With laughs and gross-outs aplenty, Slither is the best horror comedy since Shaun of the Dead. Having written for the jubilant trash-mongers at Troma Films before scripting 2004’s well-received remake of Dawn of the Dead, writer-director James Gunn crafted this hilarious splatter-fest as an homage to the comically violent horror films of the 1970s and ‘80s, and he gets it just right with a low-budget look, perfect casting, grisly make-up effects and judicious use of CGI gore. The story’s a deliberate monster-mash, borrowing from a dozen other movies with its plot about an invasion of slithery slug-like parasites from outer space, arriving (via meteorite) in the redneck town of Wheelsy, South Carolina, where they turn most of the local yokels into flesh-eating zombies. The first victim (played by Michael Rooker) turns into a squid-like, multi-tentacled host monster (kill him and you kill ‘em all), and his terrified wife (Elizabeth Banks) teams up with Wheelsy’s sheriff (Nathan Fillion, from Firefly and Serenity) and mayor (comedic scene-stealer Gregg Henry) to eradicate the alien threat before Wheelsy turns into Slugville. Gunn handles comedy and horror with exuberant flair, and Slither’s greatest strength is that it never aspires to be anything more than it is: 96 minutes of good laughs and gruesomeness, served up with the kind of gleeful abandon that only true horror buffs can fully appreciate.
About Slither (2006)
Starring: Lloyd Kaufman, Lorena Gale, Michael Rooker, Darren Shahlavi, Dee Jay Jackson, Ben Cotton, Malcolm Scott, Mary Black, Don Thompson, Tom Heaton, Magda Apanowicz, Gregg Henry, William MacDonald, Xantha Radley, Iris Quinn, Nicholas Podbrey, Nathan Fillion, Kathryn Kirkpatrick, Haig Sutherland, Rob Zombie, Dustin Milligan, Jenna Fischer, Stephen Park, Jeny Cassady, James Gunn, Elizabeth Banks, Jennifer Copping, Robert Musnicki, Brenda James, Bart Anderson
Director: James Gunn