Director: Larry Cohen
Starring: Michael Moriarty, Andrea Marcovicci, Garrett Morris, Paul Sorvino, Scott Bloom
Are you eating it… or is it eating you?
Everybody in the US is craving for the new ice cream like product called The Stuff. It has no calories, will feed your hunger and tastes like candy. There is no reason to consume anything else when you got cartons of The Stuff around in your house.
Since everyone now is buying The Stuff and not other tasty treats such as ice cream, the companies of the failing products hire a former FBI agent named David “Mo” Rutherford to find out what The Stuff is made of, but the secret of the stuff is not only something worth killing for… it is also something that might destroy society as we know it.
The Stuff was one of those movies that I always thought highly of after watching it as a kid, but never bothered to revisit. A movie about killer yoghurt is silly and the fear of it being a disappointing watch as an adult has always kept me away from it, until now. Truth to be told, this is after all a Larry Cohen movie and not some random 80’s cheesy and silly b-movie.
The film works just as well today as it did back in ’85 and the story still feels very relevant. All the different type of food trends that come and go (anyone remember the “Superfood” powder from a few years back?) and people will always be happy to jump on the hype wagon. It is an interesting premise to use in a horror film and it feels obvious that this was the intention with The Stuff, although I wish equal creativity had been used for the narration of the film.
Instead of focusing on young Jason, who is becoming an outcast within his own family for not wanting to eat The Stuff after seeing it move in his refrigerator, the film keeps more focus on Michael Moriarty as “Mo”. Although I do like to watch Moriarty as he is a competent actor, I do feel like there was some missed opportunity to create some suspense by rather focusing on the family of Jason instead.
While The Stuff isn’t as menacing as bigger favorite film of the 80’s for me called The Blob, it is a narly thought that stuff you eat can actually be alive and start to affect you, especially today with all the crap that is added to our food. Sadly, it isn’t funny enough or scary enough (it’s hardly any tension in it at all) to keep the viewers focus for the entire running time. There are times when you just hope to see more of The Stuff and hope to get some more information on what in the world this substance really is made of and where it did come from.
The Stuff is a fun 80’s film, but I don’t think new viewers will care that much for it today since they won’t have the nostalgic factor with it like I do. There’s not that many killing scenes and not enough time is focused on The Stuff itself or creating fear or action scenes, but it is still fun and not something you will get to see very often, killer yoghurt, who would ever have thought up that one right?