Slither (2006)
By: Mark Nichols on February 10, 2007  |  Comments  |  Bookmark and Share
Universal (Australia). Region 2 & 4 PAL. 1.85:1 (16:9 enhanced). English DD 5.1, French DD 5.1, German DD 5.1. English, French, German Subtitles. 91 minutes
The Movie
Director: James Gunn
Starring: Nathan Fillion, Elizabeth Banks, Gregg Henry, Michael Rooker, Tania Saulnier
Screenplay: James Gunn
Music: Tyler Bates
Tagline: Feed the fear.
Country: USA
A meteor from outer space hurtles to Earth and crashes in the small American country town of Wheesley. After meeting some of the local townsfolk during the title sequence, the story settles on Grant Grant (Michael Rooker, Henry: Portrait of a Serial Killer), who has an argument with his beautiful young wife, Starla Grant (Elizabeth Banks) because she keeps avoiding sex with him, perhaps because he is around thirty years older than her and unintentionally creepy and overprotective. Grant leaves in a huff and drowns his sorrows at the local tavern, where he meets the sexy Brenda (Brenda James). After heading into the woods, the pair discover a strange alien slug that has slithered out of the open meteor. It shoots a worm-like dart into Grant's stomach and enters his body, and in convenient x-ray mode we see it go up through his chest cavity and implant itself at the base of the brain, entering his conscious mind.

As expected Grant begins acting 'strange'. He creates a large nest, puts a padlock on the basement door and develops an insatiable appetite for raw meat. Finding his wife waiting for him in a nice teddy for make up sex, the alien inside him feels such strong emotion that he cries, something he had never done before the infection. Slow fade to black as the schmaltzy Air Supply plays in the background and lucky alien Grant Grant makes beautiful love to Starla.

Meanwhile, Sheriff Bill Pardy (Nathan Fillion) is trying to find out who is behind the gruesome disembowelments of livestock in the county and the disappearance of Brenda, who we know Grant met in the tavern. Bill and Starla had a high school crush on each other and before you can say 'romantic sub plot' they are working together to find Grant, who has become a writhing mass of tentacles and lumpy flesh and done a runner…

The action in Slither begins straight away and the pace of the film hardly slows from there. It pays homage to numerous classic science fiction films from the 1950's like The Blob to the pioneering SPFX make up and animatronics of 1980's horror films such as The Fly and The Thing.

The characters are believable and the dialogue is funny thanks to a great script by James Gunn, who also directed. All technical aspects of the film are top shelf. It is obvious this film had a decent budget. The special effects are fantastic, perfectly blending gruesome, pus-dripping prosthetics with CGI. All night scenes are brightly lit so you can see what is happening clearly too.
Slither is presented in a 1:85:1 widescreen aspect ratio with 16:9 enhancement. The image is very clear, and was obviously sourced from a decent print.
Works well in Dolby Digitial 5.1, with your choice of English, French, or German language options.
Extra Features
Deleted Scenes, Gag Reel, Extended Scenes.

The Sick Minds and Slimy Days of Slither. Interviews with director Gunn who talks about what inspired him to write Slither. Interviews with main actors about the characters they portray.

Bringing Slither's Creatures to Life - In depth discussions from the special effects make up, puppeteer and digital effects crew discussing how they made the mediums they work in marry together on screen. Slugs, tentacles, a nine foot high impregnated women that had to be created in an aircraft hanger and a monster that fills a whole large room. Extremely cool stuff!

Slithery Set Tour with Nathan Fillion. Like a home movie with actor Fillion bugging people on set and holding up filming. He ends up asking people to discuss how great he is to work with. Ends with director Gunn graphically comparing the trial of completing Slither for Universal studios to giving a blowjob until it 'comes'. Choice!

The Gorehound Grill: Brewing the Blood. The recipe for various types of blood used in the film are explained by a technician who clearly loves his job. Very simple and effective. Worth the price of admission alone for film makers who just want a good blood recipe.

The King of Cult: Lloyd Kaufman's Video Diary. The first feature film James Gunn wrote was Tromeo and Juliet (1996), directed by Troma president Lloyd Kaufmann. As a thank you, Gunn flew him to Canada for a cameo role in the police station as a drunkard. Kaufmann takes a video camera around filming his trailer, chats to people on set and discusses with Gunn how he will deliver dialogue that ended up being cut from the final version of the film anyway. Blink and you'll miss him in the final cop-shop scene.

Who is Bill Pardy? It obviously became an inside joke on set that actor Nathan Fillion would say "I'm Bill Pardy" so here are lots of shots of him and other people saying it too.

Visual Effects: Step-by-Step. Shows the various stages of short scenes involving slugs and slimy tentacles from original scene filmed with no creatures on set to their final on screen digital realisation. Really cool and very clever.
The Verdict
Slither puts a new spin on well-known premises and the gory pay-offs are great. At ninety-two minutes Slither is just the right length to keep the story fresh without losing the viewer's interest. A great horror/sci-fi monster comedy that can be seen more than once. I won't be surprised if this film spawns a sequel or two.
Movie Score
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