I have decided during this pandemic stay at home time to watch movies… big surprise! With that being said I decided to watch older movies that I either loved as a kid or hidden gems that I am just now discovering.
I am going to be calling this series of articles Rewind Reviews. I am starting with movies from the 1980s. First up, Larry Cohen’s 1985
B horror film The Stuff.
This movie stars; Michael Moriarty of Law and Order fame as Mo ,
Andrea Marcovicci as Nicole,
Garrett Morris of SNL game,as Chocolate Chip (yes you read that right!)
and Scott Bloom as Jason (Scott’s real life older brother Brian also played as his … wait for it … older brother in the film. neither are very screen catching in their roles, except for their blue eyes. )
The Stuff was written and directed by Larry Cohen, known for his Its Alive movies. The Stuff is about a white whipped cream like substance that is found in a cave coming out of the ground. When it is discovered, the guys finding it decide to taste it. (Seriously who does that?). Apparently it is quite tasty.
So what do you do with a strange, tasty non tested non identifiable substance that comes up through the ground in a cave in the middle of no where? Why it’s America so you package it and sell it to the masses of course! The Stuff quickly becomes the next taste BIG sensation and begins to sell out all over the country. People are forgoing all other foods except for The Stuff.
Almost everyone loves it! And anyone who eats enough of it will tell you “Enough is Never Enough.” (Which is also the slogan for all The Stuff advertising throughout the movie. The problem with the stuff .. It’s alive (see a theme from Cohen here?). It is malignant and turns the consumers into a host that will do it’s bidding.
So who will figure out what The Stuff is, what it’s doing to the population of the world, how to stop The Stuff from turning every living person into a goo filled transportation device to allow the whipped cream to take over the world? A kid, an ex FBI agent, an advertising agent who made The Stuff commercials, a cookie mogul, and a militia general who owns a radio station. Yep that seems about right.
I actually remember this film from when I was a kid. And I remember loving it! Now as an adult I decided to give it a rewatch to see how it stood up after 30+ years.
What I liked: The smart satire on consumerism with horror and comedic notes. It isn’t quite a horror movie and it isn’t quite a comedy. Although it has tones of both. Michael Moriarty gives a decent comedic performance which is best when he is on camera with SNL alumni Garrett Morris who portrays Chocolate Chip the cookie mogul. can I just say I love that his name is Chocolate Chip! Seriously such a cheesy wonderful little addition!
The film could also be considered a conspiracy thriller of sorts. And who doesn’t love a conspiracy thriller horror comedy with 80s B special effects?
I know this girl does!
Also I love the commercials for The Stuff within the movie. They are beautiful cheesy gems that feature every 80s stereotype you can imagine. But the beauty of it is that it was made in the 80s!!
What I didn’t like: I don’t know if this was done intentionally or if it is just strange editing but the plot and even some scenes have a abruptness to them. The start and stop gets mangled into a sometimes confusing and very distracting way. The movie’s timeline gets a bit lost because of this.
Scott Bloom as Jason is not a good actor in this role. Even with his costars trying to pick up the slack. His scenes all seem very forced.
The love story is strangely placed and even awkward at times. However, Nicole and Mo’s chemistry is so far fast forwarded that it is distracting from the rest of the story. I do understand the draw of a romance, and God knows they couldn’t have had it just be Scott Bloom and Michael Moriarty. Bloom could not have carried this movie at the time even with the acting chops of Michael Moriarty supporting him. So having someone else to work opposite Moriarty made sense. I would have preferred to have it be a buddy show with Moriarty and Morris, with the kid and Nicole the advertising agent as a side character to drive the story.
All in all I enjoyed this movie for the absurdities and the TOTALLY 80s feel. It is a fun watch.
Well thanks for reading this GeekyGirlNess review. I will be bringing you more soon. And be sure to stay tuned to our FB and YouTube channel as Larry and I will be doing videos weekly. Until next time Bee kind and Bee safe!