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