Jason spilled all of that white goo, so now he gets molested by three older men. NOW TELL ME THIS ISN'T SMUT.
At a supermarket, young Jason goes on a rampage that would impress Margot Kidder, knocking over every last container of the Stuff. He starts by ripping one out of a child's hand, then moves on to the ones on the shelves, then the display pyramid of the Stuff, and finally the chilled Stuff in the freezer aisle, breaking the glass ont he freezer in the process. Now, far be it from me to question the quality of Jason's smashing spree, but the possibility that he may be overreacting crosses my mind. After all, the only thing that he's seen so far has been one cup of the Stuff moving a little. Everyone who ate it is fine so far. Hardly something that qualifies as necessitating wanton property destruction. So really, Jason is just being a little bastard. Oh well.
While Jason is busy getting arrested, Mo pays a visit to the house of some nameless guy we'll call FDA Guy Who Approved the Stuff, because he was part of the FDA team that approved the Stuff. So there you go. FDA Guy has a large, black dog that scares the crap out of him, although Mo doesn't mind him in the least. The FDA Guy doesn't give Mo any useful information, and in fact this whole scene is sort of pointless, but when the FDA Guy goes upstairs to get some papers about the Stuff for Mo (which never come up again), Mo snoops around a finds a large stockpile of the Stuff. FDA Guy also says that he feeds his dog the Stuff, which is just wrong. The Stuff is supposed to be sweet, which almost automatically implies that it can kills dogs rather quickly. Well, whatever.
Suddenly, it's 2:30 in the morning at Mo is outside a Stuff stand. No, I didn't cut anything out. That's just the kind of confusing and pointless transition Larry Cohen gives us to cope with in "The Stuff." Thanks a lot, Larry. Once again, this scene doesn't have much of a purpose, but it does give us a chance to get really, really sick of the Stuff's commercial jingle, which is the epitome of bad Eighties jingles and appears in the movie roughly seven thousand more times. Meanwhile, FDA Guy's dog savagely attacks him by barking and nuzzling the air around him. It's the single worst dog attack ever. At the end of it, though, the dog vomits up a big glob of Stuff. You see? Sugar is bad for dogs!
This joke basically writes itself, so I'm not going to bother. Alright, freebie for me!
Mo drives to Stader, Virginia, where the Stuff was initially test-marketed. The town is mostly dead, expect for a gas station attendant who keeps pressuring Mo to use their nice, clean bathrooms with their fresh towels and sanitary conditions. An old car pulls up across the street. As Mo goes to investigate, the gas station attendant runs into the woods for some reason. Mo throws open the driver's side door, but there is no one inside. Suddenly, he is attacked from above by Chocolate Chip Charlie, Kung Fu Action Negro! Charlie (played by Garret "I was in a good cast on Saturday Night Live, I deserve better" Morris) not only has fists of steel, which he mentions at least once every twenty seconds, but he used to be the president of a snack company that was put out of business by the Stuff.
Mo and Charlie join forces and go off to investigate the local post office like the rough, tough heroes they are. There, the man in charge is of little help, but by stealing some key pieces of mail, Mo and Charlie learn that everyone from Stader has moved to Midland, Georgia. The post office manager excuses himself and goes upstairs, where he treats himself to a seizure and a big load of Stuff evacuates his body through his mouth. Charlie and Mo loudly discuss knocking the manager out and kidnapping him when they hear him moaning. Charlie breaks down the ridiculously obvious breakaway door and they run through just in time to see the blob of Stuff seep out the window. The two men go after the blob, but soon find themselves being pursued by a group of burly men. Luckily, Charlie's iron fists cause men's heads to explode and Stuff to pour out when he hits them. Interestingly enough, the same thing happens for Mo, despite his not-quite-iron-but-nonetheless-very-hard fists. Three cheers for crappy special effects!
Mo and Charlie catch their breath in a crowded diner, which is the perfect place for Mo to send Charlie on a top secret mission of utmost importance and confidentiality to tell a bigwig in the FBI that the Stuff is dangerous. Sure, they could have discussed it in the car on the way to the diner, when it was just the two of them, but then how would they be able to order food and not stay to eat it? Mo hitches a ride with a random hick and loudly warns Charlie not to trust any of the locals. Riiiight. The diner waitress slinks into a back room, where boxes of the Stuff are stacked to the ceiling. You know, all these stockpiles of the Stuff are a fairly good indication that if the company would just package it in larger containers, they'd still sell and would probably be more space efficient. I'm just saying.
