After nearly a decade, I finally sat down and watched the directorial debut of James Gunn, Slither.
How James Gunn didn’t get the pants sued off him for Slither blows the mind*. It’s Night of the Creeps meets … well, every other ’50s sci-fi alien invasion movie ran through a Troma filter. Well, a Troma language and gore filter. It’s surprisingly chaste, but the rather impressive number of animal mutilations, people infestations, and rampant disgusting imagery are pure Tromatic bliss. Big props to Gunn for shouting out Troma with a brief snippet of The Toxic Avenger and a Lloyd Kaufmann cameo, too.
Dierector Gunn’s approach to movie-making has really turned into a sort of formula at this point, but it’s a good one: take a wackadoo script (in this case, an alien worm invasion in a small town turns people into zombie-like creatures), combine with a collection of fine character actors, soundtrack with fine soft rock classics, and let ‘er rip with some impressive special effects.
The best part is that Gunn just lets his actors do what they do, rather than casting against type. These folks play exactly the parts you expect, and that’s why Slither is so fun. Cases in point include, but aren’t limited to:
Michael Rooker is abrasive and an asshole.
Elizabeth Banks is cute and a little weird.
Nathan Fillion is charming and awkward.
Gregg Henry is arrogant and dickish.
It’s most similar in casting to Tremors: no big names to speak of, weird tentacle-y things, and a really fun tone despite the impending sense of doom. And, much like Tremors, I waited a goddamn decade to watch it. It’s loaded with quips, quips, quips, ridiculous creatures, and it’s fun as hell. Double shame on me for waiting damn near a decade to put my peepers upon it.
I’d go into further details, but really, I agree with the cats behind Two Cents over at Cinapse: “The best way to go into seeing Slither is not reading anything about it. Stop reading this.”
* Yes, I am aware of the Bloody Disgusting refutation of the Night of the Creeps / Slither debate.
There’s sadly no good American Blu-ray available, but you can snag a cheap widescreen DVD for like, $6 from Amazon.