The Stuff (1985) - Rotten Tomatoes

The Stuff1985

The Stuff (1985)




Critic Consensus: No consensus yet.

The Stuff Photos

Movie Info

Former NBC-TV scriptwriter Larry Cohen directed this surreal, violent horror spoof that features a sweet-tasting white confection that looks like ice cream oozing up from the ground. A hamburger-chain operator, Colonel Spears (Paul Sorvino), teams up with an ice-cream maker, Chocolate Chip Charlie (Garrett Morris), to tap into the sticky blob's commercial potential by turning it into a best-selling confection. The trouble is, the stuff turns people who consume it into addicts and then into zombies, as it eats away at them from the inside. Messy and grotesque scenes dominate the satire, which stars Michael Moriarty as the investigator trying to discover the secret behind the violence. Moriarty and Sorvino would go on years later to team up on television's Law and Order. Cohen livens up this film with cameo appearances by several television commercial personalities, including Clara Peller, the "Where's the beef?" lady.

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Michael Moriarty
as David 'Mo' Rutherford
Garrett Morris
as 'Chocolate Chip' Charlie W. Hobbs
Paul Sorvino
as Colonel Malcolm Grommett Spears
Danny Aiello
as Vickers
James Dixon
as Postman
Russell Nype
as Richards
Gene O'Neill
as Scientist
Cathy Schultz
as Waitress
James Dukas
as Gas Station Attendant
Peter Hock
as State Trooper
Colette Blonigan
as Jason's Mother
Robert Frank Telfer
as Jason's Father
Brian Bloom
as Jason's Brother
Marilyn Staley
as Stuff Girl
Beth Teagarden
as Investigator
Ann Dane
as Hostess
Harry Bellaver
as Old Miner
Rutanya Alda
as Psychologist
Edward Power
as Executive
Abe Vigoda
as Old Couple in Stuff Commercial
Clara Peller
as Old Couple in Stuff Commercial
Brooke Adams
as Girl in Stuff Commercial
Nick Taylor
as Ex-FBI Man
Patrick O'Neal
as Stuff Executive
Heidi Miller
as Girl in Franchise
Tammy Grimes
as Herself
Adrianne Sachs
as Studio Aide
Bobbi Burns
as Secretary
Laurene Landon
as Guest Star in "Stuff Commercials"
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Critic Reviews for The Stuff

All Critics (14) | Top Critics (3)

Peopled by leaden or hackneyed characters...The Stuff is further burdened by special effects of the most pedestrian kind.

March 26, 2019 | Rating: 0/4 | Full Review…

Its execution never lives up to its scrumptious satiric premise.

February 12, 2006 | Rating: B | Full Review…

The Stuff is a wildly ambitious movie that fails because it forgets to attend to its bottom line. Before you can make a clever, funny, satirical horror film, first you have to make a horror film.

January 1, 2000 | Rating: 1.5/4 | Full Review…

Though The Stuff isn't as effective as Cohen's more heralded titles (including the first installment of his It's Alive trilogy), it has all the hallmarks of his perverse sense of eco-terror.

October 6, 2020 | Rating: 3/5 | Full Review…

There are a lot of empty calories in this cheapie, but it's so outrageously indulgent it rises above so much other B-movie fluff.

July 19, 2019 | Full Review…

The Stuff probably won't make anybody's list of best films of the year, but it is an inspired, goofy, fast-moving piece of sci fi silliness, probably destined to become a cult favorite.

February 4, 2019 | Full Review…

Audience Reviews for The Stuff

It is so appallingly awful that it doesn't even work as a commentary about the kind of crap people ingest without knowing what it is, and so it is only trashy, nonsensical, with a ridiculous sense of humor and terribly directed by someone who clearly has no idea what mise-en-scène is.

Carlos Magalhães
Carlos Magalhães

Super Reviewer

Very good B movie horror. The Stuff directed by Larry Cohen is an entertaining comedy horror film that has enough good elements to make this an entertaining ride. The plot is great, and there's plenty to enjoy about this film. Though flawed, this is a terrific forgotten gem from the 80's that is worth your time if you're looking for a horror flick that is bizarre but fun, then this is a must see. The premise for this film is pretty neat, a gooey substance grows from the Earth and is discovered that is delicious, and addictive. Unfortunately The Stuff controls the mind and eats the victims insides. Complimented with good, gory effects, The Stuff is a memorable B movie that will thrill horror fans looking for terrific forgotten gems like this one. I personally felt that The Stuff is one of the best unheard horror films of the 80's, cheesy premise for sure, but this is terrific entertainment. If you want an interesting and quite unique horror film with a social commentary; then look no further than The Stuff. Larry Cohen crafts a good film that despite its flaws is lots of fun to watch. Like I've stated earlier, this is one of the best unheard of horror comedies of the 80's. Definitely an underrated film that deserves to be seen by horror film fans. What makes this film appealing is the interesting premise and if you love B movie films from the 80's, and haven't seen this film, do so when you get the chance. The Stuff is a cheesy classic of 80's horror cinema, and it delivers .

Alex roy
Alex roy

Super Reviewer


A very fun B-Horror Noir, and one of Larry Cohen's best. It's not going to blow your mind, but it's very watchable.

Ken Stachnik
Ken Stachnik

Super Reviewer

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