Slugs (1988)
By: J.R. McNamara on August 27, 2012  | 
Image (USA) | Region 1, NTSC | 1.77:1 (16:9 enhanced) | English DD 2.0 Mono | 89 minutes (Full Specs)
The Movie
Cover Art
Director: Juan Piquer Simon
Starring: Michael Garfield, Kim Terry, Philip MacHale, Alicia Moro
Screenplay: Ron Gantman
Country: Spain, USA
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As a teen my horror fandom existed around three things: my local video shop; Fangoria; and the novels of James Herbert, Richard Laymon and Shaun Hutson. Of the three, Richard Laymon was my favourite, but in my constantly varying top ten favourite books of the time Shaun Hutson's Slugs was always present. It's sleaziness always appealed, and the way it was written made me think that if this guy could write professionally, maybe I could one day. Something that seemed to pass me by however was the fact that a film was made of it, and I didn't see it for the first time until recently, and it's as sleazy and awkward as Hutson's book!

Pieces director Juan Piquer Simon is responsible for this film, calling himself J. P. Simon to perhaps 'Americanize' the film so that there would be no prejudice against it for being directed by a foreigner. Funnily enough though, it is obviously filmed by someone who is not an American as the 'Americanisms' in it are stereotypical '50s' America.

Slugs tells of a town that is being terrorized by a scourge of black, flesh-eating slugs, and the only person who knows about it is health inspector Mike Brady (Michael Garfield)... and no, he doesn't have three boys of his own... who typically can't convince anyone in the town of the threat. Mike enlists the help of local scientist/science teacher/obnoxious-sounding English git John Foley (Santiago Alvarez. not so English) and a local plumber turned County Sanitation Supervisor Don Palmer (Phillip MacHale) to fight against these slimy bastards as they eat drunks and horny teens and indirectly kill people by blowing up their greenhouse.

Simon gives us here everything he gave us with his. let's face it. fucking amazing earlier horror film Pieces. Crappy delivery of a crappy script, out of place characterisations, super gore, and a touch of tits and ass: all the things a Digital Retribution reader wants from a film! The numerous gore set-pieces are a particular highlight. Early in the film a gardener who slips on a glove that happens to have a cunning slug inside it is forced to hack off his own hand before causing the aforementioned greenhouse explosion, and later a man's eyeball literally explodes as the slugs devour him from the inside out. Simon even serves up the tits, arse and gore in the same frame when a naked couple is attacked post-coitus!

I will have to single out one thing I found hilarious about this film. There are some odd pieces of music inserted in here, so hilarious they can't be anything but accidental, 'cause no one could intentionally insert a comedy track so well. One case is the police going to evict a man from his house, and the police car pulls up the driveway accompanied by a soundtrack that would work better in a western where the hero pulls up on his horse after a victorious shootout with the black hatted bad guy.

Riddled with ridiculousness it really is a craptacular adaptation of a novel that will never be a Penguin Classic, which I guess makes it a pretty perfect adaptation.
It's not the sharpest picture in the history of DVD, with occasional film artefacts and pixelization, but all in all it's OK. Presented here in its original 1.77:1 aspect ratio.
Delivered in its original mono, Slugs sounds clear and unmarred.
Extra Features
Not many extras here, I am afraid, but trailers for Slugs, The Stuff, House and C.H.U.D.
The Verdict
Movie Score
Disc Score
Overall Score
A plodding script, bad acting, worse dubbing, a touch of nudity, ridiculous gore effects. what else could a B movie lover want?!? You'll laugh out loud at the ridiculousness of some of the 'acting' and situations. Unfortunately the awkwardness just didn't sit right in many spots, and as a whole this film doesn't quite work. Still, if cinema is made to be enjoyed, I can't deny being entertained!

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