The Stuff: Tasty
87mins – Comedy/Horror – 1985
Looking for a unique film for Halloween?
Here you go! Ladies and Gentlemen, The Stuff!
One of the best satires that’s really a horror film at heart. Michael Moriarty leads this delicious film of mysterious goo that is pouring out of the earth. For some odd reason an old man takes a taste right away to see what it is. This white thing pouring from the earth taste amazing. Corporate America takes a taste as well and what we get is this new craze sweeping the nation.
America buys it by the ton, replacing all other foods with this new food called… The Stuff!
“It’s smooth and creamy. It’s low calorie and delicious. And it kills. It’s The Stuff!”
Everyone becomes addicted to The Stuff that turns them all into zombie like creatures. Everyone must eat The Stuff! If you don’t soon they will make sure you do!
One night, a kid named Jason notices the new food, The Stuff moving in his fridge. He tells his parents and they don’t believe him. They have already been taken over by The Stuff. He runs to the grocery store to warn the people but no one believes him. This creates a story that runs in the paper, which an ex-FBI agent, David Rutherford notices. Rutherford is played by the amazing and extremely tall (6’4”) Michael Moriarty. Rutherford during this time is investigating The Stuff when the news about the boy comes his way. Along with Nicole (Mad Men like promoter), these three are the world’s last hope to pull them from this controlling goo.
Will they stop it or is the nation over as we know it?!
The story works and it works well. It feels like the body snatchers, the blob and a comedy about America’s consumerism all rolled up into one. It’s a very unique film that is just a flat out great film. Yes acting is rough and the effects are of their time. But there is so much more here then a horror film, but a satire about this country and its need to consume the latest greatest fad. It feels like it could happen and honestly isn’t that far fetched of an idea, even thou it might seem extremely absurd. I could see this working today maybe with food or medication. An evil corporation finds something that they want to make a ton of money on, so they bribe the FDA and get their product into everyone’s hands even if it has deadly side effects. As I watch this I see a commercial for a pill that can kill you. The side effects out weigh the job of the pill, so why is this available then?
Please watch this film. It’s an intriguing film that balances comedy in the right way. Yes its funny that a food could take people over but I find it even more funny that the need for consumerism is sadly the realest part of the film.
On Netflix as of now, no reason to not watch this!
Garrett Morris (SNL) pops up and he is fantastic onscreen. Originally Arsenio Hall was considered.
To create The Stuff, a lot of Häagen Däzs ice-cream and yogurt was used.
Okay so I’m going to try something a little different here. In the late 80’s, Steven Spielberg came out with a TV show called Amazing Stories that seems to ether grab a ton of flack or a ton of love. I never really watched the show, maybe a totally of two episodes of which I couldn’t tell you a damn thing about. I do remember the show and that opening but not a bit of memory regarding the episodes. So since Amazing Stories is on Netflix, I’m going to pick a couple of episodes out of order strictly do to the crew and actors that appear in that episode.
Mirror, Mirror: Entertaining
Season 1, Episode 19 (March 9, 1986)
The reason why I picked, Mirror Mirror was because of the involvement of Sam Waterston (The Lead), Dick Cavett (plays Himself) and Tim Robbins (The Phantom).
Also believe it or not…
This episode is Directed by Martin Scorsese…Yes that Martin Scorsese!
It’s not a bad story for a 24 minute show. I found the 24 minutes to be very entertaining, might not be the strongest story ever but so far it’s my favorite out of the four that I’ve watched. Keep in mind this show is called Amazing Stories yet so far I haven’t really seen an amazing story. They’re mostly okay stories with a good twist. Maybe this is mostly why I’ve seen Amazing Stories get more flack online then love.
Scorsese does a good job. He keeps the 24 minutes fast and fun. Believe it or not that wasn’t the main attraction for me, that honor was given to the great Sam Waterston as Jordan Manmouth. Every time he is acting he just steals the scene if its Law & Order or The Newsroom, he just steals it with his presence. He plays a guy who just losses it and you can believe it. He really does steal that scene and even more made this episode flat out entertaining.
Defiantly give this episode a check out.
Dick Cavett plays Dick Cavett and I enjoyed the little addition of him to the story.
Cut to a shot of Peter Brand jumping out the window running to school, its so McFly like and that is just too damn awesome.
