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Overall Rating

Awesome: 15.58%
Worth A Look62.34%
Average: 19.48%
Pretty Bad: 2.6%
Total Crap: 0%

7 reviews, 35 user ratings

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by EricDSnider

"Problems in the marriage often start with disemboweling neighborhood dogs."
4 stars

The latest worthy successor to the legacy of Sam Raimi's "Evil Dead" films is "Slither," an outrageously freakish and funny horror flick in which extra-terrestrial slugs turn people into pustulant zombies. It is not for the squeamish or the slug-fearful.

Written and directed by James Gunn (who wrote 2004's excellent "Dawn of the Dead" remake), "Slither" has more laughs than chills, but the fact that it often gets both in the same scene is noteworthy. It's a slimy, high-energy adventure that borrows from -- er, pays homage to -- countless previous films, yet it whips all those old ingredients into a highly entertaining new dish.

It begins, as do so many of these films, with a mysterious object from space landing in the woods near a quaint little Southern town. This thing shoots a dart into the chest of local man Grant Grant (Michael Rooker), taking over his body and giving him a newfound fondness for raw meat and animal carcasses.

I shan't spoil the swell surprise of HOW it happens, exactly, but eventually Grant reproduces, in the form of thousands of fast-moving, highly agile slugs, each about the size and shape of a croissant, only instead of being buttery and delicious, they lunge into your mouth and turn you into a monster. Once you are inhabited by one of these slugs, you sort of become Grant, with his memories and feelings, while the original Grant grows ever more mucousy and huge back at his home base.

Meanwhile, Grant's much-younger wife Starla (Elizabeth Banks) and the town police chief Bill (Nathan Fillion) are searching for Grant since he ambled off into the woods the other day and local livestock started going missing. Once the slugs get loose, Starla, Bill, and others -- including the humorously vulgar mayor (Gregg Henry) and a local teenage girl (Tania Saulnier) -- must simultaneously a) run for their lives, b) figure out a way to kill Grant and his wriggly offspring, and c) pause occasionally to remark on just how f'ed up the whole situation is.

This is something characters in these movies don't do often enough. It always struck me as odd that the people in, say, "Nightmare on Elm Street" have no problem accepting that a maniac is killing people in their dreams. There's usually one line of "What?! That's crazy talk!," and then two scenes later they're completely onboard with it.

Not so in "Slither." They realize that these horrific events really ARE happening, but that doesn't mean they accept them as the new norm. Many is the scene of mayhem and gore that ends with some character -- usually the wonderful Nathan Fillion ("Serenity"), in that folksy, no-nonsense way of his -- staring in disbelief at what has occurred and uttering something pragmatic like, "Well, we're probably all going to die now."

It's a very savvy film, aware of its heritage but not full of winking irony or self-referential jokes. It has some wickedly grotesque makeup and special effects, too, which is a plus for a movie like this. It reaches a point where it does sort of become just another zombie film -- and goodness knows we've seen enough of those in the past few years -- but then it redeems itself with a cluster of undead citizens lurching awkwardly through the streets calling, "Starla!" That, we haven't had enough of yet.

If James Gunn is going to write and direct more zippy yarns like this one, complete with the fakely portentous musical score and moderately hammy acting, I may one day forgive him for writing the "Scooby-Doo" movies. We'll need another "Slither," though. There were two "Scooby-Doos," after all.

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originally posted: 03/31/06 20:55:21
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OFFICIAL SELECTION: 2006 South By Southwest Film Festival For more in the 2006 South By Southwest Film Festival series, click here.

User Comments

3/08/19 morris campbell icky b-movie fun 4 stars
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
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  31-Mar-2006 (R)
  DVD: 24-Oct-2006



[trailer] Trailer

Directed by
  James Gunn

Written by
  James Gunn

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

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