The Stuff (1985) Poster


User Reviews

Review this title
110 Reviews
Sort by:
Filter by Rating:
You scream. I scream. We all scream… for 'The Stuff'?!
lost-in-limbo19 April 2007
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.
26 out of 29 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
Great, entertaining movie
farcoat30 November 2004
In contrary to the previous comment, I have to say this was a great movie. Who would ever come up with an idea that ice cream would be the instrument for our doom? What person would ever come up with tricking his parents that he was eating it, but he was actually eating shaving cream? When I was a child, after watching this movie, I had the mad rush of curiosity and tried it myself..Yuck!

Anyway finally, where else can we find great horror, suspense with humor without the hell of CGI?;) This is why I love 80's movies so much and I highly recommend it for a Friday night with pizza.
40 out of 53 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
1980s time capsule
lee_eisenberg8 July 2007
In this ultra-gross-and-proud-of-it B-movie, some people discover a strange substance bubbling out of the ground. They taste it (yes, they find something on the ground and just eat it!), like it, and decide to start marketing it as The Stuff; it quickly becomes the most popular food of all. But, sure enough, a detective (Michael Moriarty) hired by the candy companies discovers that The Stuff turns people into obedient zombies before completely dissolving their innards. So, only he, an advertising executive (Andrea Marcovicci), and a boy (Scott Bloom) can stop The Stuff from taking over the world.

A completely ridiculous idea? Absolutely. But one might interpret "The Stuff" as a parable about excessive consumerism brainwashing people into brand loyalty. There's also a scene in which Paul Sorvino's right-wing yahoo of a colonel claims that in the case of the Vietnam War, we lost the war at home (so it was perfectly OK to invade their country). But I mostly saw the movie as a 1980s time capsule. There's the over-synthesized music for the TV commercials, the impossibly polite suburban family, and more. Of course, most people into these kinds of movies will probably agree that the coolest scenes are when people spit The Stuff out after it dissolves them. Director Larry Cohen (who also directed the killer baby vehicle "It's Alive") pulls no punches.

All in all, this is quite a treat. Sort of an updated "Invasion of the Body Snatchers". Also starring Danny Aiello and former "Saturday Night Live" cast member Garrett Morris.
17 out of 21 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
There's more to this movie than satire
HeadMonkey5 March 2005
I LOVE this movie. I rented it in high school because the cover looked like it was going to be total horror schlock. This of course was not the case.

On the surface, it definitely satirizes American consumerism.... but after several discussions with my friends, we noticed something else. This movie also seems to be Cold War era anti-communist propaganda. The Stuff, seemingly innocent at first, possesses and adapts you as part of the machine to further its spread around the globe (just as we were told in the ages of the Red Scare, communists are everywhere, and you can't tell them apart from you or I, and they will try to CONVERT YOU). Before long, all the people are willing slaves of the Stuff machine (the Stuffies), and they seek out the few that aren't under the Stuff's grip to force them into becoming part of the hive mind. It takes the actions of a few patriotic Americans (in the form of the Georgia Militia) to conquer and defeat the Stuffies (the Communists hidden among us).

I highly suggest checking this movie out, as it really is a great film, regardless of whether you agree with my opinion of what the movie is about.
22 out of 30 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
From beneath the ground to the frozen food aisle...
vertigo_143 March 2004
It came from beneath the ground. The Stuff. It's the new dairy craze that turns it's addicted victims into mutating zombies. The movie is about three people attempting to get to The Stuff before it gets to them.

The Stuff is a metaphor for drug smuggling/drug addictions, which is obviously evident from the ending. Although, it could be read as metaphorical of any kind of destructive addiction, really. It could also be held as a metaphor of products liability and the lengths companies will go to rack up profits, even in the face of defective products.

The Stuff, starring Michael Miarity, Paul Sorvino, and those gorgeous Bloom Brothers, is actually not quite as ridiculous as a glance at the box might lead one to believe. In fact, it's actually a rather funny zombie-like tale with Michael Miarity as Moe "why do they call me Mo? Because when people give me money I always ask for Mo!" as he repeatedly jokes to his frustrated associates. Moe is the guy sent to find out what The Stuff is by competitor's wishing to jump on the market. But, Moe figures out much more than that. Hence, his mission to try to get rid of it.

