Slither
He’s the worst Peeping Tom ever … she’s already calling the cops.

Theatrical Release Date: 03/21/2006
Director: James Gunn
Cast: Nathan Fillion, Elizabeth Banks, Gregg Henry, Michael Rooker, Tania Saulnier

OK, first off, this movie is gross.

I couldn’t get any of my friends to go see it with me in the theaters because it looked too gross for them. Some of these people are willing to watch extraordinary atrocities on film, any and all depictions of extreme violence and cruelty.

But they can’t handle mutant slug creatures from outer space.

Go figure.

Anywho, in Slither we meet the residents of Wheelsy, a small town where the sheriff’s biggest job on a Friday night is to keep the drunks in line at the local bar. That is, until Grant Grant (Rooker), drunk and frustrated by being spurned by his wife Starla (Banks), heads out into the woods with an old acquaintance.

The would-be tryst goes south when Grant is infected by an alien life form. He turns into a mutant creature, and impregnates the hapless aforementioned gal with thousands of alien spawn. When the alien slug creatures hatch and start to turn the locals into killer acid-spitty zombies, it is up to Sheriff Bill Pardy (Fillion), Starla, the mayor (Henry), and a lone survivor (Saulnier) to destroy Grant and stop the alien invasion from taking over the world.

At first glance, this isn’t a very good movie. It is only marginally original, as its plot is derivative of several other horror and science fiction films. The script is cheesy and flimsy, the actors are constantly over-acting, and each new plot development is more far-fetched and ridiculous than the next.

If the movie tried to take itself seriously, it would be a horrid flop.

Luckily, it doesn’t.

This film revels in its craptaculosity. The script is full of one-liners and self-deprecation. All of the characters are parodies of small town archetypes: the small town mayor, all full of self-importance; the well-to-do entrepreneur, a big fish in a small pond; the trophy bride, a fading beauty that was the prom queen in high school, and the slightly stupid but well intentioned sheriff that has always loved her.

The actors play their insipid roles with relish. They are perfectly cast, and make their on-screen personas as believable as possible.

I suppose that now is a good time to admit that I have had a thing for Nathan Fillion since “Firefly”, so I may be a bit biased. What can I say? I like them big and brooding, and apparently typecast as small town cops. But I have also appreciated B-films since high school, and this is a good homage to the genre.

Is this film for everyone?

No.

Should it win an Oscar?

No. (Although it did win two Academy of Science Fiction and Horror Awards and a Fangoria Chainsaw Award.)

Is it a lot of yucky, slimy, space-sluggy, cheesy fun?

Yes.

For doing a decent job in the genre it pays tribute to, I give Slither a 3 out of 5. So, if you are a fan of gross-outs, B-movie/horror/comedies, Gregg Henry, Michael Rooker, Elizabeth Banks in lingerie, Nathan Fillion, or killer deer, this is the movie for you.

And really, don’t we all fit into one of those categories?

Don’t we all?