“It’s gonna kill you… It’s gonna kill you all!”
An industrial spy (Michael Moriarty) joins forces with an advertising executive (Andrea Marcovicci) and a skeptical young boy (Scott Bloom) to investigate the proliferation of a mysterious new dessert called The Stuff that is taking over people’s diets and bodies.
Genres, Themes, Actors, and Directors:
- Larry Cohen Films
- Naïve Public
- Satires and Spoofs
Response to Peary’s Review:
Peary notes that “writer-director Larry Cohen’s horror spoof satirizes (among many, many things) how Americans automatically become hooked on all trendy… products”, and points out that this “odd film has interesting non-hero types as heroes, good offbeat performances, some genuinely funny scenes, and a premise that works”. However, he argues that it would “be so much stronger if the production values were better”, given that it “looks sloppy and choppy… and after a while it’s hard to tell what’s going on”. I disagree with his final point (the narrative seems continuously clear to me), but agree that this film’s low-budget is ultimately either its undoing or its saving grace as a laughingly “bad movie”. While the “offbeat performances” (particularly by droll Moriarty) are certainly unusual, they occasionally come across as first takes, as though the entire film was made in a hurry. Meanwhile, the Stuff itself is impressively gushy and foamy, but many of the special effects often show clear green-screening and/or obvious animation.
Redeeming Qualities and Moments:
- Silly special effects
No, though it’s worth a look for its cult status.