Paul Sorvino, always a terrific actor, is funny as the overzealous army commander trying too hard to maintain his position as leader of this coup against that lovable dairy treat.

What's more is that the special effects, which in my book are about 80% of a horror film, were, much to my surprise, pretty damned good. In fact, I was actually surprised by the whole thing really, and actually came to enjoy it.

If you enjoy The Stuff, perhaps you'll enjoy a 1994 Australian horror film of a similar nature entitled 'Body Melt.' Beware, however, that Body Melt is much weirder and tons more gross than the occurrences in The Stuff, if you'd call the Stuff gross at all.
20 out of 28 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
The Stuff is The Sh!t.
ElijahCSkuggs28 November 2007
The Stuff is one of those movies you always walk by at your local Mom and Pop video store. I always loved the cover when I was younger, but I was always very hesitant about the horror section, mainly because every movie in there seemed too old. Years later, I'm accepting the cheese like it's a brother and tell you what, I'm so glad I waited to see this. The Stuff is the sh!t.

The story starts with a couple guys finding this white, creamy ooze coming out of the ground. The one dude who initially discovered it actually tastes it! And low and behold the Stuff actually tastes great! Not long later this creamy ooze is now a nation wide dessert hit and has been named The Stuff. A oddball trio of sorts, private investigator, little boy who has great intuition for alien desserts, and a campaign organizer band together to stop people from eating The Stuff and get down to figure out exactly what it is. What follows is in my opinion easily one of the best horror/comedies that came out of the 80s. It's got a great lead with Michael Moriarty, who delivers his lines like a recent famous president, and an entertaining supporting cast which includes Danny Aiello and Garrett Morris (classic SNL).

One thing I don't understand about this flick though. Why on Earth is it Rated R? I suppose there's a couple scenes of gore, but damn this felt very light-hearted and comical. I suppose I just didn't pick up on the swears. Also if anyone reading this is a fan of Futurama, I couldn't help but think of the Slurm episode...realizing the famous product originates from a hideous source. Nevertheless, The Stuff has all the ingredients for a fun night, and if you've been looking for a classic 80's horror flick to watch, look no further.
4 out of 4 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
The films of Larry Cohen
Captain_Couth10 February 2005
The Stuff (1985) was a very interesting film from low budget film maker Larry Cohen. A funny parody on American consumerism and the greed of business. The movie is about two men who discover a strange kind of goo that's resembles and taste a bit like yogurt. Except it has a few after effects such as a strong crave for more "stuff" and a very nasty side effect. One of the few films to feature Michael Moriarity(a Larry Cohen favorite) in a lead role. Paul Sorvino steals the show as a leader of a craze militia and Garrett Morris as a wannabe Uncle Amos.

I have to recommend this movie. It's very entertaining and a bit of fun for all. If you like fifties science fiction films and Larry Cohen's other work, this movie's just for you.

Highly recommended.
21 out of 31 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
Lot's of fun to be had with Cohen's The Stuff!
The_Void17 April 2006
The Stuff is another delightful horror film from the hand of Larry Cohen and plays out something like a meeting between Invasion of the Body Snatchers and The Blob. After seeing films like It's Alive and Q: The Winged Serpent, the style and way that this film plays out doesn't come as a surprise. Larry Cohen is a master of schlock horror, and I definitely rate The Stuff as one of his best films! The film is definitively eighties; the whole feel of The Stuff is very much reminiscent of the trash decade and things such as the 'flash' advertisements for the product at the centre of the film, as well as the music help to ensure this. The story takes in ideas of greed and, more importantly, consumerism as we follow a couple of miners who discover a viscous white liquid emanating from the ground. The chances of me tasting something that I'd just seen bubble out of the Earth are nil, but these guys do and discover that it's actually very tasty! One successful marketing campaign later and everyone is tucking into the tasty new desert...but there's more to what people are calling 'The Stuff'...