Corlie, a young and attractive captive of Straker, makes a break for it during the night. But come morning Straker’s men have tracked her and are closing in. Never fear, Hunter is near! Hunter, Michael Beck from “The Warriors”, comes to the rescue and on a steel horse he rides. He pulls his motorcycle around and picks up Corlie just in time to escape Straker’s men. Seeing that she has been injured, Hunter takes the young lady to a village called Clearwater, where she is brought into the fold and put to work in the orchards
AHS: Freak Show – Finally
I would have written this article the week this show premiered, but the more I write reviews about the pilot episodes for shows, the more I realize that that is a pretty flawed review, case in point, my initial take on “Marvel’s Agents of SHIELD,” but there are also times when I’m right, case in point, “The Bridge.” This isn’t about me being right and wrong however, this is about me finally getting a show that I thought I would like, and low and behold, despite a few flaws here and there, I actually enjoy, albeit, I can only enjoy it for one season. “America Horror Story: Freak Show” combines the mythic qualities of the traveling side show, an interesting cast of characters, and of course, one of the creepiest depictions of a clown since Pennywise. I’m finally on the “American Horror Story” bandwagon.
“Freak Show” is essentially the story of murder and mayhem in a small Florida town in the 1950s. The added twist is that Elsa Mars’ Freak Show is in town, making them the prime suspects. Meanwhile, conjoined twins Bette and Dot Tattler are under investigation for the murder of their mother, but are spirited away by Elsa to join her troupe of freaks. What we find out that no one else knows yet, is that the actual culprit of the murders, or at least most of the murders, is Twisty, a wandering clown who loves magic tricks, juggling, stabbing people with scissors, and abducting children.
The main complaint that a lot of people have about “AHS” is the extreme violence, and radical psycho-sexual aspects of the show. I mean, people, you kind of know what you are getting into when watching a show about depraved and disturbed people; you are going to see some crazy sh*t, it’s just the way it is. Growing up watching horror my whole life, there is very little that can disturb me, but I guess since the (mainstream) horror genre has, for all intensive purposes, been de-balled, it’s all the more shocking to see shocking things on TV. But I mean this is FX, their motto is literally “No Limits.” Where is the surprise here people?
If you are a seasoned “AHS” vet, there are plenty of actors that you’ll recognize from previous seasons, including Sarah Paulson, who I think steals the show as the conjoined Tattler twins, Jessica Lange, who is going all out in her final season of “AHS” as Elsa Mars, and Evan Peters as Jimmy Darling, the Lobster Boy, who has probably already given a few ladies a new idea to try in the bedroom. One of the bigger additions to the cast, no pun intended, is Michael Chiklis, who plays circus strongman, Dell Toledo. Being a huge fan of “The Shield” it’s great to see Chiklis back on a network that gave him his most well known character, Vic Mackey. What gives the show even more cred is the use of actual “freaks” in the cast.
In an ultra-PC world that is so sensitive about the perceived needs and wants of those less fortunate, it’s an interesting idea to use actual sideshow performers as many people I’m sure see this as a form of exploitation. When Todd Browning’s “Freaks” was released in 1932, the uproar was unprecedented. Normally people would have to go to an actual circus freak show to see this assortment of oddities, but Browning put it right in everyone’s face on the silver screen. Over 80 years later, we are seeing the same thing on Hulu, VOD, and live on Wednesday night right now FX. The other humorous thing is that you would think that people would be up-in-arms about the exploitation of real “freaks” on a show, but the real backlash is from actual clowns about the portrayal of Twisty the Clown. Zeitgeist of the times is most certainly at its funniest when people are worked up more about clowns than what people used to find reprehensible nearly a century ago.
While I generally enjoy “Freak Show” so far, there are a few things that I find simply off-putting, namely the misguided and just plain weird musical numbers. Not knowing much going into this season, the first musical number to me sounded natural and fit in with the era the show was working within. However, the next musical number, which was a re-working of the Fiona Apple “classic,” “Criminal” complete with a mosh put and a midget crowd surfing…..yeah. I assume this will be a theme throughout this series, and it really takes me out of the moment. Combining the “Glee” elements with this show just seems like pandering to a few fans.
Where this season will go, and how far it will go, intrigues me to no end. The characters that are being created are rich and seem to have a lot of history to tell and the simple contrast of peaceful suburban life in the 1950s being disrupted by a serial-killing clown and a troupe of carnies creates a mood of dread and excitement.
Sorority Babes – Trash
I’ve brought this up before in the past, but trash cinema and my childhood are very closely linked. Between “USA’s Up All Night” and “Monstervision” my formidable years between the ages of 8-13 were spent staying up until around 3 am when the TV would finally turn to color bars, watching horror, exploitation, and other trashy films all night. Rhonda Sheer and Joe Bob Briggs were my TV aunt and uncle who would come over ever Saturday night and show me the films from their private selection, and while that sounds creepy and borderline grounds for starting a police investigation, I wouldn’t give it up for anything. This brings me to this review, and a film I’ve been talking about reviewing forever. It’s the cult “cult” classic from 1988, “Sorority Babes in the Slimeball Bowl-o-Rama.”
