Tag Archives: B-movie

Vic’s Review – Slither (2006)

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A small town is taken over by an alien plague, turning residents into zombies and all forms of mutant monsters.

“Slither”

Directed by James Gunn

8 out of 10

“What the fuck was that?”

Jeez, I don’t know where to begin here. “Slither” is just so much damn fun that I have to try and get my thoughts in order to write this review. There is so much to get into and rant gleefully about like a nerdy schoolgirl with this movie. It’s slimy, gory, reverential, hilarious, campy, nasty, smart and did I mention that it’s gory? Oh yeah, I did. It is an outrageous blend of hysterical sci fi and horror that is easily one of the most quote-able genre flicks to come along in a long time. It’s replay value is through the roof and it is written with a fan of these types of films in mind. It goes right for the jugular and never lets go because Gunn and company keep the movie consistently fresh. “Slither” hops genres too. It is a horror story wrapped in a science fiction film. Gunn incorporates humor and reverence into “Slither” and he does it knowing what  fans of these types of film want. Dark humor, intensity, heart and riotous mayhem.

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James Gunn is a “Troma” alum and he injects “Slither” with an affection for low budget tropes. Except it doesn’t look like a b movie but revels in  feeling like one. Gunn just about references every sci fi/horror classic known to man. Everything from Cronenbergs “Shiver” to “The Blob” to Romero’s “Night of the Living Dead” to my favorite: R.J. MacReady’s Funeral Home which references  John Carpenter’s “The Thing.” Gunn gets the movie going with a classic sci fi adage.

A meteorite from space. It lands, not completely burned up, in Wheelsy, South Carolina. It transports an alien parasite/life form that is malevolent, vicious and cunning. Gunn cast Michael Rooker as Grant, who while screwing around in the woods outside his home gets attacked, assimilated and has his memories absorbed. Suffice it to say Gunn adds layer upon layer of  bawdy and lewd madness. Grant exhibits very strange behavior that involves eating raw meat and small animals plus what gives him away are those funky tentacles that protrude from his chest. Yuck.

The beautiful Elizabeth Banks (30 Rock) plays Grant’s wife, Starla (great name huh?) and she contacts Mal Reynolds, oops, I mean Nathan Fillion (Firefly, One Life to Live, Serenity) as Starla’s childhood crush, Sheriff Bill Pardy. Grant moves on to Brenda and impregnates her with the alien parasite and nasty little vermin offspring. Gunn in no slight way shows us how vile and impure all of this stuff really is. There is just about every conceivable grotesquerie there is in this freak-show. Men and women eat raw meat, explode, turn into zombies, get larger and larger with alien worm puss and not to mention Grant’s body absorbing townspeople and morphing into some large abomination worthy of Rob Bottin himself.

Actor Gregg Henry ( Body Double, Payback) plays the Mayor of  Wheelsy named…MacReady. Ha! I love it! Henry steals every scene he’s in as a foul mouthed, boozing and oafish politician. Henry gets to say some incredibly amazing lines from Gunn like: “Look up cocksucker!” or when told that martians are from mars he responds: “Or it’s a general term meaning ‘outer-space fucker.” Gunn just allocates such great material to all his actors and they excel in providing a fun ringside seat of alien/human decimation. Gunn also delivers some great action set pieces like when a teen named Kylie is assaulted by the alien slugs in her bathroom and she has to use her wits to survive not only the slugs trying to connect with her (she is also able to “see” what they really are and where they come from) but from assimilating her entire family.

The attack sequences also move from Pardy, Starla and Mac being chased in a pick up truck to the deputies being turned and killed to Brenda in the barn about to burst from all of the nasty and gooey aliens inside of her. Starla also is taken and brought back to the Grant-Monster who is nesting in the living room in her home. Starla tries to appeal to Grant who is in telepathic control of the rest of the infected deputies ( like a hive mind ) and townspeople. Grant’s memories come back but not before he discovers what he’s become. Gunn kicks up the atrocities and mayhem in fantastic fashion by giving “Slither’ a like-able and respectful air of tongue in cheek ridiculousness. There are gags abound too. The ending shall I say is indeed quite explosive and every bit as fitting as we have come to expect in this wild and hellacious movie.

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Gunn’s “Slither” is a joy to watch because of the respect and love that is put into the production. All the references aside the movie does have it’s own identity and it never fails to impress with the craftsmanship it displays. Great music, an endearing and capable cast and a very reminiscent but showy story makes the film all the more tantalizing to watch. It will at times remind some viewers of other cult films like “The Deadly Spawn” and even “Invasion of the Body Snatchers” but it never COPIES them or tries to be them. What Gunn does is akin to a love letter to these awesome drive in horror/sci fi stories about aliens taking over the earth not in spaceships but by invading our bodies and minds. It is a perfect homage without being a rip off.  

