The Stuff – USA, 1985 – overview and reviews

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The Stuff
is a 1985 American science-fiction horror feature film written, produced, and directed by Larry Cohen (It’s AliveQ: The Winged Serpent; God Told Me To). The movie stars Michael Moriarty, Garrett Morris, Andrea Marcovicci, Paul Sorvino, Alexander Scourby. Danny Aiello and Patrick O’Neal make cameo appearances.

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Plot:

A man discovers a sticky white substance bubbling out of the ground. It is found to be sweet and addictive. Later, the substance is marketed as the Stuff and is sold to the general public in pint containers like ice cream. It is marketed as having no calories and as being sweet, creamy, and filling. The Stuff becomes a nationwide craze and drastically hurts the sales of ice cream.

The Stuff (1985)

A former FBI agent turned industrial saboteur, David “Mo” Rutherford (Moriarty), is hired by the leaders of the suffering ice cream industry, as well as junk food mogul Charles W. “Chocolate Chip Charlie” Hobbs (Garrett Morris), to find out exactly what the Stuff is and destroy it.

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His efforts reveal that the craze for the dessert is far deadlier and much more evil than anyone had believed – the Stuff is actually a living, parasitic, and possibly sentient organism, and it gradually takes over the brain, mutating those who eat it into bizarre zombie-like creatures before consuming them from the inside and leaving them empty shells of their former selves…

Reviews [click links to read more]:

“A cautionary tale for all those who enjoy consuming dessert products on a regular basis,The Stuff is a hokey horror farce that manages to skewer everything from mindless consumerism to cold war paranoia, and yet, still be a movie about homicidal yogurt not from outer space.” House of Self-Indulgence

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“Larry Cohen at his best! This director, whose work veers between the sublime (It’s Alive) and the utterly lame (A Return to Salem’s Lot), did a tremendous job with this kung fu-action-political-horror-comedy about a private eye looking for the ingredients of The Stuff, a pudding-like dessert that is taking America by storm.” eSplatter.com

“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.” Ain’t It Cool

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Buy: Amazon.co.uk | Amazon.com

” … a very fun, schlocky horror flick with gross-out special effects, because as you eat more of The Stuff it gradually takes over your body until it explodes out into a self-aware being. This film may actually be more relevant today than it was in the mid-1980s as awareness of fast food content becomes more widespread.” Paste magazine

The 2017 Arrow Video Blu-ray has the following special features:

  • New High Definition restoration of the film from a brand new 2K scan of the original camera negative
  • Original stereo 2.0 uncompressed PCM audio
  • Optional English SDH subtitles for the deaf and hard of hearing
  • Can’t Get Enough of The Stuff: Making Larry Cohen’s Classic Creature Feature – Documentary featuring Larry Cohen, producer Paul Kurta, actress Andrea Marcovicci, Steve Neill (mechanical makeup effects) and Kim Newman
  • Introduction and trailer commentary by director and The Stuff fan Darren Bousman (Saw II, Saw III)
  • Original Trailer
  • Reversible sleeve with original and newly commissioned artwork by Gary Pullin
  • Collector’s booklet featuring new writing on the film by Joel Harley illustrated with original stills and promotional materials

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the stuff larry cohen arrow video blu-ray

Buy UK Blu-ray: Amazon.co.uk

Cast and characters:

  • Michael Moriarty … David ‘Mo’ Rutherford
  • Andrea Marcovicci … Nicole
  • Garrett Morris … ‘Chocolate Chip’ Charlie W. Hobbs
  • Paul Sorvino … Colonel Malcolm Grommett Spears
  • Scott Bloom … Jason
  • Danny Aiello … Vickers
  • Patrick O’Neal … Fletcher
  • James Dixon … Postman
  • Alexander Scourby … Evans
  • Russell Nype … Richards
  • Gene O’Neill … Scientist
  • Catherine Schultz … Waitress
  • James Dukas … Gas Attendant
  • Peter Hock … Miner
  • Colette Blonigan … Jason’s Mother

Technical details:

  • 87 minutes | 93 minutes (Blu-ray Edition)
  • Sound: Mono
  • Technicolor
  • Aspect ratio: 1.85: 1

Trivia:

According to Larry Cohen, in some scenes in which the Stuff chases characters, a foam made of blended fish bones was used. It stank so much that, as soon as the shots were done, the actors ran to a river in order to bathe and get rid of the stench.

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One Comment on “The Stuff – USA, 1985 – overview and reviews”

  1. I like The Stuff in a weird sort of way – it has a similar subversive feel as They Live but on a cheaper scale more trashy level…..and without impromptu wrestling down an alley.

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