Dir: Juan Piquer Simôn
Slugs is a creature horror based off the 1982 book of the same name by Shaun Hutson. I haven't read the book yet, but it's definitely going on my list of stuff to read after New Year's.
But on that note, everybody loves creature features, right? From Man's Best Friend to Cloverfield, we all have a soft spot in our hearts for those movies that focus on something other than some psycho with an axe or a ghost with a grudge (no pun intended...). This is probably because they play on our multifaceted, zoophobic tendencies just enough. I mean, we're all a little afraid of animals sometimes, right? Dogs, spiders, birds...slugs?
For this film, if you don't already suffer from some form of Molluscophobia...you probably still won't afterward, but at the same time, you may want to double check your salad from time to time. I'm just saying...
Moving on to the "how it starts" stuff, a young girl and her boyfriend argue the context of the phrase "going fishing" just as he feels something slimy grazes his foot under the water. Moments later, she watches in horror as he is dragged into the dark waters, leaving behind nothing more than a bloody show. Next an old drunkard is devoured on his own couch after he returns from walking the dog, not noticing the slithering infestation in his basement and throughout the cluster fuck of garbage we're going to call his house.
That old man, Ron Bell (Stan Schwartz), is soon discovered eaten to the bone when Sheriff Reese (John Battaglia) and tag-along environmental worker Mike Brady (Michael Garfield) show up to carry out an eviction. While Reese takes his leave outside to try to gather himself, Mike decides to take another look back inside. This time he notices there's something not right about the scene, particularly the massive snail trail leading through the place, and thus his quest for the truth begins.
It isn't long at all until more people begin to turn up dead around town, most of which are eaten alive or in one case, blown up in an accident. One truly unlucky man is eaten from the inside out as mutated blood flukes grow within him after eating a dinner salad prepared by his unknowing wife. I guess he didn't realize that wasn't sliced black olives he was eating...
When it comes down to it, Slugs is a movie that at first glance seems ridiculous, but plays on the serious topic of pollution in a way that can really make you think. Carnivorous slugs may sound outlandish, but so far , we've seen mutated frogs and mice in the real world already as a result of pollution. Scared yet? o.O
Seriously, this movie isn't really scary, so much as it is disturbing. It's a gore fest of bloody bodies and worm blasting faces that plays on the concept of human ignorance. It gives an imaginative look into the changes a poorly managed environment can cause, giving us a first hand idea of what may be to come in the future. This is serious, people!
Of course I'm joking, but what's really serious is how goofy this movie can be. We're talking issues ranging from terrible acting to ridiculous concepts such as unexplainable exploding corpses and a cheesy sewer electrocution to this guy's horrible mullet...
That being said, there are a few saving graces that make this movie worth watching over and over. I felt the special effects were what truly made this movie stand out as a definite 80's classic.
Granted, at times they were hit or miss, the hits really outweighed the misses. A favorite scene of mine involves an old man who makes the mistake of putting his hand into a garden glove in which a couple of slugs have just recently taken up residence. One long, losing struggle later and he's not able to take the glove off, eventually getting pinned underneath a fallen cabinet after flailing around in pain. All the while, his wife is back in the home unable to hear the commotion. At this point he sees no other choice for escape, but to grab a nearby hatchet and do away with hand causing him excruciating agony. Every chop will send chills down your spine as he tries to remove his hand in order to free himself. It's actually pretty gruesome for a B-movie.
For the mullet alone, this movie is worth a watch. Consider the disturbing gore and imaginative story a bonus of sorts. Either way, be sure to check your cole slaw for snails, You've been warned.