Review Date: December 10, 2000
Released by: Anchor Bay Entertainment
Release date: 10/24/2000
Region 1, NTSC
Widescreen 1.85:1 | 16x9: Yes
An old man at a work site finds a white substance bubbling out of the snowy ground. He decides to taste it, discovering that it's quite delicious. He figures if enough of it keeps bubbling out of the ground it could be sold to people. Fast forward to the near future - Jason (Scott Bloom), a young boy wakes up hungry in the middle of the night. He goes downstairs to check the refrigerator for something to eat. When he opens the door to the refrigerator he discovers a container of "The Stuff" has been knocked over; the white substance that was in the container is now crawling around. It's the same white substance that was bubbling up from the ground - it's now being sold under the name of "The Stuff". Before he can do anything about it his father (Frank Telfer) shows up and asks him what he's doing out of bed. When Jason tries to explain what happened but by the time his father looks inside of the refrigerator the stuff had crawled back into the container.
A group of corporate executives for a big ice cream company have been trying to clone The Stuff with no success. They decide to hire Mo Rutherford (Michael Moriarty), an industrial saboteur, to discover how and what The Stuff is made of. Mo tracks down Nicole (Andrea Marcovicci), the producer of the famous commercials for The Stuff. He poses as a big oil company executive who wants to hire her, though he really hopes to get some secret information about The Stuff. Elsewhere young Jason is out and about on a rampage trying to stop people from eating The Stuff. He goes to a local supermarket and starts destroying all of The Stuff containers. Before long he's caught and sent home to his family, who is now addicted to The Stuff.
Mo's investigation into what The Stuff is made of brings him to the small town where it was first tested. It's there where he meets up with "Chocolate Chip" Charlie (Garrett Morris), the one-time owner of a big ice cream company who got the rugged pulled out from under him by the makers of The Stuff. They team up and begin to discover some of the shocking secrets to The Stuff - it seems to take semi-control of peoples bodies both physically and mentally while it lives inside of them. When Mo reads about Jason's actions in the supermarket, he goes to visit him and he arrives just in time - Jason's family was trying to force him to eat The Stuff. Mo, Charlie, Jason and Nicole head out to recruit the help of Colonel Spears (Paul Sorvino), a half crazed leader of a private militia. He convinces the colonel to help them in their battle against The Stuff and the corporation distributing it. With so many people having already become "Stuffies", are they up against impossible odds?
ends up being a fun movie as long as you don't go in expecting much of a horror movie. There's really nothing scary about it and the whole notion of this dessert taking over your body is a bit silly. How serious can one take it? Go in expecting a silly movie that's a bit of fun and you may end up enjoying it. The acting is fairly decent between Michael Moriarty and Paul Sorvino, who both do excellent jobs in their respective parts. Director Larry Cohen did a fine job and obviously had fun with the movie, knowing that it's not meant to be any sort of hard core horror. The cheesy commercials he throws in there for The Stuff are a blast to watch. There's also some decent effects if you take into account when the film was made (1985). In terms of gore there isn't really much unless you like seeing mouths expand and heads explode. I definitely recommend everyone check it out - at least rent it if you're into good "bad movies".
Anchor Bay presents The Stuff
in an anamorphic widescreen transfer in it's original 1.85:1 aspect ratio. Incredible transfer here with hardly any problems. There's no print blemishes at all, which is quite impressive. Colors are nice and vivid for a 1985 movie; blacks in the nighttime scenes are strong and solid as well. Image itself is fairly sharp, with no noticeable soft scenes. Really the only problem was grain; a few nighttime scenes had visible grain and also a few daytime scenes. Definitely a great transfer that has definitely earned its A- rating.
is presented in stereo sound. Nothing spectacular on this stereo track in terms of effects, but the dialogue is clearly audible and there's no pops or hisses to be heard.
Not a loaded special edition but I generally enjoy commentary tracks, and Anchor Bay has included one on this DVD with director Larry Cohen. It's an enjoyable commentary track and although there are several gaps of silence during the track they generally don't really last very long. Larry comes across as a nice fellow and gives lots of information about the actors in the movie and also goes over a good amount of technical details. He also mentions many of his other movies, such as Q The Winged Serpent
. Lets hope Anchor Bay can revisit Q The Winged Serpent
sometime in the future and have Larry record a commentary track for that as well. Overall a very enjoyable commentary track that fans will definitely appreciate.
Also included is a theatrical trailer that is widescreen and 16x9 enhanced, as well as a small biography on director Larry Cohen - quick read but it's enjoyable.
Another fine audio/video presentation by Anchor Bay. DVD isn't heavy on extras but there's an enjoyable commentary by director Larry Cohen. Movie is definitely fun and I recommend everyone at least give it a rental, just don't expect anything hard core horror - expect more comedy then anything else.
Movie - B-
Image Quality - A-
Sound - B
Supplements - B-
- Running Time - 1 hour 26 minutes
- Rated R
- 1 Disc
- 26 Chapter Stops
- English Dolby Mono
- Audio Commentary with Director Larry Cohen
- Theatrical trailer
- Larry Cohen biography