Spooktober 22, Day 19: Slither

Alright, beasties. It’s that spooky time of year again. For this edition of Spooktober, I’m going to do a post a day but, like a great haul after trick or treating, I’m hoping to mix it up and deliver some surprises. There’ll be reviews, new or old, seen/unseen, TV or film. Depending on my wicked mood, there may also be lists, audio, or video. I hope you’ll enjoy it and remember: stay spooky.

I remember the first time I tried describing this film to my parents as I recommended it for a watch. This sci-f/horror comedy is not an easy one to lay out with a straight face. It’s also not one that writer/director James Gunn may be precisely known for, but it is one that I immediately think of because I have fond and hilarious memories tied to it.

In the small quaint town of Wheelsy, something out of this world (a meteorite) has just landed in the woods.

Starla Grant (Elizabeth Banks) and Grant Grant (Michael Rooker), are married but struggling. One night, when with another woman, he comes across a strange substance in the woods, and it takes him over. From there, well, I’ll just say, hell hath landed.

source: Universal Pictures

Local sheriff Bill Pardy (Nathan Fillion), Stella’s past love, is at the forefront of investigating some strange behavior, but nobody could expect the grotesque truth that is waiting. What Grant is now, is something that wants to feed, and this small town is here for the picking.

Slither is a blast. It’s funny and absurd, disgusting and a slimy mess, but really gives homage to the B horror movies of the past. I’d recognize this as a cult film for sure because it is so over the top and uses its inspirations wisely. Some of the edits mixed with music are just the kind of horror comedy I look for. As the creature that was once Grant Grant grows (and inherits a sort of hive mind), so does the ridiculous plot, ensuring, at the very least, some laughs.

Everyone involved is enjoying themselves, and some of the jokes and remarks about the outrageousness of the circumstances make it even more hilarious. Is it spectacular? No, but it is inventive in its own right. It also has some underlying themes of toxic masculinity and possessiveness. Michael Rooker is fantastically creepy, and the script never wavers from making each scene ripe with discomfort, before being followed by a laugh. Also, the practical effects are really worth a cheer.

Slither is inherently weird, and if that’s your sort of thing, and you want a film that doesn’t take itself too seriously, this is one hell of a time.

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