He's an old man in a suit with all of his own hair, so you know he's evil.
The next afternoon, Mo walks across a busy city street. Apparently the random hick drove him for several hours for free. And he told Charlie the locals couldn't be trusted! A Stuff company van almost runs Mo down, which mean that they're clearly onto his little investigation, but hell, that's not the sort of thing that would have any bearing on the plot, so why don't you all just go ahead and forget it happened so Uncle Larry can go on making his movie. Not at all phased by his near-death experience, Mo, meets with the head of Stuff, who doesn't have a name, so we'll just call him the Head of Stuff. After a brief argument over whether or not Mo could shut the company down, the Head of Stuff tries to buy him off. Mo takes the money and -
Mo and Nicole are walking down the street and -- what the hell? What just happened? Goddammit, Larry Cohen, there's only so much of this I'm willing to take! Once again, a few key points are somehow left out. For instance, how the hell did Mo get from that city (wherever it was) to this street (wherever it is)? And what happened to Nicole before? Did she ever go back to his hotel room? Are they an item now? She suddenly seems awfully concerned about the Stuff. So what, Mo managed to convince her that he saw a blob of the Stuff fleeing a post office? Yeah, that sounds plausible. He's supposed to be an oil billionaire. What the hell would he care about some post office in some podunk hick town in the middle of Virginia? Mo admits to Nicole that he's actually an industrial saboteur, so hey, their entire relationship is based on a foundation of horrible, horrible lies. She doesn't care in the least, but she sure is worried about the Stuff moving around! You know, when I watched the movie this scene didn't seem all that odd, but now that I'm typing it out, it doesn't make any sense at all. Also, I'm starting to hate this movie a lot more than I thought I would. Does anyone sense a "-10" for plot coming up? You'll just have to wait and see! And no fair skipping ahead to the end to find out!
In the Eighties, this guy was king. Wow, what a crap decade.
We find Jason in his room, bouncing a ball. Apparently his punishment for destroying a couple thousand dollars worth of the Stuff, not to mention smashing a freaking freezer, is being grounded. He goes downstairs and finds his family eating the Stuff. Jason raises another stink about it moving that one time, but his father puts his fears to rest by telling him there are microorganisms moving in lots of foods. Okay, so now the Stuff is a mysterious white goo full of moving microorganisms. That's great. Maybe you could show the kid how to make his own Stuff, huh, dad? Jesus Christ, the metaphor is getting thin. Jason calmly walks out of the room, prompting his father to yell, "Get 'im!" and his brother to run after him and put him in a headlock. This family seriously needs to get some damn counseling. I mean, wow.
His father gives him a container of the Stuff and tells him to go up to his room and not come down until it's finished. Jason goes into the bathroom, dumps the Stuff down the toilet, and replaces it with shaving cream. I have to say, he's one smart kid. Oh wait, no, he's a dumbass. He's supposed to finish it all off, so why'd he bother replacing it? And if he's going to replace it with shaving cream, knowing he's going to have to produce an empty container at some point, doesn't that basically necessitate him eating shaving cream? What the hell is wrong with you, Jason? He goes back downstairs with his cup of shaving cream and tells his family that they were right, the Stuff is great. The family sits down to a nice, hearty dinner of the Stuff, while Jason shovels shaving cream into his mouth. Whoa. That's a little wrong. The older son mentions that he doesn't get tired anymore. The father explains that it's because they're all on coke, I mean, because they're all eating right. Jason takes that as his cue to make a break for it, leaving his shaving cream behind. The father takes a taste, then immediately goes after Jason, with the mother and older son right behind him. Luckily, Mo pulls up to the house and tells Jason to get in the car. And what do we do when strangers want us to get in their car so they can take us away from our family? That's right, Jason, hop on in! The family pursues for all of twenty feet before they get tired and give up. So much for eating right. And they call themselves mind-controlled. Tsk tsk.
Are you concerned that you may be a character trapped in a Tom Waits song? Be smart and learn the warning signs before it's too late. Also, it's too late. It has always been too late.
I'm haunted by a recurring vision of a skeleton flipping me off. To avoid seeing this terrifying image in bumper sticker form, I pay someone with a blank bumper to drive in front of me at all times.
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