Exploding Egg

B Horror Bonanza: The Stuff

Summer’s just a few months away, and with it comes the urge to diet. So with that in mind I have a special movie treat for you that will just melt off the pounds — at least it might if you get nauseous easily.

It’s called The Stuff, released in 1985, and it’s one of my all-time favorite B cult horror flicks.

I mean, how can you go wrong with a film about mutant ice cream that eats people? You can’t.

In the film, The Stuff — a product that its producers claim tastes like something between ice cream and yogurt — is discovered by a miner in some random snowy part of the world.

The miner, while walking around outside, finds a patch of bubbling white creepy-looking material coming out of the ground. So he naturally does what most of us would do in that case — he picks some up with his fingers and eats it, exclaiming “what the hell is that? Ooh. Smooth. That tastes real good. Tasty. Sweet.”

Who wouldn't want a mouthful of this?

Fast forward in time a bit, and The Stuff has been successfully mass-marketed to the public as the next massive desert fad, which drives those evil, devious ice cream companies right into the hands of industrial spy David ‘Mo’ Rutherford, played by Michael Moriarty.

The ice cream moguls want Rutherford — who goes by Mo because, he says, “whenever somebody gives me something I always want more” — to discredit The Stuff, and to find out its secret formula.

Some of the executives seem dubious about Rutherford’s ability to get the job done, though, that is until he reveals that he placed a bug in one of their pockets the previous night and has been spying on them.

That nets him a back-handed compliment from one of them: “You know, Mister Rutherford, I don’t think you’re quite as dumb as you appear to be.”

Rutherford is quick with his own response: “No one is as dumb as I appear to be.”

Never underestimate Mo Rutherford

As Rutherford takes the job and starts his investigation, though, he discovers that there’s more to The Stuff than just successful marketing. In fact, he finds that the creepy desert product has the ability to move on its own and zombify those that eat it.

This is further confirmed when Rutherford comes across a kid, played by Scott Bloom, whose family has become quite fond of — and addicted to — said desert product.

After the kid, Jason, sees The Stuff moving around in his refrigerator one night, he goes on a spree in the grocery store trying to destroy every container of the product, yelling “It’s gonna kill you! It’s gonna kill you all!”

Rutherford finds out about Jason’s grocery store adventures through a newspaper story — remember those from back in the 1980s? — and goes to find him after meeting with The Stuff’s distributor, who tells Rutherford that “I don’t know what it is. Nobody knows what it is. Nobody knows what it wants.”

The distributor knows, though, that as an industrial spy, nobody will listen to Rutherford if he tells the public the product is dangerous. So instead of threatening, he offers to give Rutherford $25,000 to become his head of security.

Rutherford takes the money, then takes the kid, and also takes off with The Stuff’s marketing director Nicole, played by Andrea Marcovicci, after she realizes she’s been marketing zombie food to the masses.

They go on a nice family outing to find out more about what’s really going on.

But of course, what they find is more Stuff zombies, abandoned towns and conspiracies.

A Stuff zombie. Say cheese!

The film is chock full of 80s silliness, including a few choice shots of leg warmers, a spoof on the “Where’s the Beef?” Wendy’s commercial and some conspiracy talk about communists invading the United States by altering the fluoride in people’s toothpaste.

Horay for leg warmer commercials for The Stuff

And while I’d love to run through the rest of the action with you, you know that’s something I can’t do because it would ruin the film and, more importantly, the drinking game.

What I will say, though, is that you haven’t lived until you’ve seen white marshmallow blood spurt out of a Stuff zombie.

And now, for the drinking game:

First: Drink every time Mo Rutherford pretends to be somebody else — such as an oil mogul, magazine reporter or, yes indeed, a male secretary.
Second: Drink whenever you see the stuff move or bubble.
Third: Drink whenever the stuff comes out of somebody, or when it flows into somebody.
Fourth: Drink when you see anybody stockpiling The Stuff in a back room.
And Fifth and Finally: Chuck a full drink whenever you see a new commercial for The Stuff (there are several different ones in the movie)

Being a cult favorite, The Stuff isn’t too hard to get a hold of. Netflix has it available on CD here if you want to put it in your queue.

Enjoy! And thanks for reading!



April 12, 2010 - Posted by | B Horror Bonanza, Reviews

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