Root Beer Film Festival: The Stuff

The Stuff has most of the classic elements of a 1980’s horror film: bad special effects, a terrible script, awful editing, a kid in danger, a bunch of bad acting, and it’s not all that scary. The Stuff isn’t so bad it’s good on the level of a classic like Night of the Creeps, but it has its moments.

Michael Moriarty is pretty entertaining as Mo Rutherford, an industrial saboteur who is investigating a mysterious dessert called The Stuff. He very quickly starts dating the ad executive who created the campaign that makes The Stuff so popular, and soon they rescue the only boy in America who knows The Stuff is bad. The three of them along with a militia group led by Colonel Spears (Paul Sorvino) end the menace of The Stuff. A bunch of random other things happen involving “Chocolate Chip” Charlie (Garrett Morris), a few creepy Southern towns, and Danny Aiello being killed by his dog.

Every Saturday afternoon when I was a kid one of our local channels would show a double feature of horror films, and The Stuff was a staple of their line-up. I probably have seen the entire movie, but I don’t think I ever sat and watched the whole thing in one sitting. Outside of using “Whole Lotta Love” for their theme music the only other thing I remember about the “Thriller Double Feature” is The Stuff and Troll.

I love corny horror movies, and The Stuff is really close to making that list, but it’s missing the whole classic element to put it over the edge. It doesn’t have a great one-liner from anyone. Moriarty doesn’t have a great line, and outside of “Chocolate Chip” Charlie repeatedly saying his fists are “deadly weapons” nothing comes close. I need that line that just makes you laugh when you really shouldn’t be. The Stuff sadly doesn’t deliver it.

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