Sunday, November 06, 2016

The Stuff (1985)

 Note:  This review was originally posted to my Epinions account.

Standards tend to be a bit lower when you’re renting. Granted, you’re still investing the same amount of time to watch the movie, but you’re usually not paying as much and it’s easier to return a NetFlix DVD than it is to walk out on a movie. I was probably able to watch all of The Stuff for that reason. It’s not that it’s a bad movie…

It revolves around this gooey white substance called The Stuff. It’s highly addictive and has this way of rotting your mind. Someone finds it oozing out of the ground and decides that he has an instant hit. Immediately, almost everyone is eating it. It was originally sold as a snack, but people start eating it exclusively. It’s the new craze.

A few people are able to overcome the pressure. Jason is a kid whose family is taken over by The Stuff. He knows he has to stop people from eating it, but he doesn’t know how. After all, he’s just a kid. He meets up with David “Mo” Rutherford, a former federal agent who’s trying to get the formula of The Stuff. There’s also Nichole, an advertising exec that created the advertising for The Stuff. Rounding out The Stuff’s opposition is “Chocolate Chip Charlie” Hobbs, who had a good snack business until The Stuff came along. They know something’s going on, but can’t get any answers.

The story was a bit choppy at times. I don’t know if the people making the movie were trying to create a comedy or a serious horror movie. If it’s a comedy, it would explain a lot of things, like why there’s little detail about how The Stuff works or where it came from. (I guess when something eats your brains, it doesn’t really matter.) I really think the movie could have done a little more with the story.

Also, the acting was a bit stiff. Jason seemed unaffected by what happened to his family. I know that this could be shock or denial, but these are people that he lived with. He could have shown a little fear or sadness or something. He had to eat shaving cream just to get out of the house.

Some of the people in the movie went on to do other things. Michael Moriarty, who played David Rutherford, and Paul Sorvino went on to star in Law & Order. Garrett Morris, who played Chocolate Chip Charlie, has gained a reputation for having disappeared after SNL, although IMDb lists him for lots of projects. He doesn’t seem to get a lot of big parts, though.

Overall, it was a pretty decent movie. The effects weren’t much to speak of, but I’ve seen worse. I remember reading that it was supposed to be a condemnation of Big Tobacco. I’m thinking that I might not be getting something because I didn’t really understand what was going on in 1985. If I had paid $7 to see it in the theaters today, I might feel a little cheated. I think it was at least worth the NetFlix queue position. 

No comments :