Amalgamated Dairies hires David Rutherford, an FBI man turned industrial saboteur, to investigate a popular new product called “the Stuff,” a new dessert product that is blowing ice cream sales out of the water. Nobody knows how it’s made or what’s in it, but people are lining up to buy it. It's got a delicious flavor to die for!
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.
Good Movie, scary and funny too
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!
The Stuff is a fantastic B horror movie.
The Stuff is strictly tongue in cheek. Everything in this movie was done for a purpose. From it's bad acting, to the playful script and many cuckoo characters...all of this works to the film's advantage. The Stuff is another great movie for the Halloween season. Another thing...The Stuff looks so damn deliciously good and creamy. I would eat it in a heartbeat. F**k being invaded by it's evilness! It looks so damn tasty!
You scream. I scream. We all scream for 'The Stuff'?!
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.
Satire about our obsessions to consume, horror about our obsessions consuming us. And vice versa. The backdrops; a deserted town, a mining compound, a photo shoot where models advertise the thing from a catwalk, crowded New York streets with street vendors selling it like candy, a sleepy suburbia shattered from inside.
As with so many of these 80's horrors, we get a sloppy, cheesy, garish, gleefully absent-minded concoction. But for all those reasons, a film that is ultimately easy to relax in, strangely soothing because we know it's so harmless it can never bite back.
It's not a better gooey mess than The Blob, From Beyond, or Night of the Creeps, but it makes a pretty fine mess just the same. You can spend some time with it and be sure you'll be easily able to clean yourself off and forget about it the minute it ends.
Eventually, the victims who consumed the gelatinous substance are shown to be hollow inside, eaten up by their desire to consume. The reckless corporate bosses get a taste of their own medicine. Society we're led to believe is restored - until something else comes along.
There's more to this movie than satire
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.
Great, entertaining movie
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.
1980s time capsule
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.
"The Stuff" is a B movie being satyric to another B movies, Larry Cohen's scripts and films are always a delish! The cinematography is lovely like a music video, the special effects are wonderful, they are special ones, cool 80's effects. The acting is funny and thrilling at the same time. "The Stuff" is a good stuff.
Funny and Cult Trash Movie
The industrial spy and former FBI agent David 'Mo' Rutherford (Michael Moriarty) is hired by executives of the ice-cream industry to disclose the receipt of the successful marshmallow desert called "The Stuff". Their consumers become addicted in the product, and the competitors want the formula. With the support of Nicole (Andrea Marcovicci), the promoter of The Stuff, and the boy Jason (Scott Bloom), 'Mo' tries to prove that The Stuff is apparently an alien being trying to dominate the mind of the population of Earth.
"The Stuff" is a funny and cult trash movie. It looks like a Troma movie, or one of the first Peter Jackson's films, with a criticism to the exaggerated consume of the American society. The intention of The Stuff in dominating the mind of the population is not explained along the story and for me this is the great flaw of the screenplay. The characters are very interesting: 'Mo' Rutherford is the hero, indeed an ambitious anti-hero, who spies, blackmails and cheats; Jason is a rebel teenager, who does not obey his parents; Col. Malcolm Grommett Spears is a stupid and boastful military, full of prejudice and racist; Nicole is the typical girl-friend of the hero of the movies of the 40s or 50s; the entrepreneurs are corrupt, trying to steal the secrets of other companies. All of them together make this movie a worthwhile entertainment. The DVD released on Brazil has a bug in the Menu screen: if the viewer clicks the remote control to see the movie, the DVD stops. A tip to the Brazilian readers: to leave the Menu and start the movie, it is necessary to go first to the Scene Selection screen. My vote is seven.
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