Friday, October 16, 2015

Brief Thoughts - THE STUFF (1985)

The other night I rewatched Larry Cohen's darkly comic horror film THE STUFF (1985). It was the first time I had seen it since the late 1980's when I rented the VHS tape and found it mildly amusing. This time out I liked it a great deal more and - aside from a few caveats - think its one of my favorites of Cohen's directorial career and possibly one of his best. Of the few problems I have with the film the worst is the frequent use of ADR voiceover to detail plot points that the film has communicated sloppily or not at all. This is a standard problem with lower budgeted genre efforts and one I'm generally willing to overlook, but it happened a few too many times for me to ignore. From what I could glean from the DVD's commentary some of these moments in the film are workarounds that Cohen had to use to fix problems created by his producers' demands but I've seen this technique in too many other of his movies to take that explanation at face value. Still- I like this film flaws and all! It's another in the fine line of subversive 'capitalism-out-of-control' warning films that the 1980's bred all the way up through Carpenter's THEY LIVE (1989). And Michael Moriarty is amazing to watch in this as he struts around slurring his words and droppin' his g's with a slight southern drawl - I can't take my eyes off of him and his hairpiece! 

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