In the late 80’s, HBO used to near-constantly play a 1985 horror-comedy called The Stuff. As a kid, I watched it a lot.
The Stuff is not a zombie movie per se. Rather, it’s the story of a mysterious ice cream-like product that, when ingested, turns consumers into zombie-like creatures or kills them. The film’s protagonist is a young boy who sees The Stuff move by itself, and understands it to be, on some level, sentient. Very creepy.
Like a lot of zombie films, The Stuff is a satire of consumerism and America’s alacrity to trust big corporations and the products they make. In the film, The Stuff is marketed as a wonder-food that satisfies all nutritional requirements, is non-fattening, and makes you feel wonderful. At first, it appears to deliver on these promises. Yet, as the narrative eventually reveals, there are substantive downsides to eating The Stuff… including turning into a zombie or dying horribly.
Here is a pretty cool scene of Garrett Morris dying horribly:
Ideologically, I think The Stuff has a lot in common with a certain strain of zombie movie. Certainly, it’s a bit old and cheesy (“very 80’s”, as it were), but if you like zombie movies about paranoia, mass-hysteria, and consumerism, you might also like The Stuff.