The Stuff (1985)

Open wide!
Open wide!

David Rutherford (Michael Moriarty) is hired by several dessert manufacturers to find out about a new product called The Stuff that is ruining their businesses.

Art by Graham Humphreys
UK art by Graham Humphreys

Rutherford discovers that The Stuff is actually a living, parasitic, blob-like organism that seeps up out of the ground and is being packaged as a new fast food… that gradually takes over the brains of users, turning them into hollowed-out, zombie-like beings.

A dog barfs-up The Stuff
A dog barfs-up The Stuff!
When white goo attacks!
When white goo attacks!

Larry Cohen’s low budget yarn about a sentient dessert that sets out to take over mankind is a fun 80s B-movie romp featuring a bunch of rough & ready & enjoyable practical effects scenes (animatronics, miniatures, etc), some satire on fast food culture (colourful logos & catchy jingles sell The Stuff to consumers) and a likeable performance from Michael Moriarty, who was also good in Cohen’s god-monster movie Q (1982).

The Stuff leaves users all hollow inside
The Stuff leaves users all hollow inside
Some fun 80s animatronics
Some fun 80s animatronics

The film has hints of INVASION OF THE BODYSNATCHERS in its DNA, plus a bit of INVADERS FROM MARS (a child character’s family is taken over and no one believes anything the kid says), and also, of course, it has visual influences from THE BLOB.

Yummy!
Yummy!

“Are you eating it or is it eating you?”

Poster
Warning!
A torrent of The Stuff!
A torrent of The Stuff!

Ultimately, THE STUFF features some good sequences and has fun with the overall premise, though Larry Cohen isn’t able to make his monster, which basically resembles yogurt with an IQ, very scary!

It's pouring straight at them!
It’s pouring straight at them!
The Stuff gif

4 thoughts on “The Stuff (1985)

  1. I think the stuff not appearing scary is what makes it work. The stuff is still pleasing and fluffy to the eye… even when it’s coming out the mouth of one of its victims.

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