriving late at night, I left the adults talking in the living room and snuck into the next room to watch TV by myself. This was on, and I was hooked from the start. Gave me nightmares for months!! After a fairly long search, I tracked it down on DVD a couple of years back, and now love re-watching it every so often. Yes, it's cheesy as hell, but viewed alongside similar genre films like Toxic Avenger, it still holds it's own.
Oct. 25, 2012, 11:16 a.m. CST
by The Shropshire Slasher
I know I'D taste it!
Oct. 25, 2012, 11:32 a.m. CST
But I still eat Strawberry fluff.
Oct. 25, 2012, 11:41 a.m. CST
Oct. 25, 2012, 12:04 p.m. CST
Funny though, with Activia yogurt, et all, and people's obsession with eating foods to help your body do its natural functions..this movie is as timely as ever.
Oct. 25, 2012, 12:13 p.m. CST
by Jack Desmondi
I've like some of Larry Cohen's stuff, most notably It's Alive. But "The Stuff" is a painfully boring, slow moving and overly derivative "Invasion of the Body Snatcher's" rip-off. Not even worth a rental.
Oct. 25, 2012, 12:21 p.m. CST
Wow I had completely forgot about this one! I remember catching it one night in the late eighties and really enjoying it. I may check this out again after this reminder.
by Bradly Durant
Oct. 25, 2012, 1:55 p.m. CST
Oct. 25, 2012, 2:38 p.m. CST
Well, that'd be HALF a great double-feature, anyway. The Stuff is pretty weak sauce...
Oct. 25, 2012, 3:22 p.m. CST
I could watch her all day.
Oct. 25, 2012, 3:51 p.m. CST
by lucky slevin
Oct. 25, 2012, 4:42 p.m. CST
I can't get enough of The Stuff!
Oct. 25, 2012, 6:10 p.m. CST
THE STUFF was one of the most mis-marketed movies I can remember. The ads played it like a horror film. There was no way to not get let down after expecting scary and getting funny.
Oct. 26, 2012, 11:52 a.m. CST
Your reviews are getting better. You're appreciating this films rather than apologizing for them. Good work.
Oct. 26, 2012, 11:53 a.m. CST
Also these films.
Oct. 26, 2012, 7:44 p.m. CST
by Longtime Lurker
I have to say I think Hull Barrett was a step up from this "stuff." (Heheheh.) :)
Oct. 28, 2012, 5:30 a.m. CST
Can't get enough of that wonderful Duff/Stuff.
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