What's Slimy, Evil, And Tries To Crawl Inside Your Mouth? My Genitals. Also, Slither's a Pretty Good Movie.
About once every ten years, a horror movie comes along that’s so energetic, so infectiously fun, that you can’t help but fall in love with it. Unfortunately for Slither, this decade that film was Top of the Food Chain. Still, this low-budget horror-comedy is pulling in bizarrely positive reviews, though judging from its opening weekend box office, the critics are the only people who have seen it, and they’re didn’t pay.
Slither takes place in small town in the American South, because that way you only need one barn, a forest, three actors and ten teeth to make a film. Alien slugs from Night of the Creeps invade the town, courtesy of Henry: Portrait of a Serial Killer’s Michael Rooker, turning much of the population into killer, hive-mind linked zombies. For some reason, this is viewed negatively by many of the townsfolk, despite the fact that a single Borg-like hive-mind is generally exactly one more mind than hillbilly Republicans have. Nevertheless, resist they must, led by intrepid chief of police Nathan Fillion, who is apparently not making enough money off Firefly residuals to avoid movies about killer mollusks. Joined by an actress who is very nearly Rachel McAdams and an underage girl who shows her nipples, Fillion must battle slugs, zombies, and the inevitable B-movie boredom that kicks in between gory and disgusting set-pieces.
Director James Gunn clearly has a great love for sci-fi and horror, though his hard-on for David Cronenberg’s Shivers is showing through his pants, and the pre-ejaculate smells a little bit like Invaders From Mars. The premise of Slither owes a great deal to the schlock sci-fi of Ray Kellogg, and that’s not a debt you want to repay come Judgement Day. Taken as a comedy, Slither is quite good. Gunn directs his actors with a great sense of comedic timing, and despite the fact that the trailer makes the film look horrible, it’s really quite fun. As a horror film, however, it leaves a little to be desired. There are some distressing moments, but the emphasis here is on laughs rather than scares, and bad computer graphics over anything remotely frightening. Nevertheless, Slither has climbed to the top of my list of favorite monster slug movies. Now if only Gunn would set his sights on The Killer Shrews.