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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 William Goss

"Slug It Out"
4 stars

SCREENED AT THE 2006 SXSW FILM FESTIVAL: It all starts with a meteorite. Which leads to aliens. Which leads to slugs. Which leads to zombies. But itís really a love story. Trust me on this one.

James Gunn, who wrote 2004ís superb remake of Dawn of the Dead, returns horror comedy to gloriously campy form with his directorial debut, Slither. When the above-mentioned meteorite lands on the outskirts of Wheelsy, its extraterrestrial cargo infects Grant (Michael Rooker), who begins to mutate in his newfound role as lead host for the forthcoming alien invasion. Although he has transformed into a gruesome monster, Grant finds himself unable to deny his feelings for wife Starla (Elizabeth Banks), who has banded together with the town mayor (Gregg Henry), sheriff (Nathan Fillion), and others in an effort to survive the onslaught of slimy slugs and goo-spewing zombies.

Not since 1990ís Tremors (and, to a lesser degree, 2002ís Eight Legged Freaks) has a film so satisfyingly blended humor and horror as Slither has. Then again, it does have one significant advantage over those films: an R rating, which it embraces with open tentacles. Gunn isnít one bit reluctant to make his viewers squirm their way to a punchline, which almost makes it that much more gratifying, seeing as many quips are delivered as natural reactions to the situations that gross the characters out as much as the audience. While additional gore certainly ups the ante, specific expletives prove to be most appropriate throughout the dialogue than their traditional tamer substitutes. In fact, considering how much R-rated goodness the filmmakers managed to include without going overboard, it is somewhat remarkable that they managed to leave out any gratuitous nudity. Come on; whatís a B-movie without some T&A?

The entire cast is completely game, from Rookerís creepy creature to Banksí devoted spouse. If anyone steals the show, it would be the smartass duo of Henry and Fillion, to whom sarcasm is a first language. Despite all the wisecracking and screaming, each and every character is fleshed out just enough to provide a likeable ensemble, as opposed to a walking body count with wit to spare. Everything about the film fits the storyís modest scale, from its suitable digital and make-up effects right down to the distinct hierarchy of the space invaders. After a relatively prolonged first act, the momentum builds at just the right speed, with nary a scene wasted. This is a brisk film that manages to become comfortable in its own genre parameters, which works greatly to its benefit. Besides, the tongue only goes so far into the cheek.

Every so often, the moviegoing masses receive a film that reminds us why we love horror films in all their terrifying glory. Then, in those gaps in between, we are sometimes fortunate to get flicks that remind us just how fun horror movies can be when they arenít trying so hard to frighten us. 'Slither' may not be the next great thing, but it may very well be the next best alternative.

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originally posted: 03/28/06 19:43:58
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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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