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Slither [Celluloid Hero]

 

Slither (2006)

Sometimes there is nothing better than watching a simple horror/comedy (horomedy?) and enjoying the ride. Don’t worry about the philosophical implications of a movie, don’t worry about a character’s emotional struggles, don’t worry about the direction or the cinematography or anything. Just watch a bunch of people get attacked by CGI worms and morph into hideous monsters.

“Slither” takes place in a stereotypical small town in the country. Everyone knows everyone else, the mayor is a sleazy-but-well-meaning politician, the police force is mostly equipped to deal with traffic violations or reports of a missing cow. The sheriff Bill (Nathan Fillion) is young but a respected leader in the community. He has spent his life pining for Starla (Elizabeth Banks) but she is married to Grant (an extremely creepy Michael Rooker).

Things begin to unravel in a perfectly “just accept it” kind of way: a meteorite crashes to Earth, and cracks open to release a slimy blob of alien life. Grant is releasing some stress with a walk through the woods when he and a lady-friend come across the twitching mass. After a few pokes, the mass retaliates, shooting a spike into Grant’s chest. The ill effects start slowly, but snowball exponentially.

Without giving too many spoilers, Grant has to spread his parasite, and that involves “impregnating” an unfortunate woman. The alien worms grow in her until her body can’t support them, at which point she explodes, birthing countless creatures that set out to take over the town. When a person is infected, the worms take over their brain to create a hive mind, and help the original host grow into a hideous squid-monster that has been destroying planets for a millennium. The gore is so over-the-top that it actually goes beyond gross into ridiculous territory. Everything is slimy and sticky and throbbing and scary and hilarious.

“Shaun of the Dead” is a brilliant movie because it is beautifully written, and succeeds as both a comedy and a horror; there are genuinely funny moments along with genuine scares. “Slither” isn’t quite at that level, because I never really felt scared. It’s more of a goofy horror movie with a humorous script. Nathan Fillion plays his character and delivers his lines perfectly for this style, but the dry/dark humor might not play well for everyone. If you want to watch people fighting to keep space slugs from penetrating their mouths and watch monsters deliver their seed into victims via chest tentacles, this movie is for you.

 

On the [Celluloid Hero] scale, “Slither” gets a 6 out of 10.

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