Halloween Horror Marathon: Slither

Original Cinema Quad Poster - Movie Film Posters 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. slither screencap 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. [embed]https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2-f8wU6Fpeo[/embed]

Halloween horror marathon: Night of the Creeps

poster - night of the creepsThis is the fourth year I've done the Halloween horror marathon. I can't believe I've never touched on Night of the Creeps. Looking back, it was on the docket for 2010, but somehow, I never made it to it. I'm not sure as to how that never happened, given that I've owned the DVD for the entire time I've been doing this cavalcade of creepiness. Anyhow -- this is Tom Atkins' finest hour. As Ray Cameron, he's a hard-bitten detective. All cigarettes and quips, I could watch a series of movies with this character. His best line in the film is so iconic, they used it on the goddamned poster. And that's before you've even gotten to "Thrill me." Sure, Jason Lively as Chris is the "star" of the film, but anybody who's ever seen this remembers Ray long after the rest of the characters have faded from memory. And that's before you have space aliens and slugs that turn people into zombies, and even an axe-wielding maniac hacking people to death. Throw in some smarmy fraternity types, and it's like Return of the Living Dead has met Revenge of the Nerds. Brilliant lines, stupid action, and a fucking FLAME THROWER. Words can't begin to describe how much I love this movie. I think we might have to cover Monster Squad on Monday. Fred Dekker directed so few films, but it's entirely possible that two of them are among my top five. The man gets ample credit for making two of the most likeable b-movies in modern history, populating them with characters who are likeable and relateable, in addition to being far more clever than you or I can hope to be on a regular basis. [embed]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HhLGYUYTTD0[/embed]