Let’s see here. I guess there’s no way to talk about this movie without talking about the beginning. There’s a worker at a mine. He’s outside and he sees a strange, white, bubbling substance coming out of the ground. So naturally, he eats it.
From there, we move forward in time. The Stuff is a best-selling product. You can eat it at any time of the day, any meal. It has entire sections in the dairy section (because it’s marketed kinda like ice cream), and little shops that sell it all hours through the day. When you eat the Stuff you can’t get enough!
Have I mentioned yet that the Stuff is alive? Or at least it seems to be. It obviously has some kind of “hive” mind. It can exit a body at will, and apparently affect the mind enough that it can control people’s behaviors. And of course, it makes you want more of the Stuff.
This is one of those movies that really has to be seen to understand any of what is going on. There’s a guy named “Mo” (“They call me that 'cause when people give me money, I always want mo'”). There’s Chocolate Chip Charlie, a black man who has risen through the dessert ranks, that happens to have lethal weapons for hands. And then there’s this crazy kid, who should be right up there with the performance of the kids in the infamous Troll 2. His acting is ridiculous, but it fits the tone of the “so bad it’s good movie”.
This movie is a mess plot wise, and just from certain points of view (How can we see the kid inside the pumper truck with no light?) you can’t understand the oversights made. However, I enjoyed it. The effects were terrific, and the animation of The Stuff was so much fun. Did I feel afraid at any time while watching The Stuff? No, but that doesn’t mean I didn’t have fun. The gruesome deaths of people that come from the Stuff tearing itself out of people’s bodies make the contrived plot worth it. Michael Moriarty (Mo, of course) who teamed up with Larry Cohen for Q: The Winged Serpent is fantastic here playing as straight a comedic role as you could.
There’s obviously a message here, one familiar to those that peruse 80s horror cinema (I feel the same vibe from this as I do They Live!). It’s the paranoia that the government is misleading us, and that corporate America is BAD. Oh, and it also tells us to not eat things that we don’t know what they are, something that is still being prevailed today (There’s not GMOs in this product!). But really, the message is lost completely in the 80s camp. And that’s just fine with me.
Except for the fact that the 80s commercials are fabulous. I swear the budget of this movie was more on the dancing basketball commercials and the "Where's the Beef" spin off than the rest of it.
If you like terrible horror films, check out The Stuff, which I’m giving a “C+“.
For more on this, check out IMDB.
"All work and no play makes Jack a dull boy"