The Stuff (1985)

the stuff poster 1985 movie killer yogurt
6.0 Overall Score
Story: 6/10
Acting: 6/10
Visuals: 7/10

Clever and humorous story, some interesting visuals

Gets sidetracked 2nd half of the movie, some visuals don't work

Movie Info

Movie Name: The Stuff

Studio: New World Pictures

Genre(s): Horror/Comedy

Release Date(s): June 24, 1985

MPAA Rating: R

the stuff killer yogurt movie

Who wants some Stuff for dinner?

You can’t get enough of The Stuff! It’s a health food crazy sweeping the nation. The Stuff is a low calorie, yogurt-like desert that just seems to taste better every time you eat it. People want it too…a lot. It seems like they just can’t keep eating it. Now David “Mo” Rutherford (Michael Moriarty) has been hired to find out what makes The Stuff so good. With a Stuff competitor “Chocolate Chip Charlie” Hobbs (Garrett Morris), The Stuff ad campaign coordinator Nichole (Andrea Marcovicci), a kid named Jason (Scott Bloom), and a rogue military agent named Colonel Malcolm Grommett Spears (Paul Sorvino), Mo has to try to stop a nation obsessed with The Stuff.

Written and directed by Larry Cohen, The Stuff is a horror comedy. The movie had a small theatrical release and bombed at the box office despite relatively positive reviews. The movie gained a small cult following over the years.

I’ll say this for The Stuff…as a kid, it had one of the best video covers. An open refrigerator with monsters coming out of spilled yogurt containers. The movie didn’t quite live up to cover (in a kid’s mind), but it is a lot more interesting and smarter than many horror films of the time.

the stuff chocolate chip charlie death garrett morris

Chocolate Chip Charlie…I don’t like you like that…more as a non-cannibalistic friend

Cohen wanted to explore the idea that people eat “stuff” that is bad for them. He combined it with the popular yogurt boom (which actually was pretty good for you) and it resulted in a plot. The movie is quite funny and the studio wanted more of a horror film (resulting with a rift with Cohen and heavy editing). The movie becomes a satire of horror films and movies like The Blob…it does feel a bit low budget.

The cast is so-so. Michael Moriarty was a regular in Cohen’s films and always felt a bit bland. Garrett Morris spices the movie up as Chocolate Chip Charlie (though Cohen had considered Arsenio Hall for the role). Andrea Marcovicci and Scott Bloom are ok in the film, but it might have worked better with more dynamic actors and a better kid actor. Paul Sorvino has some fun in the role as the over-the-top general.  Danny Aiello, Abe Vigoda, Tammy Grimes, Laurene Landon, Brooke Adams, and “Where’s the Beef” Clara Peller all have cameos (plus, Mira Sorvino and Patrick Dempsey as uncredited extras).

the stuff killer yogurt andrea marcovicci

The Stuff really opens your pores…

The Stuff is rather cheap and utilized a lot of things to make the monster yogurt. It is practical effects which for the most part hold up a little better than early computer effects so that does work for the movie (the Stuff coming out of the bed was shot in the same rotating room as A Nightmare on Elm Street). Plus, you got to love The Stuff commercial.

The Stuff is one of those movies that is fun, but you also realize could be better. It is good and bad at the same time and I could see Mystery Science Theater 3000 doing a good job parodying it if they could get the rights. With everyone wanting a quick fix to weight gain, you have to remember…you can’t get enough of The Stuff!

Author: JPRoscoe View all posts by
Follow me on Twitter/Instagram/Letterboxd @JPRoscoe76! Loves all things pop-culture especially if it has a bit of a counter-culture twist. Plays video games (basically from the start when a neighbor brought home an Atari 2600), comic loving (for almost 30 years), and a true critic of movies. Enjoys the art house but also isn't afraid to let in one or two popular movies at the same time.

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