Let me set the scene for you: It’s the middle of the night and you’re working at the quarry, maybe you’re on a smoke break or possibly you are just lazy and wandering around outside avoiding work, and you notice bubbling through the snow covered ground a marshmallowy white substance. What’s the first thing you do? If your answer is dip your fingers in it and shove it in your craw without a second thought, you belong in The Stuff! Beverly Hillbillies comes to mind here, except that finding crude oil bubbling up from underground would be far less disconcerting than a unknown white substance and at least with oil there’s no taste test at any point in it’s identification process. Then again, maybe that why I’m not filthy rich – I lack an adventurous enough spirit to stick ground swelling foodstuffs in my mouth.
Luckily for the man who discovers The Stuff, the white substance is more akin to a delicious dessert treat than the caulking foam it more closely resembles and it becomes a nationwide sensation seemingly overnight. It can be found in every grocery store across America and stand alone restaurants, like ice cream shops, are springing up to capitalize on the public’s addiction to the new snack. Speaking of ice cream, that family favorite treats dethroning is the main impetuous behind the plot of The Stuff; the ice cream barons (yeah that’s right, i called them that) aren’t happy they are losing ground to this overnight success story and hire an industrial saboteur to infiltrate the company producing The Stuff and ruin their business and discover the secret behind what makes The Stuff so irresistible. The saboteur goes by the name of Mo Rutherford, probably for the sole purpose of giving him awesome one liners based on his name. Case in point: “They call me Mo,because every time someone give me money, I always want mo.” Panty dropper right ladies? It seems it is, at least in this universe as his corn-ball one liners allow him to become chummy with the director of cheesy commercials for the stuff, who he quickly turns to his side once they realize the “delicious” white treat is dangerous to more than your teeth.
People quickly become addicted to the snack sensation and whats more, begin to violently oppose anyone they suspect of wanting to cut off their supply or find out what it’s really made of. Mo meets a peanut gallery of characters in his journey, quickly turning him from an industrial spy to a crusader for Joe Q. Publics’ health and safety. Amongst the nuts are a little kid who looses his shit in a grocery store and starts trashing displays of The Stuff, screaming that it’s alive and not to eat it, so i guess he’s at least on the right track here even if he is kind of psychotic. The other character he meets worth noting (and my personal favorite in the movie) is Chocolate Chip Charlie, a down on his luck cookie king who’s board of directors and family turned on him and sold the cookie company to the producers of the stuff for an assumed tidy profit. Why’s he my favorite? It’s probably the slick kung-fu moves he busts out when shit goes south. Another possibility is that all that comes out of his mouth are quotable one liners. It’s hard to pin it down to just one reason.
After some investigatory work on the part of Mo and the director, they hijack a truck “for evidence”, because apparently photography didn’t exist in 1985, and take it to a crazed ex-military commander who leads a group of equally crazy armed militants out of a castle in middle of Buttfuck, America. Thankfully for them, he happens to both believe there crazy story (you trust your own i guess) and own a radio station from which they can broadcast a warning. Our troupe of heroic snack food saviors fly thir personal jet (one of the perks of being an industrial saboteur I guess) and fly it down to the commanders’ Atlanta radio station to begin broadcasting a warning to the people of America. Never mind that this is the 80’s and that isn’t satellite radio, the military commanders sheer insanity forces his radio waves to be nation wide, science be damned! It’s a good thing people do whatever the radio/tv/internet tells them too because their plan works like a charm and en-mass, folks turn against there former favorite snack ( how fickle ye be, joe Q. Public) and set it on fire to get rid of it. Cue victory music.
Or maybe not. It’s time for Mo to confront the man who runs the stuff company and he discovers the CEO of the company producing The Stuff is now in league with one of the ice cream barons to market a less pure version of the stuff so our heroic saboteur does what anyone would and forces them to eat there supply of delicious snack food (now with just enough stiff to keep people addicted!) at gunpoint. NOW cue the credits.
If you like your social commentary in the form of b-movie horror with crazy effects and killer marshmallows, check The Stuff out. Full of awesomely cheesy one liners only the 80’s could spit out and even cheesier acting this movie is a just a good time, unless you need your horror to all be dark and spooky. Then again, if that’s the case, you probably wouldn’t be on this site in the first place.