The Stuff (1985)

R  |   |  Comedy, Horror, Sci-Fi  |  14 June 1985 (USA)
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Reviews: 101 user | 103 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


It's smooth and creamy. I'ts low calorie and delicious. And it kills. It's The Stuff! 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 »


When Mo and Charlie enter the post office, it's daytime - quite possibly afternoon. The moment they talk to the letter carrier inside, it's suddenly nighttime. See more »


[pursuing escaping Stuff]
'Chocolate Chip' Charlie W. Hobbs: You are not thinkin' about goin' after it!
David 'Mo' Rutherford: I hope you got a gun on you, Charlie!
'Chocolate Chip' Charlie W. Hobbs: How many times am I supposed to tell you my hands are lethal weapons?
David 'Mo' Rutherford: I hope you're right, 'cause if that thing tries to kill me, you kill me first!
See more »

Crazy Credits

Although Michael Moriarty's character is continually referred to (and introduces himself) as "'Mo' Rutherford," the credits list him only as "David." See more »


References Close Encounters of the Third Kind (1977) See more »

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User Reviews

You scream. I scream. We all scream… for 'The Stuff'?!
19 April 2007 | by (the Mad Hatter's tea party.) – See all my reviews

A workman discovers some mushy white foam at an petroleum refinery in Alaska, and he gets the urge to try it and surprisingly it's tastes really good. Soon enough, it's a top-selling American dessert product known as "The Stuff" and everyone just can't seem to get enough of it. Industrial saboteur Moe Rutherford is hired by some rival companies to dig up information on "The Stuff" and he learns that it strangely got by FDA tests with those who passed it disappearing. Moe with the help of Nicole the advertising designer for 'The Stuff ' and a young boy Jason, whose family became obsessed with the deadly substance. Discover that the addictive dessert is actually alive and taking over the body of whoever eats it.

Yummy! For those looking for some tasty schlock that's low in calories and is a complete throwback to 1950's Sci-Fi horror. Larry Cohen's "The Stuff" definitely leaves a sweet taste in your mouth. Despite it's familiarity with the likes of "The Blob" and "The Invasion of the Body Snatchers", the neat premise still manages to feel fresh, sharp and ambitious, because of the unpretentious fun that's generated. All of this shows up in Cohen's enthusiastically accomplished direction and ace timing, where his off-the-rocker style shines immensely. Like most of his films, the playfully witty script digs deep into a social commentary and the flavour of the month happened to be consumerism and it's grip on society. The irony suggested ending, paints it perfectly. Not all of it is light and goofball in tone, as there are some dark, moody and gooey inclusions to the fold. There's a heavy cartoon-like atmosphere cooked up within a few striking images of creepiness and the deliciously campy special effects are well staged for such a low-budget production. Pacing is judge accordingly to pull you in. Cinematographer Paul Gickleman fluidly shot the film and the lively music score by Dwight Dixon ticks along fittingly. Cohen also pens the colourful story, which is terribly fractured with vagueness and continuity problems, but it's quirky maniac humour, zany developments with a surprise or two and satire frame of mind goes a long way to covering that problem up. The fruity performances are acceptably apt to what's happening on screen. The always interesting performer Michael Moriarty is wickedly good as the smarting, downbeat industrial spy Moe Rutherford. Paul Sorvino provides some amusing comic relief as an high strung, off-the-boil right-wing Colonel. Andrea Marcovicci, Garrett Morris, Danny O'Neal, Patrick O'Neal, Scott Bloom and Cohen regular James Dixon give splendid support too.

Even with some lapses within the story (due to probably the editing) and it being one of his lesser features, it's hard not to be infatuated by Cohen's outrageously delightful and creative treat for the taste buds.

17 of 18 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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