Larry Cohen concocts this comedic horror-thriller involving an ex-FBI agent turned industrial spy hired by a desperate ice cream industry, trying to steal the secret formula from a corporation pushing a newly marketed yogurt-like food substance called The Stuff. He discovers the substance, which is found bubbling up from seemingly unlimited deposits underground, is deadly and humanity hangs in the balance. The Stuff is a delicious, no-calorie dessert that is highly addictive to all who eat it. So addictive that all people want to do it continue eating it, while the living parasite inside controls their minds as it eats them from the inside until it reproduces and the human host expires. Michael Moriarty, Andrea Marcovicci, Scott Bloom, Garrett Morris, Paul Sorvino, Danny Aiello appear.
Maxwell Smart (Don Adams), the dimwitted super-spy from the hit TV series from the 1960s, “Get Smart” returned in 1980 for a brand new, racier adventure. Entitled The Nude Bomb, it has lost that title over the years in favor of the more TV-programming friendly The Return of Maxwell Smart. The gist of the film is that an agent from the super-terrorist organization, KAOS, is threatening to rid the world of all clothing if demands aren’t met, using a bomb capable of destroying all forms of fabric. It’s up to Agent 86 of PITS, Maxwell Smart, to put an end to these nefarious plans, although wherever he turns, trouble seems to follow. He suspects there may be a double agent trying to put a wrench in the works, but who?
Andrea Howard, Dana Elcar, Vittorio Gassman, Norman Lloyd, Sylvia Kristel, Rhonda Fleming, Pamela Hensley, Bill Dana also appear in this film directed by Clive Donner.
Erratum Note: Writer/producer Alan Spencer reached out to me on Twitter to let me know that a comment I made about “all” Eugene Roche’s scenes being re-shot after his departure due to illness is not entirely accurate, as you can see him in a few long shots. He recommends the new Kino Lorber Blu-ray release of The Nude Bomb for a vast wealth of information on the making of the film.
Although I released this episode on 12/13/19, three days after the release of the Blu-ray on 12/10/19, I did the research on The Nude Bomb and recorded the episode approximately two weeks prior and did not have the Blu-ray’s supplemental material or Alan Spencer’s commentary to consult, so I do apologize for this discrepancy.
If you’re interested in the most definitive take on The Nude Bomb, please check out the Kino Lorber release: https://www.kinolorber.com/product/nude-bomb-aka-the-return-of-maxwell-smart-4k-uhd
The plot of Spies Like Us involves the two most inept, low-level U.S. intelligence agents they could find to go on a mission as expendable decoys for the real agents. Emmett Fitz-Hume (Chevy Chase) and Austin Millbarge (Dan Aykroyd) were scouted by the CIA after cheating on their advanced placement exams, with a mission that sees them parachuting into Pakistan. From there, the bumbling duo ends up in Afghanistan, where they’re mistaken for doctors there on a humanitarian mission for the United Nations, followed by run-ins with the Russians during an effort to draw out the identities of Soviet spies in the area so that the real American spies can complete their mission to check out a news style of Soviet missile launcher. With this launcher, they can send up a Soviet missile in order to test the U.S. anti-missile satellite defenses in order to convince the Soviet Union that they have an edge in technology. John Landis directs this silly slapstick comedy.