So here we are. It’s the first day of October and like Richard Gere with a Gerbil I thought I’d ease into it. Larry Cohen is probably most well known these days as the writer of Phone Booth. But to genre fans (And fans of film in general) he was also known as the Man who brought us Q: The Winged Serpent (The ‘Q’ of the title stands for Quetzacoatl, which probably gave the marketing department a seizure), Black Ceaser and this little gem.
The set-up is amazingly simple, so much so that it’s over by the end of the first minute. Some Miners (Guys digging into the ground, not Children) find a creamy white ooze bubbling out of the ground. So naturally they taste it. Cut to some months later and ‘The Stuff’ is a sensation. Everyone and their Mother loves the stuff (no pun intended) but it should come as a suprise to no one that eating food that’s come out of the ground is really not good for you.
When I say not good I mean head splittingly not good.
The Stuff is in no way scary. Though it has some nice effects (Moreso given the budget) the Film is hokey, poorly acted, and just about competently filmed. But with a film like The Stuff that’s precisely what you want. In no other world would Michael Moriarty be considered a leading man, but working with Cohen he gets to do it twice (The other is his truly bizarre turn in Q). Rather than scares Cohen seems more concerned with corporate satire. The Stuff of the title is a juggernaut of a product, sort of like Coca Cola times 100. In the world of the film everyone is eating it, and if your not then there has to be something wrong with you. It might not be the sharpest of satire, but it’s good to know that Cohen had something else on his mind other than simple scares.
All in all though I’m struggling to find something else to write about The Stuff other than if you’re willing to go along with it then it’s a thoroughly entertaining time (And as good a chance as any to bask in the other worldly performance of Michael Moriarty).
As for tomorrow’s Movie? Well I’m just going to close my eyes and pick something randomly.
Please don’t be Manos, please don’t be Manos….