Stuff, The (1985)

Stuff, The (1985)

“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:

  • Horror
  • 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

Must See?
No, though it’s worth a look for its cult status.


One thought on “Stuff, The (1985)

  1. Not must-see.

    This film has its fans for its cult appeal. But, to me, essentially it’s a bargain-basement re-tread of ‘Invasion of the Body Snatchers’ without any of that film’s richer texture. …Meh.

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