The Stuff (1985)
10/10
Good stuff
18 September 2004
As a rather unsubtle allegory of mindless consumerism The Stuff works quite well. It'd be easy to dismiss it as an 80's shlockfest but there is some brains behind it and Larry Cohen (the very man who wrote Maniac Cop, Phone Booth and Cellular) keeps the film fun until the last frame.

It's a cool story too. A weird goo oozes out of the ground in a quarry and it tastes good. So good in fact that within days it's being sold in mass, mass, incredibly mass quantities to the whole country. People are having it for breakfast, lunch, dinner, desert and supper. They feed it to their pets and put it in their coffee. Enough is not enough as the slogan goes.

Rival candy companies don't like the look of this and hire a very smooth industrial spy, David 'Mo' Rutherford, to find out exactly what it is. What he finds is rather sinister indeed. And with the help of a commercial maker, a runaway kid and a gung-ho militia leader he tries to put a stop to The Stuff.

My main problem is that the origins off The Stuff and its 'intentions' are never fully revealed or exploited. It ends without a satisfactory explanation which is quite a shame considering how much potential is wasted. There are stories that Larry Cohen cut 30 minutes of erm…stuff from the movie and perhaps there's more to the missing scenes. But for what it is, The Stuff, is a fun 90-minute movie that will not linger in your memory too long after seeing it.

Anchor Bay's DVD of The Stuff presents the film in 1.85:1 anamorphic widescreen. The picture is generally clean and dirt free but has some trouble in a few scenes. The Mono sound is adequate and tolerable but the ADR is too apparent in the early scenes and there are brief drop-outs towards the end. A commentary by Larry Cohen is also included.
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