Given that this is a silly horror film, its commentaries and themes are actually put across rather well. The audience is never allowed to take it completely seriously, but the way that the film builds up the scenario and sees everyone purchasing what the media has told them to buy is strangely haunting all on its own. Besides that, even themes in a film that can't really put them across appropriately is better than no themes at all, which shows Larry Cohen's talent for creative scriptwriting. The film is lead by Michael Moriarty, who worked with Cohen in Q and the third instalment of the It's Alive series and does a great job in this one. While his acting isn't very good, he's constantly amusing and actually has really good screen presence; I often found myself wanting to see him back on screen during the scenes he wasn't in. The special effects are typically silly; but far better and more believable than most CGI rubbish. The scenes that see people breaking apart are oddly frightening, and I've got to say that I loved the 'Blob' style scenes where The Stuff itself was on the rampage. On the whole, The Stuff might not do much for those who don't like schlock horror; but if you ask me, it's a great fun ride and I highly recommend it!
17 out of 25 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
Invasion of the deadly yogurt
Coventry15 March 2005
Warning: Spoilers
Our beloved horror friend Larry Cohen is in great shape again, as the writer and director of this delightful, tongue-in-cheek tale of madness named "The Stuff". With some imagination, the best way to describe this film is as: a demented version of "Invasion of the Body Snatchers" since it equally focuses on an (alien?) life force attempting to take over by eating humans from the inside. Only in Cohen's wicked fantasy, it is the dumb humans themselves who allow this to happen easily! When a strange kind of yummy liquid, seemly producing itself straight from the ground, is discovered in a remote industrial zone, it quickly becomes a popular and addictive dessert thanks to slick marketing campaigns and naive consumers. This tasty snack, however, has a mind of its own and the people who consume it undergo bizarre mental and physical transformations. The only form of revolt comes from a young kid and an unscrupulous ex-FBI agent turned industrial spy. With his light-headed and extremely entertaining scenario, Cohen simultaneously grabs the opportunity to criticize some typically American issues, like the Cold War, the consumer society and the dangerous influence of clever marketing boys. Personally, I think you can't but love Larry Cohen's work for the horror genre! You have to admit that the "evil" in his films aren't exactly your ordinary kind of monsters ("It's Alive" featured a murderous baby, "Q, the Winged Serpent" was a giant lizard living on rooftops etc…) and his unsubtle, chaotic sense of humor is just marvelous. It might be acquired taste, but I thought the right wing army (led by a brilliant Paul Sorvino) was a hilarious finding for this type of black comedy. The gore and special effects unfortunately weren't as outrageous as I thought they would be but there still definitely are a few great sequences for gorehounds to enjoy, like for example stretching mouths and exploding eyeballs. Michael Moriarty is splendid in the lead-role and some of his lines perfectly portray the tone of the film ("no one is as dumb as I appear"). "The Stuff" is a hugely enjoyable 80's quickie that'll certainly appeal to the numerous fans of undemanding horror. Along with Frank Hennenlotter, Larry Cohen might be considered the most creative horror director ever. I would pay big money to see a project of them two together!
11 out of 16 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
Prescient genius
BandSAboutMovies23 March 2018
Warning: Spoilers
Larry Cohen's films contain themes that stay timeless, regardless of when they were released. Take The Stuff for example - consumerism, corporate greed, celebrity culture, junk food - none of the theme in this film have gone away. If anything, they've only increased in importance.

The Stuff - a yogurt-like white dessert - is discovered coming out of the ground like black gold to Jed Clampett. It's sweet and addictive and quickly gets sold like ice cream. It's all natural with no calories and incredibly filling, so it helps people lose weight. Of course, sales go through the roof and destroy the ice cream industry. Along with junk food mogul Charles W. "Chocolate Chip Charley" Hobbs, these purveyors of sugar hire David "Mo" Rutherford (Michael Moriarty, who also appears in Cohen's Q) to get to the bottom of The Stuff and then destroy it.

The more he learns about the product, the more horrified he becomes. The Stuff is actually a parasite that takes over whoever eats it, taking over their brain and gradually transforming them into zombies as it consumes them from the inside out - the very inverse of how people consume products.

A young boy named Jason is learning the same lesson the hard way. It's ruined his family, so he destroys a supermarket display.

David also meets Nicole, the ad exec who learns that the campaign that she created for The Stuff has only led to death and destruction. As someone who has worked in the ad industry for over twenty years, the battle between craft and commerce has never been so beautifully illustrated than it is here. The film is packed with fake commercials of celebrities hawking The Stuff, including Wendy's pitchwoman Clara "Where's the beef?" Peller, who yells, "Where's The Stuff?" to Abe Vigoda.

