Friday, January 27, 2012

my brief thoughts on.... 'The Stuff'

Horror films from the 80's are a different breed of film making. Dare I say, they're a different creature? (all puns intended) It seemed like back then, creature features were all the rage and that was even using the limited FX they had available. Now, it seems almost taboo to venture into creature features, even with all of the CGI and FX leaps and bounds we've made. Yet, you can't deny the charm of the old days and ways. Funny thing is, you can't always go back. What I mean is that we tend to romanticize things from our past. What seemed like the be all end all of horror movie making, doesn't always hold up. For example, I loved the movie 'House' when I was a kid. William Katt fighting evil in a big spooky house.... who couldn't love that? Then I recently watched it again, it didn't hold up as well as I hoped it would. This is one of the reasons that I kind of stay away from going back to the "classics". I tried to watch 'Ghoulies' recently to and I had to turn it off. It was just so bad.

That brings us to this review of 'The Stuff'. This isn't really a creature feature, but there are plenty of special effects and they're not that great. However, it's not just the FX in question here. It's the story, the acting and the general film making. I know this is kind of considered a 'cult' classic and a lot of people love it to this day, but I just don't get why. Maybe I'm missing the boat of something, but I have seen plenty of films from this same time period that are as good today as they were back then. I know it's possible to retain quality. This movie just lacks so much and I found myself really losing interest about halfway through. The premise was interesting, all though far-fetched, and it had potential.... it just didn't seem to have the payoff.The silly plot goes like this: (taken from "A delicious mysterious goo that oozes from the Earth is marketed as the newest dessert sensation. But the sugary treat rots more than teeth when zombie-like snackers begin infesting the world." That's actually the storyline! A hobo (for some reason) eats stuff bubbling up from the ground and finds it delicious. He shares it with a buddy and soon it's EVERYWHERE! A big corporation markets The Stuff as a taste treat and never thinks to test it to see if it's safe for human consumption. It turns out to be something people can't stop eating once they've tried it. Whole families have refridgerators full of nothing but The Stuff. Soon, a little boy figures out what's going on and begins a crusade to try and stop people from eating it. He's joined by an investigator who is also trying to dig up dirt on The Stuff. They find out the truth behind it all and are soon being chased down by hordes of "zombie" like consumers un the mind control of The Stuff. It's like some kind of alien parasite mind control thingy. People die, things explode, Stuff oozes out of people, it's a big mess. (SPOILER!) In the end, The Stuff is kind of stopped and justice is served.... or is it? The company that marketed The Stuff has redisgned it, with less 'Stuff' in it and are going to start selling it again.... or are they? Ugh.

That is WAY more involved then I wanted to get in this review. The movie just isn't very good and that's all there is to it. It really reaminds me of 'Halloween III: Season of the Witch', only that was way better than this. It has a similar concept of a big corporation out to do what's best for the bottom line or to flat out kill people. You have a couple of people who know the truth and are trying to stop the bad guys. You have bad 80's effects and all that comes with it. They feel like cousins. I kind of like watching 'Halloween III' every once in a while.... I don't think I ever need to watch 'The Stuff' again. Ever. Seriously.

At the end of the day, I'd give this movie 2 out of 5 stars. The only reason it got 2 instead of 1, is that it has a certain nostalgia and charm to it. Despite the garbage factor of it all, I still found myself enjoying a trip back to 1985. If you can stomach 'The Stuff', you've got a stronger stomach then me.

Other movies like this: 'Halloween III: Season of the Witch' and I can't think of anything else right now.


  1. I remember watching this on VHS not too long after it was released. I just remember that the premise sounded interesting. I'm pretty sre I just thought it was ok. And that's me as a teenager. I laughed a little bit when you said you were watching it because I had completely forgotten about it. The review was almost enough to make me watch it again just for fun, but I don't know... probably won't happen.

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