Slither

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Slither
Review (7/10)
(By Reginald Williams)


Slither, James Gunn's nearly suspenseless ode to Troma films, is a slimy combination of humor and gore. When a meteor lands near the traditional backdrop for most horror movies (a small, out-of-the-way town) the normality of the townspeople's daily lives are not disturbed in the slightest. This is because no one but the people watching Slither actually see the meteor hit.

The people of the town, including the sheriff (played effortlessly by Nathon Fillion of Firefly fame) and a school teacher (played by Elizabeth Banks from Spider-Man 1&2), go about their daily routines none-the-wiser that death now looms over their town and something nefarious is germinating in the woods bordering their town. It's only when a prominent member of their community and the husband of Bank's character (played very effectively by Michael Rooker) is injected with a parasitic needle from the meteorite's inhabitant, that the real horror in Slither begins.

I won't list off all of the key occurrences in this film but, in between the resultant deaths, there are enough jokes and profanity to almost make a sailor cringe. Thanks to television stations like FX and Comedy Central though, most of the language is commonplace now. The prose in the film aside, there is one notable sequence in Slither that, had it been handled more diligently, could have been as horrible, suspenseful and memorable as the trailer sequence in the remake of The Hills Have Eyes. It involves a house with two children and a "teenage girl" in a bathtub, played by 24-year-old Tania Saulnier. There's a.) the way James Gunn presented this scene and b.) the way a director of Takashi Miike's caliber would have dealt with the scene. If you've seen Ichi the Killer, Audition or Visitor Q, you already know whose version of this sequence would have been more gruesome and uncomfortable to watch.

That aside, Slither is an enjoyable movie. You get what you pay for - a Troma flick for a new generation. If you're part of the "old" generation, you might have noticed the grandfather of all Troma films, The Toxic Avenger, playing on the television screen in the house of the worm slugs' mother (Brenda James) as Rooker paid her an unhealthy night time visit. For most viewers, this small Troma tribute within the film went unnoticed.

Don't walk into a film of this kind with any misconceptions. Slither isn't a slasher flick though someone does get notably slashed. Slither is more gooey and slimy than bloody. Yes there is blood but there is twice as much green vomit.

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