Everyone that consumes The Stuff eventually turns into a gooey white substance and those under its grip do everything they can to kill our heroes (Nicole and David become lovers; they rescue Jason just as the police arrest him). The corporation that makes The Stuff claims they are trying to rid the world of hunger, but the possibly extraterrestrial substances is really being created to take over the world.

They work together with retired United States Army Col. Malcolm Grommett Spears (a perfectly cast Paul Sorvino, Goodfellas) to destroy the zombies and a lake of The Stuff before sending a civil defense message to the country - the only way to destroy The Stuff is to burn it with fire.

David then visits the leader of The Stuff Company, Mr. Fletcher, who reveals that they haven't destroyed all of the ways they can get the product. Now, they're working with the ice cream industry -including Mr. Vickers, who originally hired David - to make The Taste, a product that is 88% ice cream and 12% The Stuff. They believe that it will be much safer and still as addictive. However, David brings in Jason and the two force the CEOs to eat The Stuff at gunpoint. David asks, "Are you eating it or is it eating you?" as the cops arrive to arrest the corporate con men.

You know how you should never leave the credits during a Marvel movie? Cohen was again ahead of his time here, as the final crawl also has moments showing smugglers selling The Stuff on the black market and a woman in a bathrobe saying, "Enough is never enough" while holding a container of The Stuff.

From its inventive gore and special effects to its wry social commentary, The Stuff is sheer delight. It moves fast, it's packed with action and it has plenty to make you laugh, too. It may make you avoid ice cream for awhile, too.
3 out of 3 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
Strange, But Good B-Grade Movie Flick
jbartelone7 March 2008
The Stuff is a rare find. It should be shown more because it examines an inner message. How a product known to be addictive can still influence people to buy it in mass quantities if properly marketed. A scary thought also blends into an entertaining movie. The Stuff is very reminiscent of the classic 50's "Sci-Fi" and horror flicks where some alien, monster, or bizarre life form, tries to take over the world, and it's up to the one or two people who haven't been "taken over" by the strange creature or "thing" to stop it.

What's even more interesting is how this movie examines society's obsession with food fads. Back in the 1950's ,when these types of B-grade horror films were produced, the diets and nutritional habits of the general public did not emphasize the importance of healthy eating like they do today. Our nation has been consumed over the years with a lot of "Stuff" (pun intended) in food consumption that causes such serious health concerns as high blood pressure, high cholesterol, and heart problems.

An underlining message in this movie shows how companies can be motivated to maximize profits while ignoring heath risks. Just because something "tastes great" doesn't mean that it IS great. The acting in The Stuff is very campy, cheesy, and at times way over the top. But the hidden messages about America's compulsion with food consumption plays well here.

See The Stuff! It is a much better film than you would expect!
3 out of 3 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
Awesome B-movie
leawenthome17 August 2006
I would recommend this movie to anyone who ever said that a movie was "so bad it was good." This move is actually Larry Cohen's most polished, least disjointed work. There are so many great scenes, and Michael Moriarty will make you laugh again and again. The humor is way over the top, and sometimes off color. It's a sci-fi thriller, a romantic comedy, an action packed mission film and conspiracy investigation all in one. The 1970's style commercials for The Stuff that are embedded in the movie are a great highlight. "Enough is never enough of the stuff." I own this movie on VHS, and make people watch it frequently.
5 out of 7 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
* * * out of 4.
brandonsites19813 June 2002
Bounty hunter and TV advertiser team up together to discover what the ingredients are in a popular junk food that is sweeping the country, called The Stuff. However, they uncover a conspiracy in which the makers of The Stuff know that their product is causing people to become mindless zombies. Exciting and funny little Cohen film is a throwback to the horror films of yesteryear, yet with all your usual Cohen trimmings, but much more solid then usual with good special effects and an original premise. The cast is excellent and the film has various cameo's planted throughout the film.

