#11 – Countdown to Halloween: THE STUFF

The Stuff is a wonderful B-movie-esque film. It was directed by Larry Cohen – who wrote and/or directed such films as Q: the Winged Serpent, Maniac Cop and the It’s Alive films – and stars Michael Moriarty (Troll).

It is about a strange white substance that some miners find bubbling from the ground. It tastes delicious and is subsequently marketed as a dessert, like ice cream. But it isn’t. It’s a living thing that takes over the minds of those that eat it, making then addicted to it, until it controls them completely – zombie like.

Moriarty plays David ‘Mo’ Rutherford, a corporate spy – who used to be in the F.B.I. until he was kicked out. He is hired by the ice cream industry to find out all about this new dessert and the company behind it. When he finds out the truth he sets out to stop The Stuff at all costs.

He is helped in his quest by Nicole (Andrea Marcovicci) – the woman who came up with the marketing campaign, adverts and even the name for The Stuff – and Jason (Scott Bloom) – a young boy who realises that The Stuff is evil early on, but loses his family to it.

The Stuff, in simple terms, is ‘Invasion of The Bodysnatchers’ mixed with ‘The Blob’. It does have an anti-big-corporation undertone and definite anti-drugs leanings.

This is a ridiculous but enjoyable film. It’s plot has quite a few holes and there are some far-fetched narrative leaps, but then this is so bonkers it hardly matters.

The acting, although a little shaky and hammy at times, is of a reasonable standard, especially for a film of this ilk. Moriarty is also well cast as the laid back hero.

There some decent special effects too. The Stuff is well realized. The scene in the motel is especially good. As is Chocolate Chip Charlie’s demise, who is played by none other than original SNL cast member Garrett Morris. The film also features mob movie staples Paul Sorvino (Goodfellas) and Danny Aiello (Leon). All three actors appear in the 2nd trailer below…

I would happily recommend this film to anybody who likes cheesy horrors or old 50’s B-movies.  3/5 Great Pumpkins.

For more of the Countdown – Click it here!

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