The Stuff

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Man, it’s a weeknight, I’m kind of hungry, my girlfriend is enthralled in the world of “Roller Coaster Tycoon 2” and the fridge is empty. What’s my best bet for chasing my hunger-girlfriend-likes-computer-games-more-than-me blues? How about some crawling ice cream, a dash of Michael Moriarty and a side of two Bloom brothers?

Ladies and Gentlemen I present to you Larry Cohen’s 1985 classic: The Stuff.

Here’s what’s going on…Some old dude in the middle of nowhere (for whatever reason) eats some bubbling snow, mass markets said bubbling snow, and turns the world onto a crazy new kind of ice cream called “The Stuff”. David “Mo” Rutherford (Moriarty at his all time best Moriarty-ist) plays a corporate spy type of guy who gets hired by some shady guys in suits (who hang out strictly on boats) to find out the secret ingredients of The Stuff so they can sell a knock off of the product that is sweeping the nation. Around the same time, our child Hero, Jason (Scott Bloom) wakes up late one night looking for a snack in his parent’s fridge. He comes across a healthy dose of The Stuff just crawling around in the fridge. Cool! His family thinks he is fucking nuts and they gobble the shit up like they are possessed by the product causing Jason to go to the local grocery store and destroy as much of The Stuff as he can. Rutherford does some undercover investigation work and meets a cast of wild characters who have something or other to do with The Stuff. In about 7 minutes we meet the naïve marketing genius behind The Stuff named “Nicole” (Andrea Marcovicci), a fucked up FDA agent named “Vickers” (Danny Aiello), a pissed off former cookie mogul named “Chocolate Chip Charlie” (Garrett Morris) and a gang of people who either vomit The Stuff (as it crawls away!) or just “bleed” The Stuff when taking a right hook from our man Rutherford. POW! At this point Rutherford decides there is something more going on here than corporate espionage and decides it’s up to him to save the world from this hellspawn known as: The Stuff. Chocolate Chip Charlie decides to join Rutherford on his quest to get to the bottom of The Stuff’s control over the human race (The Stuff OBVIOUSLY drove our cookie man out of biz-so on top of just being a sidekick to our man Rutherford, he of course has his financial reasons for disposing of The Stuff as well). Rutherford reads about Jason’s tantrum in the grocery store, then more or less kidnaps the kid, jumps on a plane with Nicole, heads over to The Stuff’s plant, hooks up with the pissed off cookie maker, pays a visit to a crazed Colonel/survivalist (Paul Sorvino-in a “what the hell am I doing in this movie” role) and tries to save the world. It’s fucking crazy-seriously.

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This movie doesn’t hold out on anything. The Stuff is everywhere! Dogs eat it, it’s hiding in pillows, it can presumably fly a plane and even the “Where’s the beef?” lady asks, “Where’s the Stuff?” The effects are great and The Stuff has a ton of screen time. It looks like a marshmallow-fluff version of The Blob, but is actually somewhat intimidating and moves pretty smooth when it’s on screen. The score sounds like an A Team episode and makes me want to start a revolution. Death to all stuffies! Viva la resistance!

Moriarty chews up every scene he is in with the most amazing dialogue the man has ever spoken. The man is a comic genius. I get the feeling Cohen told Moriarty to just pretty much just ad lib as much as he wanted, because even the lines he delivers under his breath are hilarious. My only complaint is the lack of screen time handed to Garret Morris. I would have love to have seen a sequel or even a series of films where the Moriarty/Morris combo just deliver constant one liners that bounce off each other while they save the world from various killer food products.

Truth be told, there is a message here, we don’t know what the fuck we are eating when we eat junk food or tasty chemical filled goodies, it may take over our bodies and turn us into crazed maniacs who refuse to eat anything said products that make us feel like garbage a couple of hours later…but damn it tastes so good.

Bon appetite motherfuckers!

Charlie “Mo” Brown, They call me that ’cause when people give me money, I always want mo’.

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~ by exploitnation on March 5, 2008.

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