Rated R; Violence & Profanity.
9 out of 15 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
Good Stuff
andymcneill7528 December 2010
Warning: Spoilers
Great little B-movie feature that harks back to 50s/60s sci-fi films and is a cool satire on consumerism and is extremely smart and witty. Michael Moriaty is so funny as Dave Mo Rutherford and really has a great time hamming it up and does a great Southern accent and sends up a lot of stereotypes. Garrett Morris, Danny Aiello and Paul Sorvino all turn up in small roles and all lend black humour to Larry Cohen's witty and telling script. The FX are dated but are hilarious and there are some really unexpected little scenes that will have you laughing, like when Mo meets up with some company types and ends up knocking out one of them! Enjoyable Stuff indeed!! P.S. look out for Eric Bogosian & Abe Vigoda in blink and you'll miss them roles and also recent A-Team villain Brian Bloom as the brother of the little kid in this! Eat it up before it eats you up!! Moriarty was the man in this!!
2 out of 2 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
You Scream, I Scream, We All Scream for Bubbling, Oozing-out-of-the-Earth Cream
BaronBl00d23 June 2008
Writer/Director Larry Cohen seems to make pictures that bear some important philosophical/social thread to them very often against a background of absurdity, sheer silliness, and subtle good performances. directions, etc... The Stuff is no exception and while nowhere as good(as far as I am concerned) a Q or It's Alive - The Stuff has a lot going for it. Oozing yogurt-like substance(alien source perhaps) is being manufactured and sold and becomes a million dollar plus commodity. Trouble is it has amazingly devastating after-effects. While The Stuff is one of Cohen's less serious films in style, it is profound if you look for it to be. It makes fun of crass consumerism, retailing, marketing, the army, the government, big business, and so many other things - all with a humorous slant but with a cutting undertow. Michael Moriarity again stars as the lead in a Cohen film and as always gives a pretty good performance. He always gives the films an air of credibility. The rest of the cast is good at playing it as half-serious with Garrett Morris standing out as well as Paul Sorvino as a macho military man. And what about the white stuff? Well, it is creepier than you might expect as it can do all kinds of things. And the saddest part is that while the story is heavily exaggerated - I found it to be credible given more realistic criteria. Cohen hits the mark on the nature of 20th century consumers and beyond.
2 out of 2 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
Very funny and clever B-movie
emmanuel-zitnik9 May 2007
This movie is just great. It's got a Fantastic entertainment value, very talented actors, goofy plot, an interesting monster etc... There is quite a number of hidden messages in the sub-text. Other reviewers pointed that out before: - This is both a critic of ultra-Capitalism (represented by an excess of mass consumerism) AND Communism (everybody ending up being the same) - It opposes Conservatives Vs Liberals (Stuffies vs the Militia) - Rural life Vs City life.

What's most important is that the movie is never pretentious in any way in quite a few scenes are downright spooky. It is just an extremely good flick to watch on a Saturday night. It could be the best B-movie of all times.

Rent it or buy it and I swear that you won't be disappointed.
2 out of 2 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
Good stuff
CuriosityKilledShawn18 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.
9 out of 17 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
Awful Movie
jeremy-david-kuehnau11 December 2017
The stuff is a b-horror film from the mid 80's. It is classified as a "body horror film". The general idea is that a substance is found that is one of the best tasting products in the world, but it is actually a living, hive mind creature intent on taking over humanity.

After reading rave reviews about 'The Stuff', I decided to give it a go. I was raised on horror films from the 80's and 90's and am a gore hound at heart. The stuff was listed as one of the top body horror films of the 80's and it intrigued me.

But it wasn't anything that I expected. For a body horror film, the stuff is incredibly non-violent. There are a few scenes that may be slightly disturbing, but it's few and far between. Further, the film suffers from terrible writing and characters that making completely stupid decisions. Scenes jump all over the place, the overall plot hardly makes any sense.

A great example is when the main character Moe is trying to expose the stuff as a dangerous substance, so while trespassing on private property, instead of taking photos for evidence he decides he has to steal one of their trucks as evidence.

I mean, what?

Or how about how the film makes it look like that the entire population is in love with The Stuff, only to broadcast a radio show that says it's bad and suddenly they manage to just make it all go away? I mean really.

I am no stranger to old horror films, but The Stuff is just absolutely absurd and boring in almost every capacity.
3 out of 4 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
The Tasty Treat That's Good Enough To Eat...YOU!!!
cchase5 December 2008
That Larry Cohen...after B-movie home runs like "Q", "It's Alive" and "God Told Me To," what would this spiritual cousin of William Castle think of next?

How about a living dessert that likes to eat people as much as people like to eat IT?

That's the bottom line of THE STUFF, a yuk (and YUCK)-filled black comedy that some will find...WAIT FOR "acquired taste." (Bah-dum-BUM!)

