Review #1: The Stuff (1985)
The Stuff is written and directed by Larry Cohen. Michael Moriarty, Andrea Marcovicci, Garrett Morris, Paul Sorvino, and Scott Bloom. Bloomstar.
The Stuff is marketed to Americans as a healthier alternative to ice cream. And soon the country is addicted. The various ice cream companies decide to hire David “Mo” Rutherford to investigate The Stuff and figure out what it’s made of. It doesn’t take long for Mo to find out that The Stuff is a huge threat to the citizens of America.
The Stuff is the epitome of a 1980s horror movie. It wouldn’t work in any other decade. It uses this ice cream alternative to dissect the madness that is consumerism. As people eat it they become more and more addicted and crave more. And if someone tries to resist, they force it on you. And similar to how we see Walmart plunder small towns, we see how the company behind The Stuff destroys towns in their wake. It’s a message that is very relevant these days. The movie is fast paced and keeps you on your toes as it goes along. I never felt bored watch this. There’s decent character development and you really feel the danger that they’re in.
The cast does an excellent job with the story. The chemistry between Mo and Nicole is perfect. You really feel like they care about each other. Mo is a truly strange character but you quickly come to root for him. The special effects are pretty remarkable for an 80s movie. They did a great job with bringing The Stuff to life. You can really feel the menace as it comes after you.
I give The Stuff (1985) 7.5/10. A fascinating, fast paced movie with an excellent cast. It’s a standout film in a decade dominated by slasher films. You’ll never look at ice cream or yogurt the same way again.
Review #2: Cursed (2005)
Wes Craven directed Cursed from a script by Kevin Williamson. Christina Ricci, Jesse Eisenberg, Portia de Rossi, Mya, Shannon Elizabeth, Milo Ventimiglia, Joshua Jackson, Judy Greer, and Scott Baio star. Derek Mears plays the werewolf.
One night Ellie and Jimmy get into a car crash that ends with them both getting scratched by a weird animal. They soon realize it was a werewolf and race to stop it as it stalks Hollywood.
If you know anything about this movie, it had a very troubled production. Wes had to deal with massive studio interference. They actually shot half the film before the Weinstein’s interfered and forced almost everything to be redone. A lot of the original cast was dropped or recast. The movie was also originally shot for an R-rating, but it was decided to make a PG-13 film. The interference also extended to the special effects as well, with lots of CGI used to cover up the practical effects. Both Rick Baker and KNB worked on the film, but you can’t really tell. Although the most egregious use of CGI was during a werewolf transformation and it honestly looks awful. This film could have seen Wes Craven deliver a classic werewolf film, but unfortunately the Weinstein’s ruined any chance of that.
The film, to an extent, is enjoyable, despite the studio interference. But it’s nowhere as great as it should have been. While Wes Craven is no stranger to making a bad film now and then, this can’t be laid at his doorstep. He does the best that he can. The cast is great. Christina and Jesse have fantastic chemistry and really play off each other well. Judy is excellent as the bitchy publicist. Joshua plays the mysterious boyfriend perfectly. The rest of the cast does the best they can with the script.
I give Cursed (2005) 6/10. Not a classic by any means, it’s not entirely unenjoyable. It certainly could have been a lot worse.
Review #3: The Entity (1982)
Frank De Felitta wrote the novel and screenplay of The Entity, directed by Sidney J. Furie. Barbara Hershey, Ron Silver, David Labiosa, George Coe, and Margaret Blye star. The novel and movie are based off the experiences of Doris Bither. It’s considered one of the most documented paranormal experiences ever.
Carla Moran is a single mom of three kids who begins to be sexually assaulted by a spirit. Seeking therapy she’s made to believe that it’s all in her head, but the attacks get worse. After her son and best friend witness the attacks, she seeks the help of some parapsychologists.
This is a very intense movie. The rape scenes are unrelenting and very uncomfortable. The terror this woman goes through is horrific. As she struggles with the attacks and getting help, it feels hopeless. She’s not believed by anybody and she’s made to believe it’s all in her head because of being molested by her father, while growing up being taught that sex is evil. When her best friend, Cindy, finally witnesses an attack, Carla is overjoyed that she’s not going crazy. When Carla finally gets in touch with some parapsychologists, she gains strength that she didn’t have when she was facing the entity alone. It’s honestly inspiring. Where the movie falters is the third act. The whole experiment to trap the entity is flawed and rushed. The thinking behind it is just really flawed.
The cast is top notch. Barbara is perfect as Carla, enduring horrible attacks. She really goes through the ringer and it all seems very real. Ron Silver is so scummy as Dr. Sneiderman, Carla’s shrink. He has preconceived notions about what Carla is going through and refuses believe anything else is going on. You do get a sense that he cares for her, but you can’t help but dislike him. David is great as Billy, Cara’s oldest son. Margaret is the perfect best friend.
The Entity (1982) gets 8/10. Despite a flawed third act, it is an underrated classic of sheer terror. You would do well to pick up a copy.