The Stuff is a flick that rightly deserves the cult classic status. It’s a film that wants to have a fun, goofy time and that’s exactly what it delivers. It’s hard to take a flick about a killer dessert serious and director Larry Cohen knows this and decides to just go balls to wall fun. Arrow Video already released this Blu-ray in the UK back in 2014, and this Region 1 release is the exact same as that release, so if you already own the UK Blu, there is no reason to get this one. However, if you don’t own it yet, there is no better time than now to get your hands on this delicious dessert…
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DISCS: 1 RUN-TIME: 87 min ASPECT RATIO: 1.85:1 RESOLUTION: 1080p AUDIO: Uncompressed PCM Mono LANGUAGE: English SUBTITLES: English SDH REGION: A RATING: NR PRODUCTION DATE: 1985 RELEASE DATE: April 19, 2016
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Are you eating it …or is it eating you? The Stuff is the new dessert taking supermarket shelves by storm. It’s delicious, low in calories and – better still – doesn’t stain the family carpet… What’s not to like?! Well, for a start it has a life of its own, and we’re not talking friendly live bacteria… Young Jason seems to be the only one who doesn’t love The Stuff – in fact he won’t go anywhere near it, after having seen the pudding crawling around the fridge one night. What’s more, everyone who eats The Stuff has started acting really weird… Now, teaming up with wise-cracking industrial saboteur “Mo”, Jason must put a stop to The Stuff and the organisation behind it or face a gooey, gloopy demise. Coming courtesy of horror auteur Larry Cohen (director of the It’s Alive series and scribe behind the Maniac Cop trilogy), The Stuff is a titillating treat for the taste-buds which blends elements of films such as Street Trash with the straight-up B-movie flavour of The Blob. So grab a spoon and dig on into The Stuff – the taste that delivers… much more than you bargained for!
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The Stuff – a delicious dessert that was found bubbling up through the Earth’s surface. What is it? No one knows, but it’s highly addictive and the more you eat, the less human you become. The Stuff was found by accident, an accident that involved a person willing to stick his fingers in a bubbling white substance and shove it in his mouth. A faceless corporation hears of this deadly delicious stuff and starts to see dollar signs. They market it to the public and the public eats it up, literally. Competitors are looking to replicate the formula, so they hire corporate saboteur David ‘Mo’ Rutherford (Michael Moriarty in a super fun and quirky role) to investigate the stuff and figure out how it’s made.
It doesn’t take too long for ‘Mo’ to find out that The Stuff isn’t exactly the best thing to eat, as he sees first hand what it can do to you. He decides to team up with Nicole, the marketing genius behind The Stuff and a boy who saw The Stuff move all by itself. Also, Chocolate Chip Charlie (Garrett Morris) and Colonel Malcolm Grommett Spears (Paul Sorvino) jump into the flick to help out for a bit. Yes, if that all sounds random, it is.
The Stuff is a combination of The Blob and Invasion of the Body Snatchers (read my review for 1956 version here, 1978 here) and it manages to succeed in combining the two. It’s a throwback flick from 1985, with some stellar practical effects and hilariously awful visual effects. It has a quick pace, with some sketchy editing, resulting in a flick that feels like it’s jumping all over the place, but it’s this kinetic pace that makes The Stuff exciting to watch. It doesn’t take itself seriously, even though there is a lot that can be said about the sad state of consumerism present in the flick. Larry Cohen didn’t want to make a preachy film, he wanted to make a fun film and that’s exactly what you get with The Stuff.
Like I already mentioned before, The Stuff is a Region 1 re-release of the UK edition from Arrow Video. It has the same audio, video and special features, which are all solid. You might be worried when you access the special features section and only see three features, a making of, trailer commentary and trailer, but don’t fret! The Making of is a whopping 52-minute segment featuring interviews with Larry Cohen, Andrea Marcovicci, Steve Neill and others. It’s an impressive special feature with a ton of information on this cult classic flick. That feature alone is worth the purchase. The other feature, the trailer commentary by director Darren Bousman is a fluff piece, but still fun.
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• New High Definition restoration of the film from a brand new 2K scan of the original camera negative
• Original stereo 1.0 uncompressed PCM Mono audio
• Optional English SDH subtitles for the deaf and hard of hearing
• Can’t Get Enough of The Stuff: Making Larry Cohen’s Classic Creature Feature – Documentary featuring Larry Cohen, producer Paul Kurta, actress Andrea Marcovicci, Steve Neill (mechanical makeup effects) and Kim Newman
• Introduction and trailer commentary by director and The Stuff fan Darren Bousman (Saw II, Saw III)
• Original Trailer
• Reversible sleeve with original and newly commissioned artwork by Gary Pullin
• Collector’s booklet featuring new writing on the film by Joel Harley, illustrated with original stills and promotional materials
They don’t make movies like this anymore! The Stuff is fun; plain and simple. It’s a quirky, confusingly edited blast. Region 1 folks can be happy to know they can now easily get their hands on this wonderful release from Arrow Video. Buy this Blu for sure! Although buying only one might not be enough, as you probably already know, enough is never enough! (Okay, one is probably enough, but hey, I needed to use that line somewhere, right?)