Longtime Cohen associate Michael Moriarty is back for "seconds" as sharp-as-a-tack food industry mole David "Mo" Rutherford. (That's "Mo" as in "Mo' MONEY!") With the initial discovery and distribution of THE STUFF, it's bitch-slapped the sales of all other desserts, especially ice-cream, and now the suits behind the scoops want to know all about what this "stuff" is and how they can sabotage its popularity.

Amongst Larry Cohen's typical all-star cast ensemble: Andrea Marcovicci as a Mad Ave exec who created the campaign promoting the wildly popular new dessert; Garrett Morris as a "Famous Amos" clone who wants to help Mo (after all, it IS in his best interests); Danny Aiello as an FDA official who mysteriously got THE STUFF approved with no red tape whatsoever, and Paul Sorvino as a 'Strangelovian' right-winger who proves to be a valuable ally, once he's been convinced that THE STUFF is a "threat to national security"...never mind that it's a whole lot worse than that!

I love the fact that you can get really deep about this movie, and how Cohen is giving American consumerism and the greed for "more, more, more STUFF" consumes us all as we consume all the crap we don't really need, but are programmed to blindly want. Or you can just screw all the intellectualism and just groove on the fact that this is a BLOB/BODY SNATCHERS/BLUE SUNSHINE hybrid that's just a helluva lot of fun to watch!
3 out of 4 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
Larry Cohen Delivers a Scathing Satire of Business and Consumerism
gavin694210 December 2007
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.

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. Even without the horror aspects (which borrow very heavily from "The Blob") or the social commentary, the story itself is pretty good and Michael 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. He seems to be on the opposite pole as Cohen, if I am interpreting his films correctly. Kim Newman apparently sees this, too, as he describes their relationship as "thorny". But maybe this is the proof of just how great Moriarty's acting really is. Cohen says they work well together because they both look through the world as if they're playing jazz, improvising off of each other. Indeed, few actors could be as professional and simultaneously eccentric as Moriarty.

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).

Cheap DVD copies are floating around, but now fans have an even better option, thanks to the Arrow Video blu-ray. Beyond the improved sound and picture (a 2K scan of the negative), we have a 52-minute "Can't Get Enough of The Stuff: Making Larry Cohen's Classic Creature Feature" with Cohen, a producer, actors and effects people. Oh ,and historian Kim Newman. And one other treat: An introduction and trailer commentary by director Darren Bousman!
3 out of 4 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
Good Movie, scary and funny too
dsfilm1231 August 2000
This movie is a combonation of "Invaders From Mars" and "The Blob" and a good one. Written and directed by cult film director Larry Cohen ( It's Alive, Q ) and stars Michael Moriarty in an excellent performance. The Stuff itself is depicted in a variety of special effects shots. Including matte paintings, stop-motion models, gross make-up effects, Rod-Controled puppets and live action mechanical effects. There is also a lot of atmosphere in the story and cool miniature effects. The Stuff is a very different movie and if you're into these king of fantasy/horror films rent it tonight!
3 out of 4 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
Very Bad Stuff
Blackace2 August 2008
I have been trying to find this movie for over the last 20yrs. Back in 1985, I saw the trailer for it on T.V. and it started out with an ice cream truck driving down the street. Some kids and adults gathered around the truck while the announcers stated that "The Stuff" was here. It's creamy, yummy and you can't get enough of it. Then it showed a man who had eaten about half his ice cream cone and the announcer changed his tone and said, "It will take you over, eat you and kill you." and the camera zooms up on the guys mouth, and you can see the creamy white "Stuff" eating away the inside of his mouth. Bleah!! It was pretty gross and freaked me out back then. Something like this would have 4-10yrs old running from their T.V. sets. Talk about setting up kids for nightmares.

I tried googling "parasite eating ice cream" to no avail, until one day on IMDb, I was looking up info on an old "Snuff" film from the 70's and saw "The Stuff" come up. Immediately, I knew this was the film. So I ran to the video store and was able to rent it.

