B Movie Challenge: The Stuff

I don’t know about you all, but around this time of year my belts are always getting shorter, it seems. I am pretty sure it has nothing to do with the immense amounts of food I cram into my gullet around the holidays, starting off this weekend with the ultimate cram-fest of Thanksgiving (or as I call it Thanks-for-all-this-food-in-my-gut-giving!). While flipping through the endless buffet of streaming options, nothing will feel better than grabbing that last bit of dark meat (my favorite) and dribbling it with some slimy homemade dressing… except maybe a nice slice of pumpkin pie with a dabble of STUFF on top (hopefully it doesn’t eat your first!)

Although most people want to remember the 1980s for the hairspray mullets and the high-top sneakers on the dance floor, I feel most of us who lived through them remember them for the extra helping of consumerism, with a morsel of capitalism. This was the exact hunger director Larry Cohen had in telling his magnum humor/horror classic about an ice cream that will have you screaming for NO MORE! In an area where critics and audiences alike understood a good laugh is just as sweet as a good yelp, The Stuff came along to fill you full of shocks and giggles, thanks mostly to an attitude to not take itself too seriously, yet offers enough service of tasty frights to satisfy any thirst. Considered by many horror aficionados as a five-star plate right out of the kitchen sink, you will want to make sure you make room for Jello… right after that Garrett Morris part of the movie makes you barf!

The entree of the movie starts when a group of construction workers find a white oozing substance and naturally begin to eat it, finding it soo addictive they cannot stop, even when people around begin to die. Now, if you can swallow the first five minutes of the film, you can taste anything the filmmakers put on your plate. For the main course, FBI agent David Rutherford (played by Cohen’s go-to Michael Morriety) thinks it is a little weird The Stuff is outselling major ice cream competitors (and devouring those who eat it) so he jumps into action and plots to destroy the company mass marketing the white fluff od death (not cool whip) to the masses. If you have enough room for dessert, after Muthford and friends have blown up the factory, smugglers on the street sell packs of The Stuff to those who can’t get the taste out of their mouth!  I have heard of people paying up to $1000 for a meal in vegas, but unless they offer as much flavor as a single second of this film does then I will starve!

Coming in at a very trim 87 minutes, Cohen went on the be a member of the infamous ‘Master of Horror for directing horrific soups like Its Alive! and The Return to ‘Salem’s Lot and earned his right to be somewhat at the head of that table! For years horror fans had hunger pains because most ma and pa video stores never carried the title, but thanks to companies like Anchor Bay, this film was a massive seller for the company when it premiered on DVD in the 2000s. You can find this humble pie on most streaming services, including Tubi and prime, but be sure to see the ultimate blu ray from Arrow Video, stuffed with plenty of delicious extras from every possible food group. So, empty your wallets at the grocery store, dabble three scoops of The Stuff on top of your cranberry-drenched microwaved fish sticks, and salivate because, as the saying goes, you are what you eat!

About Ian Klink

As a filmmaker, writer, and artist, Ian Klink’s work includes the feature film Anybody’s Blues and short stories for Weren't Another Way to Be: Outlaw Fiction Inspired by Waylon Jennings, Negative Creep: A Nirvana-Inspired Anthology, A-Z of Horror: U is for Unexplained, The Creeps, Vampiress Carmilla, The Siren’s Call, and Chilling Tales For Dark Nights. Born and raised in Iowa, Klink lives with his family in Pennsylvania where he shares his talents as a teacher of multimedia studies.

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