Reviewed by: Dave Murray
What's it about
The small town of Wheelsy is about to get some unexpected visitors. When local slimeball Grant (Rooker) is infected with a slimy alien fiend, he sets out to conquer the human race with gooey parasitic slugs and crazy impregnating tentacles! It’s up to police chief Bill Pardy (Fillion) to save his hometown from what he appropriately calls “some pretty f**ked up shit”! No, it’s not leprosy or lime disease…It’s the voracious, hilarious alien menace of Slither!
Is it good movie?
Now this is just the right kind of gory, funny, B-horror movie that I remember loving as a kid! In his directorial debut, James Gunn (the prolific screenwriter of Troma’s Tromeo and Juliet, the Scooby Doo movies and the love it/hate it Dawn of the Dead remake) gets to show off his strengths, which never really seemed to come through when others directed his scripts. He got to bring his love of 80’s alien invasion, zombie gross-out movies to life, and the result is hilariously stellar. Gory, creepy and best of all…funny as hell!
It’s a lot of fun watching the horrified small town reactions to an alien invasion, and the many off-hand explanations of the “disease” provide some great laugh-out-loud moments (those two kids moaning “we’re itchy” gets me every time). Fillion proves he’s got the acting chops to carry more than one movie, and his dry wit and humour drive the film almost as much as the over-the-top gore effects, which are a seamless blend of practical and CG. Everyone involved in this movie (and from the special features it looked like a hoot to film) came together to make the fun kind of scary movie that cries out for popcorn and beer.
With healthy doses of wit, thousands of references to 80’s horror classics, and enough slithery effects to have any gorehound giggling with glee, Slither is a fine first job from director Gunn (It’s also surprising how much he got past the MPAA and into the theatres…alien rape, hmmm?). It really makes me wonder how the Dawn of the Dead remake would have turned out if he had helmed it himself. Now if he can avoid the remake craze and keep putting out unique, original work like this, he’s going to be one filmmaker to watch. Also, keep an eye out for actress Tania Saulnier in the role of Kylie (I mean, honestly, how could you miss her), who does a sweet job and could have a great future in the genre.
Video / Audio
Video: Anamorphic Widescreen - 1.85:1.
Audio: English, Spanish and French (Dolby Digital 5.1), Audio Commentary by James Gunn and Nathan Fillion, plus English, Spanish and French Subtitles.
Now here’s the real meat of the disc! Along with the Audio Commentary, we get 8 deleted scenes with commentary, 4 extended scenes also with commentary, a standard Gag Reel (8:13), plus a host of gory goodies:
The Sick Minds and Slimy Days of Slither (10:04) is a cool making-of documentary, where Gunn and cast talk about the B-grade, drive-in monster movie influences and the rigors of shooting such an effects laden movie. Have fun trying to spot all of the references to other horror movies!
Bringing Slither’s Creatures To Life (18:38) is a weighty effects featurette that showcases the movie’s mix of practical and CG effects. Here we get breakdowns of some of my favourite scenes in the flick, such as “Kylie Vs. The Parasites”, the huge “Brenda Monster” and the horrifically cool “Grant House Monster".
The Visual Effects: Step by Step (5:00) is a small look into the breakdown of some key effects scenes.
The Slithery Set Tour with Nathan Fillion (4:42) gives us some “I’m Bill Pardy” fun, and shows what a hilarious set it must have been in Vancouver.
The Gorehound Grill: Brewin’ the Blood (3:18) has effects guy Kurt Jackson mixing up a fake blood recipe, with the quip “have fun with blood”!
The super secret bonus documentary “Who Is Bill Pardy?” (5:20) confirms what I already suspected…Nathan Fillion is absolutely nuts…but in a good way.
And finally we’re given King of Cult: Lloyd Kaufman’s Video Diary (9:00), where the legendary Troma boss comes to the set for his too-short cameo. He’s the guy that gave Gunn his start in movies, and he offers some great insight into the director’s history.
If slimy slugs, thrusting tentacles, alien sex, hillbilly zombies, huge (and I mean HUGE) impregnated balloon women, a crazy Canadian leading man and sheer over the top horror comedy insanity are what you enjoy…then go and get this DVD already! Stuffed with killer features, this disc is meaty enough for any horror fan to sink their teeth into, and Gunn’s tribute to the movies we loved when we were kids is sure to become a camp classic simply for originality alone. A great, fun movie and an excellent DVD treatment.