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The Stuff (1985)

R  |   |  Comedy, Horror, Sci-Fi  |  14 June 1985 (USA)
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Ratings: 5.9/10 from 7,744 users  
Reviews: 100 user | 101 critic

A delicious, mysterious goo that oozes from the earth is marketed as the newest dessert sensation. But the tasty treat rots more than teeth when zombie-like snackers who only want to consume more of the strange substance at any cost begin infesting the world.



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Cast overview, first billed only:
David 'Mo' Rutherford
'Chocolate Chip' Charlie W. Hobbs
Colonel Malcolm Grommett Spears
James Dixon ...
Alexander Scourby ...
Russell Nype ...
Gene O'Neill ...
Catherine Schultz ...
James Dukas ...
Gas Attendant
Peter Hock ...
Colette Blonigan ...
Jason's Mother


Weird yummy goo erupts from the earth and is discovered by a couple of miners. They taste it and decide to market it because it tastes so good. The American public literally eats up the new dessert sensation now known as the Stuff, but, unfortunately, it takes over the brains of those who eat it, turning them into zombie-like creatures with no will to do anything but eat more of the bizarre substance by any means. It is up to ex-FBI agent David Rutherford and a kid named Jason to stop the spread of the mind-devouring dessert. Written by Josh Pasnak <>

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis


WARNING! If you see The Stuff in stores... call the police. If you have it in your home... don't touch it...get out. The Stuff is a product of nature... a deadly living organism. It is addictive and destructive. It can overcome your mind and take over your body... and nothing can stop it. See more »


Comedy | Horror | Sci-Fi


R | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:





Release Date:

14 June 1985 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

A Coisa  »

Filming Locations:


Box Office


$1,700,000 (estimated)

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:



Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


According to audio commentary on the 2000 Anchor Bay DVD, the scene in the motel where the Stuff comes out of the mattress and pillows and attacks the man on the wall and ceiling was shot in a room that could turn upside down, allowing the Stuff to move up and down the wall. It was exactly the same room used in A Nightmare on Elm Street (1984) when Johnny Depp's character Glen is sucked into his bed and his blood is regurgitated back out onto the ceiling. See more »


In the scene at the Stuff factory, they stumble across a room full of Stuffies dressed in yellow, lying on the floor. In the shot directly after Jason says "Whatever was inside of them must have just taken off," the camera pans around all of the Stuffies, who all have their mouths open and tongues sticking out. The actor at the top of the screen (the farthest from camera) is wiggling his mouth and tongue rapidly, indicating that not only he is very much alive, but quite likely didn't even hear the director's call of action. See more »


Col. Malcolm Grommett Spears: [after shooting guard who begins "bleeding" Stuff] I kinda like the sight of blood... but this is disgusting!
See more »

Crazy Credits

Brooke Adams holding a container of Stuff as in a commercial: "Enough is never enough." See more »


Features Zaxxon (1982) See more »

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User Reviews

Larry Cohen Delivers a Scathing Satire of Business and Consumerism
10 December 2007 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

Writer and director Larry Cohen does what he does best... we are brought a story of real-life American values, twisted into horror to tell us what we may already know but simply do not realize. Consumers will buy anything that is popular, regardless of how awful it is. And big business will sell anything for a profit even if it is harmful... and pretty much no one will stop it.

As far as the story goes, it is a pretty good one: ice cream salesmen want to stop their rival, the maker of The Stuff. So they hire Mo Rutherford (Cohen regular Michael Moriarty), former FBI agent and current industrial spy. Even without the horror aspects (which borrow very heavily from "The Blob") or the social commentary, the story itself is pretty good and Moriarty (multiple award winner) is the same guy we have come to love from "It's Alive III" and "Q".

Actually, Moriarty's presence in Cohen's films is always something of a mystery for me. Moriarty, as many know, is also a very conservative commentator, sometimes even bordering on racism with his critique of the Muslim and Arab world. For such a pro-Republican opinion to act out a role that criticizes business (the Republican cornerstone) and the wealthy is seemingly contradictory. But maybe this is the proof of just how great his acting really is.

The special effects are pretty decent. A few scenes are cheesy, and you can tell shots are layered... but the hotel room scene (where they use the spinning room from "Nightmare on Elm Street") is awesome, and even in general you have to hand it to them for making a very lifelike creature from what looks to be nothing more than spoiled egg nog (but probably not as tasty).

Any Larry Cohen fan is going to like this, and even by mainstream horror standards it is pretty good. It is a b-movie, but not nearly as "b" as some of the films he pumps out. As I have said, underneath it all is just a retelling of "The Blob" (noticeably released before the remake with Shawnee Smith came out). I give it my endorsement. You used to be able to find cheap copies at Walgreens and I imagine it has not gone up in price much since then, so there is no reason not to have this in your collection between "American Beauty" and "Gone With the Wind".

2 of 2 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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