Thursday, April 20, 2006


Title: Slither (2006)
Dir: James Gunn
Tagline: What's Gotten Into You?
Rating: ****1/2 out of 5 stars

Finally! A new horror movie that lives up to my expectations!

Despite a bunch of assholes in the audience when I saw this, I really enjoyed the film. It isn't much of a horror movie, in terms of terror, but it is a good comedy with elements of horror. It's largely a throwback to 1980's sci-fi/horror. Hence, everybody thinks it is a remake of Night of the Creeps, which it is NOT. But if you enjoyed movies like The Blob, or even Tremors, you'll get why this movie rocks.

When Grant Grant (Michael Rooker) is infected by an alien parasite, he turns into slimy monster. He unleashes a plague of parasitic worms that take over the town, turning everyone into zombie-like beings. Grant's scared but ever-supportive wife Starla (Elizabeth Banks) teams up with sheriff Bill (Nathan Fillion of Firefly) and the town's mayor, portrayed hilariously by Gregg Henry, to battle the army of zombies and slithering alien worms.

I loved every cast member prior to this movie, and I love them even more now. Fillion doesn't simply replicate his Capt. Reynolds character (as I expected him to), but rather plays the sheriff as a more down-to-earth sorta guy who just deals with what he's given. And he delivers the best vagina joke I've heard in a long time.

The ever-wonderful Banks is great as Starla, the young bride of the monster and apple of Bill's eye. Her determination to stand by her husband, even as he is oozing pus and worms, is hilarious. But easily the scene-stealer of the film is Henry, who tries to be badass but is the token scaredy-cat of the film. The funniest lines of the film come courtesy of this character - you will love him. I've loved this guy since Payback (1999) and I really wish he would get more stand-out roles like this.

Writer/director James Gunn could be the next break-out horror filmmaker. I think he has a lot of potential. He knows his audience well, most likely because he is a horror buff himself. His sense of humor is well-timed and appropriately dark. He provides a good level of gore, but not really too much. Or perhaps I am just immune to it now? I dunno. I didn't find it as gross as people say, but then again, slimy worms and half-eaten dogs don't make my stomach turn.

Slither appeals to a wide audience because it is clever, scary, funny, but most importantly, fun. This is not a film geared exclusively toward genre-worshipping geeks like myself. It is a horror comedy that can be embraced by cult fans and mainstream fans alike. So unless you have a weak-stomach or a worm phobia, get your ass to the theatre and see Slither while you still can.