It remains vivid, eye opening and vulgar in every way and even if you are not a gore hound you will find that you can never take your eyes off the movie. Fillion (who intentionally chews the scenery in parts) is hilariously astounded by everything going on and Banks is spunky and deft in having to adapt to killing the creatures and fending off the Grant-Monster.That leaves Rooker who is perfect as Grant. Serious as a heart attack and completely brutal and bestial in the role. “Slither” is a wonderful watch and if you want to escape into an absolutely fucked up universe of monsters and alien slugs you need to watch this movie and try not to turn away in disgust because if you do you may miss a reference or a great sight gag.  Highly recommended!!!

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“Slither” is currently available on Netflix Instant Streaming.

Here are other movies that “Slither” references. See if you can catch them!

Predator

Evil Dead

Videodrome

From Beyond

Night of the Creeps

Deadly Blessing

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Pinocchio’s Revenge

After another long day in court, attorney Jennifer Garrick (Rosalind Allen) heads home with a strange piece of evidence: a wooden puppet stashed in the trunk of her car. But when her daughter Zoe (Brittany Alyse Smith) assumes the evidence is her birthday present and adopts the marionette as her newest toy, bodies begin piling up all around her. If Pinocchio is responsible for the carnage, who’s pulling the strings? Directed by Kevin Tenney, who brought us classics such as Corey Haim’s opus “Demolition University .”

Matt
Rating: 2 out of 10

There are some really laughable moments in this B-movie title. I couldn’t resist when I saw it in available on Netflix streaming on my Nintendo Wii. Sometimes it’s enjoyable to watch a bad movie. This one had some seriously hilarious moments.

The Pinocchio puppet doesn’t do anything for about the first 45 minutes of the movie. They often show it sitting there with it’s humongous eyes open wide and its dumb grin in a quick cut complete with horror shrill sounds from a battery-operated Yamaha synthesizer. But again, it just sits there, and you can’t help but laugh at those gigantic blue eyes just sitting there… doing nothing. I think it’s supposed to be scary.

The puppet does eventually does talk, and its animatronics are nothing special. But it’s only one scene. It makes you wonder if they were having technical issues and just said, “To hell with it. We’ll just film it.” Later, the puppet is set free when the girl cuts its marionette strings, but clearly it’s a little person dressed like the wooden Pinocchio. In another scene, the puppet is attacking the lead women, and it’s clear she’s just holding the puppet and swinging it around while she looks like she’s struggling.

This is a typical B-movie, horror flick. Corny acting, dialogue that’s lame, bad special effects, some nudity for good measure, editing straight out of a high school intro class, and a ludicrous plot that ends with a not-so-interesting twist. This movie is lousy, but it’s good for laugh.

Munchies

Space archaeologist Simon Watterman unearths dreadful monsters called the Munchies while digging in a cave in Peru. The strange beings have a hankering for humans, beer and fast food and are about to be unleashed on a small town when Simon’s brother Cecil kidnaps them and brings them home. Unfortunately, Cecil doesn’t realize how incredibly deadly the creatures are — and that he may be sealing the fate of the town’s citizens.

Matt
Rating: 2 out of 10

A kid at school recommended this movie when I was about 11 years old. My brother and I took turns renting movies at the store and it was mine. I chose “Munchies,” and my brother still brings it up to this day as the worst movie he’s ever seen. Naturally, I had to review it here.

This movie was directed by Tina Hirsch, who, not-so ironically, edited “Gremlins.” It’s the only movie she ever directed, but she’s gone on to have a successful career in editing. She was completely riffing off  the success of “Gremlins.” In fact, Hirsche gives a wink when one of the characters is reading a newspaper with a picture of Gizmo on it. Instead of turning evil when eating after midnight or getting wet, munchies multiply and turn evil when sliced into pieces or threatened. These ones are also a little more risque. They smoke grass, look at porn magazines, masturbate in the bushes while peeping on girls, flip the bird and sneak in the bed when people are having sex.

There’s a thinly veiled plot about the mean neighbor who wants to take over land and keep the munchies from getting into the sewers where he’s stored toxic waste that is the secret ingredient for his snack food company. While all that’s going on, the munchies are wreaking havoc over a California town killing and eating food along the way. The puppetry is a joke, I’m guessing on purpose, and so is the acting and joke delivery. It’s camp. You get what you ask for.

The film features Harvey Korman, better known for his roles in the classic comedy “Blazing Saddles” and the beloved “The Carol Burnett Show.” Korman plays both Cecil Watterman, the scientist trying to prove alien existance , and his enemy and neighbor Simon Watterman — though they don’t explain why they share the same last name. The only other known actor is Robert Picardo, better known as The Doctor on “Star Trek: Voyager.” He had some funny moments as an ice cream shop owner whose shop is invaded.

It’s hard to believe this movie spawned two sequels: “Munchie” and “Munchie Strikes Back,” both of which have nothing to do with this movie. “Munchies” isn’t out on DVD yet, but you can watch it on Youtube.