“Sorority Babes” is the classic yarn about horny teens who just want to see some naked sorority girls. On this night, The Delta Delta Delta Sorority are having their initiation, and you know what that means; whip cream and paddles of course. Babs, the house mistress of Tri Delta, along with Frankie and Rhonda are putting their new initiates, Lisa and Taffy, through the ringer. This brings us to frat boys, Calvin, Jimmie, and Keith who decide to crash the party, but are caught by Babs. Seizing the opportunity to further embarrass Lisa and Taffy, Babs suggests that they have to go to the local mall with the boys and steal a bowling trophy to complete their initiation.
Upon arrival at the mall, the group meets Spider, a punk rock chick with a propensity for profanity. Unbeknownst to the group, Babs, Frankie, and Rhonda have followed them to the mall and look on in the security room. Having finally found the trophy, the deed is done, but with a little bad luck, the trophy falls and unleashes a horrific entity; an imp with a soulful voice willing to grant wishes. Of course these wishes come with a price as the imp transforms Frankie and Rhonda into his demon brood and orders them to kill the rest of the group. After hiding and hearing some exposition from the mall janitor, Calvin and Spider devise a plan to capture the imp and save the day.
This film is by no means to be taken seriously, hell it’s barely a horror film, it’s pure 80s trash at it’s best. The lighting is shoddy, the effects are iffy, the camera work is sub-par, the acting is laughable, the premise is ridiculous, the nudity is well……great, and that is what makes this film so much fun. It’s the epitome of “so bad, it’s good” and it’s one of those guilty pleasure flicks that I’ll never forget. It’s like Saturday Morning Cartoons; some people grow up on different things in life, I happened to grow up on trashy 80s films that aired in the wee hours of the evening.
Aside from being ironic in my last paragraph, there are a few things to point out in this film. One, the lead, Calvin, played by Andras Jones, looks surprisingly like River Cuomo from the band Weezer. The resemblance is uncanny, and looking further into the film, namely it’s soundtrack, I find it spooky that in the credits there is a song called Killer Love by Kurt Cuomo. Just an odd coincidence that likely means nothing, but I find it funny. The other thing is that this film stars Linnea Quigley, one of the premier B-movie Scream Queens of the 1980s. Quigley plays Spider, the hardcore punk rock chick. Not sure why I’m throwing that out there, but while she is billed as one of the stars, and if you like her in this film, you’ll love her in “Return of the Living Dead” as Trash. It’s okay…..I’ll wait.
Moving on, all in all, this film is great fun if you are open-minded enough to giving “Sorority Babes” a chance. I feel like this is a film trapped in time, and would be lost to a generation that is looking for torture porn and found footage horror. There are slick odes to other films throughout, and while it’s cheesy and otherwise pretty cheap looking, its nonetheless a fun time and a trip down memory lane.
Fun Fact: The trophy, although appearing to be metallic, is actually made of balsa wood.
In chemistry, beer is an organic compound in which the hydroxyl functional group is bound to a saturated carbon atom. At Simplistic Reviews we take that chemistry and mix it up with a RANT!
Funny writing that Dr. Stranglove title brought me back to a date I once was on.
Do you have time for a story?
Go to (1) for Yes (2) for Get on with it!
(1) Okay good…Well on my date, the girl asked me about my favorite movie. I told her, “Back to the Future”. She said her favorite was Dr. Stranglove. I explained I loved that film dearly including its beautiful hilarious long title. She responded with Stranglove? “Well, yes the whole thing” I said with a fork placing the chicken in my mouth. She said, “It’s not that long”. I in a state of wtf said, “Yes, or How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Bomb”. She responded with, “That’s not the title, its Dr. Stranglove…” I waited for the “or how I stop”. It never came just like a god bless you after a sneeze. I got up and walked away. Never to speak to her again.
I’ll have to tell you about the Back to the Future Date next time.
So Saturday and Sunday Cartoons are no more. Don’t worry we have something to fill up that time slot for ya, how about a Drunken Rant?!
Justin pops open some Firestone Double dba why because it’s vintage bitch! And since it’s our first episode of our Rants, we figure we spend a little more money on the production value because we love you and we at Simplistic Reviews love all that is intoxication. Yes some say its a problem we say it adds to the production, and you need it especially when dealing with Fox’s, Gotham
(2) Oh…god… do you need that alcohol when watching that thing called a show.
P.S. I was pretty loaded in this, enjoy!
FOR MATURE AUDIENCES ONLY