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The Stuff (Midnight Madness Series)

129 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

Amalgamated Dairies hires David Rutherford, an FBI man turned industrial saboteur, to investigate a popular new product called "The Stuff," a new dessert product that is blowing ice cream sales out of the water. Nobody knows how it’s made or what’s in it, but people are lining up to buy it. It's got a delicious flavor to die for.

Special Features

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Product Details

  • Actors: Michael Moriarty, Paul Sorvino, Danny Aiello
  • Directors: Larry Cohen
  • Format: Multiple Formats, Color, Dolby, NTSC, Widescreen
  • Language: English
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.85:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated: R (Restricted)
  • Studio: Image Entertainment
  • DVD Release Date: September 20, 2011
  • Run Time: 93 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (129 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B0053TWW9K
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #11,894 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

11 of 11 people found the following review helpful By Mark Eremite VINE VOICE on October 22, 2013
Format: DVD
THE STUFF bills itself as a horror film. In the first ninety seconds of the movie, an old man stumbles across a strange, white goo bubbling up out of a snow bank. Using old man logic, he eats a dollop of it, and finding it tasty, suggests to a friend that they mine it and sell it as food. Naturally. It turns out that The Stuff is both sentient and addictive, and The Stuff spreads as one of America's favorite snack foods.

I'm tempted to say that the movie is a satire on the mindless consumerism of capitalist culture (especially as it was manifest in the mid-eighties when the movie was released). There's almost no doubt that this kind of morality was on the filmmaker's minds -- there's a lot of fun poked at commercials, and there are at least half a dozen scenes where characters discuss the evils of The Stuff with big, name brand ads (Marlboro, McDonald's, and Mobile gas stations) featured prominently in the fore- and background. Aha! People are too crazy about hoarding "stuff" the movie seems to be saying in a message that's about as subtle as clown shoes.

The problem is that the plotting and story are so haphazard and chaotic that the satire is lost in sheer stupidity. The movie is more senselessly frenetic than a Prodigy music video played at double the speed. I'm pretty sure that the editor must have been on an heroic amount of coke, because the pacing and cohesion of the scenes is tissue thin. Characters appear out of nowhere. Events occur rapid fire with a sporadic sense of timing. Establishing shots are nearly nonexistent.

The really weird thing is that there's very obviously the mood that this is all supposed to make sense.
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13 of 15 people found the following review helpful By Inspector Gadget on September 18, 2004
Format: DVD
As a rather unsubtle allegory of mindless consumerism The Stuff works quite well. It'd be easy to dismiss it as an 80's shlockfest but there is some brains behind it and Larry Cohen (the very man who wrote Maniac Cop, Phone Booth and Cellular) keeps the film fun until the last frame.

It's a cool story too. A weird goo oozes out of the ground in a quarry and it tastes good. So good in fact that within days it's being sold in mass, mass, incredibly mass quantities to the whole country. People are having it for breakfast, lunch, dinner, desert and supper. They feed it to their pets and put it in their coffee. Enough is not enough as the slogan goes.

Rival candy companies don't like the look of this and hire a very smooth industrial spy, David `Mo' Rutherford, to find out exactly what it is. What he finds is rather sinister indeed. And with the help of a commercial maker, a runaway kid and a gung-ho militia leader he tries to put a stop to The Stuff.

My main problem is that the origins off The Stuff and its `intentions' are never fully revealed or exploited. It ends without a satisfactory explanation which is quite a shame considering how much potential is wasted. There are stories that Larry Cohen cut 30 minutes of erm...stuff from the movie and perhaps there's more to the missing scenes. But for what it is, The Stuff, is a fun 90-minute movie that will not linger in your memory too long after seeing it.

Anchor Bay's DVD of The Stuff presents the film in 1.85:1 anamorphic widescreen. The picture is generally clean and dirt free but has some trouble in a few scenes. The Mono sound is adequate and tolerable but the ADR is too apparent in the early scenes and there are brief drop-outs towards the end. A commentary by Larry Cohen is also included.
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13 of 15 people found the following review helpful By Ronald Mackay on November 17, 2000
Format: DVD
Got the DVD - i've been a fan of The Stuff ever since it came out. I love Larry Cohen movies, but this, by far, is his most intriguing. I almost had a heart attack when I saw it was available on DVD. The film is great - accept its many flaws and hammy dialogue - because it's worth checking out for its pure brashness and unflinching consumer pops.
For all of you out there who want to know how it translates to DVD - let me explain. The print is of very good quality and sound. Everything is fine in those departments. There's only one criticism I have about the DVD transfer - it brings out the special effects and spoils them. There are numerous moments throughout the film where it blatantly uses blue screen and those shots are very noticeable and apparent. They're not so bad in the video version. Apart from that, everything's great. The menu screen is excellent and inspiring; a splat of the white goo slurps and bubbles over the menu screen to the music from the film. But what I really fell in love with was the director's commentary from Cohen. He rarely stops speaking and goes into minute attention to every detail as it happens. What a great guy. Find out for yourself and buy the DVD - a very worthwhile purchase (particularly because the video is hard to find).
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Format: DVD Verified Purchase
A man stumbles across a delicious, pulsating gooey substance bubbling out of the ground at an industrial mining site, which he immediately touches, sniffs and tastes. WHAT!?! Now I'm no geologist, but when I encounter mysterious STD-like, sticky, gobbledy-gook discharges oozing from Mother Earth's orifices I tend to keep a safe distance. I mean, why was it bubbling? Was something alive under the surface? Was it super hot? Is it loaded with some dangerous bacteria or fungus or virus? I doubt I'd touch it…let alone taste it! Did this guy not see The Blob (1958, 1988)? If he had seen The Blob I bet he'd of thought twice.

But low and behold it turns out to be a sweet, tasty treat which is readily--basically overnight--mass manufactured as a domestic dessert staple. This film is cleverly complete with television commercials for "The Stuff," marketing it as an adult snack with the tagline "enough is never enough." This tongue-in-cheek propagandist approach reminds me of They Live (1988) as we observe so much social commentary on the American practices of consumerism, advertising, and corporate and FDA ethics.

Like in so many other stories, a young boy (Jason) discovers something just isn't right when he sees The Stuff crawling around in his refrigerator. Jason won't eat The Stuff after seeing it meandering around the some Tupperwared leftovers, but his parents do and they've been acting weird. Like buying a year's supply of The Stuff and throwing away all of their other food in the trash weird.

Luckily, an investigator (Mo) for a competing snack food company is also going around trying to figure out what The Stuff is made out of--and he's not getting answers.
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