The Stuff opens with some redneck miners, giving Death the middle finger by heading into the underground labyrinth/health spa that is their job. One particularly hillbillied redneck stops to notice some white goo bubbling from the ground. What would you do in this situation? If you answered "taste the goo," then get back in the mine, you hillbilly slacker! Personally, my first (admittedly uneducated) assumption about white goo coming from the earth is that it is planetary semen (AKA Earth jism), so putting it in my mouth would be toward the bottom of my to-do list. I am not much of a 'billy, though, and this miner ate it up. And it was good! So good, in fact, he convinced his friend to have some. And he liked it, too! A jump cut later, and we are in the near future, where The Stuff is the number one consumer product on the market. It's sweet, it's creamy, it's filling, and it has zero calories --- no wonder America "can't get enough --- of The Stuff!"
|Not even trannie spokespeople can derail The Stuff|
Scott Bloom), realizes the danger The Stuff poses and starts to act out. He knocks over hundreds of dollars of Stuff at the grocery store and refuses to eat The Stuff at home, even though that's all his family is eating.
|Trust me, son --- I want to see you dead with white stuff on your face|
Meanwhile, Mo Rutherford (Michael Moriarty) is hired by the ice cream industry to steal the secret of The Stuff, because their sales have been so negatively impacted by this new craze. Mo is an industrial saboteur/blackmailer/former FBI agent that seems pretty stupid with his thick-enough-to-cut Southern drawl, but he's actually a clever, likable guy. He manages to befriend fellow dessert-employed investigator
In many ways, The Stuff is a stupid, stupid movie. Most of the characters are slow on the uptake at best, and significantly handicapped at worst. The special effects range from pretty good to "that's obviously a green screen," although it is the easiest effects that often look the worst. For instance, goo filling a room gets the noticeably bad green screen treatment...
- When Mo has a glob of Stuff on his face, smothering him, Nicole says "Hold on, I'll burn it;" by "it," I assume she means his face. Remarkably, his face and hair are none the worse for wear after having flaming Stuff on them.
- As it becomes known that Mo is investigating The Stuff, a Stuff-branded truck tries to run him over in the street. Sneaky! Sadly, the vehicular homicide subplot is quickly dropped.
- There are hundreds of Dairy Queen-like shops that exclusively sell The Stuff. Okay, so maybe we'll see Stuff concoctions, like a Stuff pie, or a Stuff cone, or Stuff with Reese's Pieces in it, right? Nope. You get the same pint container that you buy from the grocery store. All you get from these locations is a plastic spoon to go with it.
- Okay, you're a kid trying to spy on The Stuff factory. You climb on a tanker truck to hear the employees talk, but are forced to hide or you will be discovered. Where do you go? If you said "inside the tanker," you deserve whatever happens next.
To be completely honest with you, though, The Stuff is surprisingly fun to watch. The acting isn't great by any means, but it is certainly interesting. I'm not too familiar with Michael Moriarty, but I was fairly certain that I would hate his stupid twang and frequently explained nickname after the first scene. Remarkably, Moriarty kept the ridiculous accent up for the entire movie, complete with some unusual cadences and a nearly permanent smirk --- and, even more remarkably, I actually ended up liking his goofy-ass performance here. I'm still not entirely sure why.
|I'm pretty sure his next line is "Hyuk, hyuk."|
|Mild disinterest is the best he can do|
The Stuff has many aspects that place it within the horror genre, but it's not a very good horror movie. There is no suspense or scares. There is some pretty decent gore, especially when Stuff-controlled people get their heads caved in; as one soldier comments, "I kind of like the sight of blood, but this is disgusting."
|Above: a novelty SNL toothpaste dispenser|