Not only was this movie, not scary, but the acting and the comedic nature were even worse. To make a long story short, here is the premise. Two guys working at a petroleum factory stumble across a pool of white creamy stuff in the ground. One of the guys sticks his finger in it and tastes it. Now I don't know about you, buy any normal person would never taste anything coming out of the ground unless it was water from a Spring pool. Anyway, the guy who tastes it says it taste real good. So good in fact, that they decide to market it as a new kind of ice cream treat, even though it's "not" ice cream. Before you know it, it's the best thing since the hot dog and everyone is eaten the stuff in gallons. People who try it, can't stop eating it. This causes other tasty treats on the market to lose profits. Several snack food manufacturers come together and hire an investigator to find out where and how this "Stuff" is made. In comes David 'Mo' Rutherford, the private detective who will investigate this tasty treat's mystery. He soon finds out that "The Stuff" is causing people to become uncontrollable zombies. The Stuff takes over their bodies and when it's done using them, it eats their insides and leaves through their mouths. It's alive. He also eventually finds out where this stuff is being stored.

The special effects of this "stuff" is average at best. The movie "The Blob" (Steve McQueen) did a better job and that came out many years before this. The acting is pretty back. Only Michael Moriarty seems to be enjoying himself. Paul Sorvino and Danny Aiello are completely wasted in this film. Garrett Morris makes a short appearance, but he was actually better in "Car Wash" then in this campy horror flick. Actually, his scene is the only scary part in the film. You'll see.

The whole movie is pretty far fetched and if this "stuff" was at retailers everywhere, wouldn't there be other investigators and even FBI agents investigating this problem? I think Larry Cohen was basically trying to send a message to consumers who constantly eat and drink the same bad foods day after day (Starbucks coffee, donuts, burgers, french fries and of course ice cream). He's saying don't eat this crap as it can eventually kill you, just like "The Stuff". We get it, but it still doesn't make the movie any better.

I also think some of the scenes were removed from the film as well. Besides the ice cream truck scene in the trailer, I thought the poster scene with Jason's family in the kitchen on the floor being eaten by the Stuff was in the movie as well. It didn't show up on the DVD, so either it was cut or it never existed and I'm imagining things. A sequel to this movie could be interested if done right. The story of how the "stuff" is discovered would need to be changed of course, but an adequate sequel could be accomplished. Similar to how "The Blobl" was remade.

This movie is not really worth a look. If you must see it, just rent it. It's not even a horror cult classic like The Cube, Phantasm, The Howling or Donnie Darko. I gave it a 4/10 and that was probably being generous. If you're going to made a comical horror film, watch Evil Dead and Evil Dead 2 and take lots of notes. "The Stuff" isn't funny or scary. It's mostly a waste of time.
7 out of 14 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
This Ate My Brain
paul-day-clone22 July 2015
There may be a good movie lurking in here somewhere, but I didn't see it. The main problem comes in a total lack of focus. It can't decide what it wants to be. If it's a comedy, it's not funny. If it's sci-fi, there's no actual description of what The Stuff is.

It's one great big WTF from the beginning. The Stuff, with no warning or catalyst, bubbles up out of the ground and some dumbass decides to eat it. That's the basis of your movie? Perhaps if you can suspend your disbelief that there are people who'll eat off the ground in the middle of a mine, you can enjoy this. I can't. "B-but it controls your thoughts so..." Fine. Why hadn't it done so already? What's the catalyst? Where's the back story? Or where's the explicit acknowledgment that this whole thing is one big goof?

From here on out, you're at the mercy of some of the dumbest plotting I've seen. Mo just walks into the middle of commercial shoot and shuts it down and no one really complains. Nicole, plausibly, wants to do a background check on Mo but, even though there's plenty of time, never gets the result. Instead, she implicitly bangs Mo within five minutes of meeting him. Jason's family are sociopaths and the worst parents ever. Apparently, it's the only way the scriptwriters could show the mind control aspect of The Stuff. Mo casually tells Nicole that he's an industrial spy and she just accepts that with no sense of betrayal, disappointment or any emotion at all. Don't get me started on continuity.

