REVIEW: The Stuff (1985)



The Stuff (1985): B

“Are you eating it or is it eating you?” B-movie gold!

Some old codger finds a puddle of white goo seeping from the earth, so he does what any of us would do: He tastes it. Turns out, it’s not molten bird shit or house paint or toxic waste; it’s a DELICIOUS yogurt like substance! “I can sell this to people!” the old goo-eater exclaims.

The mystery goo is marketed as “The Stuff” and is sold to consumers as an ice cream alternative. The Stuff has no calories, is satisfying, and is addicting like crack. What sucks is that The Stuff is also a sentient parasitic life form. If you get hooked on The Stuff, your body is controlled and then eventually eaten from the inside out. There are tons of scenes where people are orgasmically enjoying tubs of Stuff with shit-eating grins on their faces. Later, The Stuff fatally dumps out of their stupid mouths.

In addition to turning people into Stuff zombies, The Stuff can also maneuver around like The Blob and attack people, making for some hilarious 80’s CGI sequences.

The ice cream industry, suffering from the popularity of The Stuff, hires a hot shot PI to investigate the Stuff company. The PI forms a little Anti-Stuff detective league with an 8-year old kid and a fashion mogul. They do all sorts of shenanigans like blowing up a lake of Stuff, infiltrating a Stuff factory, and fighting hordes of Stuff zombies. These fights are great. Punch a Stuffy in the face and half their skull cracks off, revealing a Stuff geyser.

Paulie from Goodfellas plays an Army general.

There are elements from many of your favorite horror/sci-fi movies: The possessions by a foreign organism like in The Thing; the creepy food product like in Soilent Green; the few unlikely heroes who know the truth and set out to enlighten the public like in They Live. You could also read the movie as an allegory for marketing to middle class America, diet crazes, or the war on drugs. Mingle all this with B-movie charm and non-stop action, and you get The Stuff.