15 years ago, before he would helm the Guardians of the Galaxy movies, Director James Gunn would mark his directorial debut with Slither, a black comedy, sci-fi horror movie centred around a small town in South Carolina that comes under siege from an alien parasite.
It’s a visual spectacle peppered with some humorous dialogue, highlighting the slow paced energy of the townsfolk suddenly thrust into a frenzied assault on their humble town and investing their bodies.
Upon its release, Slither was considered a flop, as it never fell short of the budget used to make the film by a few million.
I remember being a little bewildered by this at the time of its release as I thoroughly enjoyed its energy and direction, coupled with its strong influences from both Carpenter and Cronenberg, directors with whom I greatly admire their work.
It also boasted cracking performances from Nathan Fillion (who had already made a name for himself in Firefly) as Police Chief Bill Pardy, Elizabeth Banks (Brightburn) as Starla Grant, our female heroine, and Michael Rooker as her overbearing and protective husband Grant, who also becomes the first infected by the parasite.
The effects on show are its main selling point who create the tentacled, worm-like creatures with an element of Lovecraftian, body morphia. The humour too is light and zestful, which suits Fillion’s on-screen persona and a testament to Gunn’s writing ability.
This June, Umbrella Entertainment have released a blu-ray edition of the film as part of their Beyond Genres series with some cracking extras including:
- Audio Commentary with James Gunn and Nathan Fillion
- The Slick Minds and Slimy Days of Slither: Making of featurette – 10 Mins
- Who Is Bill Pardy? – 5 Mins
- Slither Visual Effects Progressions – 5 Mins
- Bringing Slithers Creatures to Life: FX Featurette – 19 Mins
- Slithery Set Tour With Nathan Fillion – 5 Mins
- The Gorehound Grill: Brewin’ The Blood – 3 Mins
- The King of Cult: Lloyd Kaufman’s Video Diary – 9 Mins
- Deleted Scenes – 11 Mins
- Extended Scenes – 8 Mins
- Gag Reel – 8 Mins
All of which resurrect the fun element that was notably present behind the scenes and projected in all facets of what we see on-screen with the final product. This further cemented for me that Slither is a gem of a movie and the reason why it has garnered a cult following as a result.
If you haven’t caught this film, or was deterred by the low box office attendance at the time of its initial release, then I highly recommend that you check it out.
- Saul Muerte