What turns this into a tragedy is that the actors all seem to be enjoying themselves. Moriarty does the hick bit perfectly. Marcovicci, stunningly beautiful, lifts her write-off character above the one-dimensional script. Sorvino rocks it as always. Sadly, the script, direction and editing conspire against their good intentions to turn this into something that MST3K would pass on.
4 out of 7 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
Stuff this
thesar-228 December 2008
They should remake/reimagine 'The Stuff.' The premise is good, for B-Movie quality, that is, and was originally well executed in the film. Then all of a sudden, the director and actors remembered they were making a silly B-Movie and acted accordingly. But, even with the worst B-Movies, there is always a level of consistency, such as the similar 'The Blob.' The original 'Blob' showed us a creature (mass) that consumed victims and grew bigger. The horrid 1988 remake showed us a (now) pink blob and gave a more realistic reasoning behind why it consumed humans. (Pink?) 'Stuff' shows us some yogurt that pumps from the ground, sometimes moves on its own, sometimes doesn't. Sometimes it leaves its host and returns, sometimes it leaves killing the host. Sometimes it's allergic to fire (a cheap reverse rip off of the freezing cold enemy of the Blob) sometimes it rolls in it. Sometimes it needs to be refrigerated, sometimes it's fine warm. There was no consistency. I am aware it is a campy B-Movie, but like I said in the beginning, there was hope here for a decent sci-fi thriller – so remake it with a better script. It was if the creators had "special effects" to spare and screamed 'Look at what I can do!' (Said in best Stuart voice from MadTV reruns.) Believe it or not, the main character (not that boy – oh, God, I hope this was his first/last film) 'Mo' Rutherford (Michael Moriarty) was actually funny enough to get through to the end. I first watched this film when I was 8 or 9 and it freaked me out beyond terror. Not that I would recommend it to the under 10 crowd, but you'd really have to have that mentality to be scared of…'The Stuff.'
5 out of 10 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
Another inventive fun little horror film from Larry Cohen.
poolandrews8 November 2004
Warning: Spoilers
The film opens on a dark night with an employee of a mine discovering a white substance bubbling up from a hole in the ground. He dips his fingers in it and tastes a bit, and then tastes some more. A fellow work colleague walks over, tastes some and is also immediately addicted to the stuff! They decide to market it and sell it as some kind of desert. A young boy Jason (Scott Bloom) can't sleep, he gets up and goes downstairs for something to eat. As he opens the fridge he sees a carton of the stuff on it's side with the lid off, and next to it is a dollop of the stuff but he is shocked to see it's moving on it's own, like it's alive! The executives at Amalgamated dairies are upset because this stuff is blowing their ice cream sales out of the water. Nobody seems to know how it's made or what's in it, but people are queueing up to buy it. They decide to hire ex FBI David Rutherford (Micheal Moriarty) to obtain the secret of the stuff by any means necessary. First of all he targets Nicole Kendall (Andrea Marcovicci) the person who designed the highly successful ad campaign for the stuff, from her agency in New York. Together they begin to discover that the stuff is a deadly living organism that takes over peoples bodies and minds. They trace the factory where the stuff is supposedly made, but they find out it's pumped into trucks straight from the ground. However, the people responsible for the stuff want to keep where their big money earning desert comes from a secret. And are prepared to kill to do so. Directed by Larry Cohen I liked it, but I didn't think it was as good as one of his earlier horror's Q-the Winged Serpent (1982). I don't really think he had the budget to do the ambitious story the way he wanted. The stuff is supposed to be taking over America, tens of millions of people, yet we see none of this, just New York and a few small towns. Also, there is only one factory producing the stuff? Even though the whole of America is addicted to it? Could one small factory produce enough to cover the whole of America? One radio broadcast is enough to turn the whole of America against the stuff? Having said that the film is still extremely enjoyable, and the script by Cohen is very good, with an interesting central premise, some sharp social satire, and remains entertaining even during it's slower moments. But there are problems, it's never properly explained why the stuff is taking over people or what it has to gain by doing so, and the character of Col. Malcolm Grommit Spears played by Paul Sorvino and his troops are a little over the top and silly. The film doesn't really contain much violence or gore and some of the effects aren't that great, especially the effects of the factory blowing up at the end, obviously just models, once again the budget probably didn't help. But the scene toward the end when a character vomits up a load of the stuff, and his head splits open is quite gross. There are some creepy moments in there too, I liked the sequence where Jason is trapped in the back of a tanker which is slowly being filled with the stuff, it slowly moves towards him with no apparent way out. All in all a great little horror film that is consistently entertaining and certainly worth a watch.
5 out of 10 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
An error has occured. Please try again.

See also

Awards | FAQ | User Ratings | External Reviews | Metacritic Reviews

Recently Viewed