61 Days of Halloween- The Stuff

Most holidays worth their while encompass entire seasons, such as Christmas, for example. However, as you may have noticed there is a corporate push every year for us to think about the next holiday even sooner. While this has many negative side effects I figure I may as well embrace it.

Since Labor Day is really only good for college football and movie marathons cinematically it is as significant as Arbor Day, which means the next big day on the calendar is Halloween and we can start looking toward it starting now.

Daily I will be viewing films in the horror genre between now and then and sharing the wealth. Many, as is usually the case, will not be worth it so for every disappointment so I will try and suggest something worth while as well.

The Stuff

Frank Telfer and Colette Blonigan in The Stuff (Larco/ Anchor Bay Entertainment)

The one word that can be used to describe Larry Cohen’s film The Stuff is “Wow.” Now this is a word that can be used in a bad thing or a good thing and in this case it is definitely good.

If you’ve heard of Larry Cohen (or even if you haven’t) this is the film to watch as an introduction. It is so annoying to watch people think they have a “scary story” and botch it up so badly. The Stuff is a perfect example of what Larry Cohen does. He works with low-budgets and knows he has a cheesy premise most times but has no delusions of grandeur and works with it as opposed to against it and yet because of that manages to make his point.

He skates the fine line between horror and comedy perfectly. This movie is a perfect introduction to his style and it’s a whole lot of fun. Not only do Cohen’s films not take themselves seriously but they manage to layer subtext in smoothly and easily whereas “real horror” so often fails to do. The Stuff is filled with laughs, the occasional gross-out and great ensemble acting featuring Michael Moriarty as Mo Rutherford the man trying to find the secrets of the stuff, Paul Sorvino as Colonel Malcom Grommett Spears and original SNL cast member Garrett Morris as ‘Chocolate Chip’ Charlie.

It is funny but yet is also an apt satire of 1980s in many ways but also by having this food being a living organism which consumes those who eat it it falls into the horror realm. It also leads to one of the great lines in the film “Are you eating it or is it eating you?” Watch it now!

8/10

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