Monday, July 18, 2011
July 15 - Slither (2006)
Director: James Gunn
This is one of those movies I've seen around a lot over the past five years and have always been intrigued by the great cover art, but our paths just haven't crossed. I bought it on DVD a few weeks back and tonight popped it in seeking a fun, popcorn movie night for me and the wife.
And boy we weren't disappointed! What a great, fun movie. It's a clear homage to the scifi movies of the 50s and 60s, with lots of humour and gore. There's so many influences it'd be hard to list them all, but the best I can do is describe it as Night of the Creeps meets The Blob meets Night of the Living Dead meets Tremors.
A comet crashes to earth and some kind of slug-like creature emerges to wreak havoc on a small rural American town. The colourfully-named Grant Grant (Michael Rooker, HENRY: PORTRAIT OF A SERIAL KILLER) is infected and begins changing into a blob-like creature that feeds off stray animals. Determined to stop him are his wife Starla (Elizabeth Banks, SPIDERMAN) and her childhood flame, now the town sheriff, Bill (Nathan Fillion, SERENITY). But soon thousands of alien slugs are scurrying around town, slithering into the mouths of people and turning them into zombies.
Rooker is as great as ever, Banks does a good job as the attractive damsel in distress and I actually liked Fillion in this. I haven't seen Firefly or Serenity, but I find him gratingly smarmy in his TV series CASTLE. Here his dry humor works with the outrageous things happening around him. The highlight of the acting is definitely the performance of Gregg Henry (RAISING CAIN) as the weaselly town mayor.
Writer/director James Gunn (the screenwriter on the DAWN OF THE DEAD remake) has to be commended for making this so much fun without making it overtly silly. Sure, there's some wacky stuff that goes on, but mostly it's played straight with moments of humour. There's no T&A, but oodles of gore (a man gets split in half, a woman explodes etc).
All in all this is one of the most fun movie nights I've had in a while.