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Overall Rating
3.91

Awesome: 15.79%
Worth A Look61.84%
Average: 19.74%
Pretty Bad: 2.63%
Total Crap: 0%

7 reviews, 34 user ratings


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Slither
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by brianorndorf

"The Scooby-Doo farting contest can be forgiven...for now."
4 stars

Writer James Gunn puts away his “Scooby-Doo” mentality for “Slither,” a violent, funny horror film that plays to the genre’s strengths. As a first time director, Gunn isn’t attentive to his film’s pace or potential, but “Slither” comes together nicely, especially if you’re a fan of slimy, squirming beasts and the 1986 film, “Night of the Creeps.”

Evil has arrived in the small town of Wheelsy in the form of a meteorite carrying deadly cargo. Using tentacles to infect the town’s richest man (Michael Rooker), this all-powerful alien visitor soon transforms itself into a slug-like beast/man, using thousands of smaller slugs to invade and turn the townsfolk into meat-loving zombies. Facing danger from all sides, it’s up to the town sheriff (Nathan Fillion, “Serenity”), his childhood crush (Elizabeth Banks, “The 40 Year-Old Virgin”), and a teenager (Tania Saulnier) to save the world from certain doom.

Writer/director James Gunn got his start in the business with Troma Entertainment, the purveyors of such Z-grade classics as “The Toxic Avenger.” Writing “Tromeo and Juliet,” Gunn learned the ins and outs of low-budget film industry. With “Slither,” Gunn splashes this experience all over the screen for his directing debut, making this horror comedy probably the most expensive film Troma never made.

Gunn is best known for two very depressing reasons: “Scooby-Doo” and its sequel. Yes, he’s the guy who wrote the scene involving a farting contest between Shaggy and Scooby, which doesn’t instill the most confidence in this young filmmaker’s debut as a director.

“Slither” takes Gunn light years away from CG dogs and into the heart of small town terror, looking to ick out the audience with goopy special effects and the primal terror found in having otherworldly slugs try to crawl down your throat. Gunn isn’t the first man staking his claim to this premise, following both David Cronenberg’s “Shivers,” and more directly, Fred Dekker’s 1986 cult classic, “Night of the Creeps.” Gunn puts more spirit from the latter into his film, hoping to hear both screams and laughs from the audience.

The screaming part of the movie doesn’t take much. Gunn has brought in some heavy make-up and CG artillery, with every wound, tentacle, and creature covered in slime. While the slugs are mostly CG organisms, the rest of the film is a make-up extravaganza, with emphasis placed on wet, grimy close-ups. There is some terrific work here.

The comedy portion of “Slither” is open for debate. Gunn has written some awfully hackneyed small town hick characters with little attention to detail, and fed them lines mostly consisting of cursing in progressively more unimaginative ways. It’s really par for the course for the genre, but as the film grows bigger, the characters grow thinner, leaving no one to root for, or (with a film like this) no one to root heartily for their death.

Gunn’s biggest mistake is not doing enough with the midsection of his film. Here’s the time when the film should throw down and start to give the audience thrill ride sequences the genre has subsisted on for decades. Gunn is so busy trying to arrange the story, and then pay it off with an unusual amount of plot detail and elaborate creature effects, that he forgets the joyride angle to the whole enterprise.

“Slither” is ceaseless in its entertainment value, but it never breaks out of its tight cage and rampages across the screen, which this kind of madcap story deserves.

link directly to this review at http://www.efilmcritic.com/review.php?movie=13976&reviewer=404
originally posted: 04/01/06 01:35:33
[printer] printer-friendly format  
OFFICIAL SELECTION: 2006 South By Southwest Film Festival For more in the 2006 South By Southwest Film Festival series, click here.

User Comments

4/05/13 David Hollingsworth A B-movie classic with actual style 5 stars
9/29/12 roscoe 1st hour is fairly good and humorous, but then the movie is rushed one the town is infected 3 stars
11/07/10 millersxing Are you gonna finish that possum? 4 stars
2/15/10 art IF THIS IS your CUP OF TEA!? 3 stars
12/29/09 Chad Dillon Cooper Throwback to 50's monster movies. 4 stars
7/20/08 Shaun Wallner Great Horror film!! Kept me on the edge of my seat 4 stars
5/26/08 mr.mike Has its moments however its been done better and takes a while to get going. 3 stars
6/11/07 Pork and Beans Pretty good first half, terribly generic second half 2 stars
3/27/07 MP Bartley Awkwardly developed, but mostly gruesome fun. 4 stars
3/21/07 David Pollastrini very creepy 4 stars
1/02/07 Jim Not as funny or as scary as I'd hoped -- several notches under Shaun of the Dead. 3 stars
12/02/06 Indrid Cold Not as fun as I expected, but still not bad. Sorry Firefly fans, but Fillion kinda sucks. 4 stars
11/25/06 Melissa Tokarczyk Funny and campy! 4 stars
11/07/06 Vince Good stuff, higly recommended if you like the genre. 4 stars
10/31/06 ES Night of the creeps meets puppet-masters, jokes fall flat and hardly a fright 3 stars
10/11/06 pete.chesworth Highly watchable fun with great special effects 4 stars
6/08/06 Patti a pretty good movie, I would sugest it to others. 3 stars
5/24/06 Littlepurch Absolutely gross but very enjoyable and occasionally hilarious. 4 stars
5/09/06 y2mckay Tongue-in-cheek horror at it's finest. Fillion and Henry steal the movie. 4 stars
5/06/06 alice Very entertaining ! 4 stars
4/23/06 Mase Fun, diverting, B movie horror comedy. We need more people with a passion for this genre. 4 stars
4/18/06 Dave An okay film, but I've seen better films and also a lot worse. 3 stars
4/18/06 Mark Louis Baumgart Parody of all things Cronenberg & Night/Creeps, a great big sloppy bucket of B movie fun. 5 stars
4/18/06 Gray that is some fucked up shit 4 stars
4/16/06 Ole Man Bourbon One of the creepiest love scenes ever. Felt like I was being raped by the leading man. 4 stars
4/15/06 Steven Lewis A build up to a great second half with homage to the 80s gore and more. 5 stars
4/08/06 BrianWilly Hilarious fun. 5 stars
4/06/06 Troy M. Grzych Didn't this movie come out in the 80's..."Night of the Creeps". Rent it!! 3 stars
4/05/06 Crispin How did no one notice the graruitous nipple in the tub scene? 5 stars
4/04/06 jcjs laughed 2 stars
4/04/06 thejames entertaining, and pretty damn funny. 4 stars
4/02/06 malcolm a+ ... for a b movie, a lot of fun 3 stars
4/01/06 lee A big budget Troma movie. 5 stars
4/01/06 KingNeutron Stay till the end of the credits - and hope for an even better sequel! 4 stars
IF YOU'VE SEEN THIS FILM, RATE IT!
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USA
  31-Mar-2006 (R)
  DVD: 24-Oct-2006

UK
  31-Mar-2006

Australia
  18-May-2006



[trailer] Trailer


Directed by
  James Gunn

Written by
  James Gunn

Cast
  Nathan Fillion
  Elizabeth Banks
  Michael Rooker
  Gregg Henry
  Tania Saulnier
  Brenda James



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