THE STUFF (1985) is a..."Horror" movie, sort of. Written and Directed by Larry Cohen, starring (unbelievably) Danny Aiello, (no freakin' way) Paul Sorvino, Michael Moriarty, Garrett Morris, and Andrea Marcovicci.
Alright, I'll start this review by stating the following: This movie is both completely fucking retarded, and hilarious lol. I can't tell if that makes it great or terrible. Yet somehow, it still managed to scare me/bother me as a kid. Unbelievable lol. Welp, here we have it; The Stuff: You be the judge.
It begins at night, when a bunch of miners are going home for the evening; One of the miners (Peter Hock) notices this bubbling white goop seeping out of the snowy ground. So, he does the only logical thing a sane person would do; dips his fingers into it and tastes it. Sure, why the hell not, right? Because that makes absolute sense. And upon tasting it, decides it's "Sure smooth! Looks real good! Tasty! Sweet!"; Even gets his miner buddy to taste it for a 2nd opinion. They believe if there's enough of it, they could plumb the earth for it and sell it to a dessert company.
Which, they do. It's marketed as having no calories, and as being sweet, creamy and filling! Nom nom noms!! They can't figure out what to call it... Yoplait is already taken, and well...it's not yogurt. And it's not ice cream either so Blue Bunny is out. They call it "The Stuff". Marketing genius at it's finest, folks. And soon it's cleared through the FDA, mass cultivated, produced, commercialized, and sold. It soon becomes the new refrigerated treat sweeping the nation! 'Cuz once you've tried it, you simply can't get enough!
Worst, creepiest commercial in history; even for a fake one. lol it's the "Where's The Beef" lady from the old Wendy's commercials!
This of course gains the attention of several big wigs in the nation's largest ice cream companies, as their sales plummet due to the rising success of "The Stuff". They hire David 'Mo' Rutherford (Michael Moriarty), an ex-FBI agent turned industrial spy and saboteur to investigate. One thing I can say about 'Mo' Rutherford: He does a spot on Norm MacDonald impersonation (mixed with a dash of Christopher Walken on 'ludes for good measure); whether he realizes it or not.
His investigation leads him to uncover the truth that "The Stuff" is not only hazardous to the consumer's health, it also eats them from the inside out, turning them into bat-shit crazy zombies who's task it is to make others sample the delicious new dessert; which in turn, yep, you guessed it - Creates more zombies!
And Rutherford isn't the only one who notices there's something fishy in Denmark; A boy named Jason (Scott Bloom) discovers "The Stuff" is alive and witnesses firsthand how it turns his entire family into assholes; Who want nothing more than to hold the poor kid down and force the Stuff down his throat. They've been eating it continually since it was advertised, even going as far as throwing out everything else in the fridge, replacing the contents with containers of The Stuff. He's arrested at a supermarket as he runs around trying to destroy displays of the Stuff, getting Rutherford's attention. And now we have a bad Norm MacDonald impersonator and an 11yr old trying to save humanity from the diabolically evil Stuff!
What can I say about this movie... Well, it's better than Troll 2 lol. I guess, loosely, (and this is stretching it), it does have a message about consumerism and brand loyalty. What that message is, you got me there... Seriously, I lack the amount of drugs I would need to smoke in order to cohesively make sense out of the message of this movie. Be that as it may, it goes to show that the talents of Danny Aiello and Paul Sorvino can be totally wasted in lieu of a paycheck. Hey, good actors have to eat too ya know! Just don't eat "The Stuff".
The Verdict: C+
I can't in good conscience give it an A, certainly not a B...but I can't give it an F, either. This is mainly due to the fact it really was hilarious. It's 80s cheese at it's greenest and smelliest. The dialogue or maybe the actor's ability to deliver it was just poor. Maybe both. The movie is filled with bad special effects, unintentional laughs, and completely stupid, awkward situations. I could imagine the guys behind the set with a hose pumping a bunch of shaving cream or whatever it was all over the place with people trying to run from it, wrestling with it, scream in terror of it; all with a straight face lol.
I wonder how many retakes it took before they got it just right with nobody laughing. It should've come with a gag reel, or maybe this IS the gag reel and the real movie is still on a shelf somewhere lol. Want an interesting night? Get some friends, a couple of Sixers, turn the volume off, and treat this as an episode of Mystery Science Theater 3000 lol.