Friday, July 30, 2010

Slugs (1988)

Juan Piquer Simón is not a name that's equated with quality horror. His best movie ("Pieces") is a laughable but still highly entertaining and all around sleazy slasher movie with giallo undertones. His movie "Pod People" (originally intended to be an R-rated "Alien" rip-off until the producers intervened and made him do an "E.T." rip-off) was on "Mystery Science Theater 3000" (I recommend that episode too.) Plus, other movies of his range from incredibly inept ("Cthulhu Mansion") to outright dull ("Endless Descent.") To be fair, I haven't seen his movie "Satan's Blood", which I've heard good things about, so hey, what do I know? Anyways, though not as fun as "Pieces", his entry in the nature-run-amok cycle "Slugs" is a nice diversion of exploitation goofiness.

People are dying in mysterious ways in a local rural community, with bloody corpses showing up with open chest wounds, missing eyes, and other nasty details? So, who's the culprit? Why it's mutated, killer slugs with teeth! Can Mike Brady (heh) (played by Michael Garfield) save the day?

Based on a novel by Shaun Huston, "Slugs" is all around goofy and amusing nature-run-amok fair. It offers some memorable moments of gore and nasty effects work, including and exploding face, a man having to chop his hand off, and a really stomach churning moment involving the slugs and a naked couple. It also offers some really bad but entertaining dialogue ("You don't have the authority to declare Happy Birthday!") and an unapologetic embrace of genre cliches (dumb teens, cruel farmers, rapists and more) to help you keep your interest.

If the movie falls short, it's that the characters aren't as memorably loopy or over the top sleazy like they were in "Pieces." Sure, it's unfair to compare movies, but everyone here is dumb and uninteresting. In fact, if it weren't for the aforementioned nasty scenes, there really wouldn't be any reason to remember it. Also, not a complaint, but is everybody in this movie stupid? *Spoiler* The hero saves the day (or does he?) but destroys much of the town in the process, and casually gets over his best buddy dying in the process.

As it stands, "Slugs" is anything but a classic. That out of the way, it should make for a fun time if you enjoy stupid but fun horror garbage.

Rating: 6.5/10

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