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Movie Review: Slither

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What a blast of fun. Slither is pure B-movie bliss. A glorious concoction of comedy and horror, laughs and gore. It has been a while since I have gotten to see a movie like this on the big screen. This has cult-hit written all over it, and those types of movies tend to end up direct to video, more often than not.

Slither bears more than a passing resemblance to the 1986 film Night of the Creeps. Both of the films are based around alien slugs invading a small town. Despite the obvious similarities, writer/director James Gunn claims that he hadn’t seen the film until after Slither was finished. Somehow, I don’t buy that, but no matter.

This is the kind of movie that really has no need for reviews; based on the ads that have been running, you know if you are part of its audience or not. If the thought of brain slugs gets you excited, or if you have fond memories of 80s horror flicks, this could be for you.

The ads pretty much tell you what the plot is. A meteorite crashes, delivering an extra-terrestrial payload. The slugs that result from this crash move in and infect the townsfolk, leaving a small group to try to survive and somehow stop the invasion. It borrows heavily from films of the past, but they are all pieced together into a wonderfully nasty pastiche of comedic horror.

It is hard to talk about the film without giving away any of the surprises contained within. The plot is simplistic and straightforward, and is not the point of the movie. Actually, I am not sure that there really is a point to the movie. If pressed, I would have to say that the point of the film is to have fun, and it delivers the goods. It has been quite some time since the last time the big screen was graced with a film of this caliber.

Slither never falls into the trap of taking itself too seriously. It has a deliriously nasty edge, and relishes each chance to lay some waste with a witty line or two. James Gunn, making his feature directorial debut, has given life to this hodge-podge of horror clichés, arranging them, and playing fast and loose with the conventions so as to give them new life.

Nathan Fillion, of Serenity fame, stars as Sheriff Bill Pardy, the de facto leader of the rag tag group of survivors. Fillion does a great job combining realistic reactions with great comic timing. Co-starring is Elizabeth Banks as Starla Grant, the wife to the film’s main nasty, Grant Grant, portrayed by Michael Rooker.

Not sure what else to say. This film will likely have a rather limited scope of appeal, but it looks as if Gunn made exactly the film he set out to. He has delivered a film that was meant for people like me — those who like a little comedy mixed with their horror.

One thing that I really liked was the reliance on practical effects. The slugs and the gore have a much more realistic presence, as they are, for the most part, actually there. There is some use of CG, but for the most part, the credit goes to the effects crew that created some great gore effects. This is just like those old-school horror films that many of us grew up on.

Bottomline. This movie is a blast from start to finish, with fun performances, over the top situations, it was glorious. For a movie about slugs, you can’t do much better!

Highly Recommended.

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