Directed by James Gunn.
Written by James Gunn (the writer behind the two
Starring Nathan Fillion, Elizabeth Banks, and Michael Rooker.
Release Year: 2006
Review Date: 4/2/06
My buddy Ross and I took in a matinee of the
new campy horror flick "Slither", and although we both came in with
VERY low expectations, I'm happy to say that this wasn't a total
waste of our hard-earned cash.
That's because writer/director James Gunn
injects the film with a decent bit of life thanks to laughs at the
most ridiculous times and a tone that never takes itself too
seriously. Michael Rooker--who had a career of some stature 15
years ago, until he leveled out in 1993's "Cliffhanger"--plays Grant
Grant, a hard-working guy in small-town Wheelsy married to a
beautiful schoolteacher named Starla (Elizabeth Banks, memorable
"Catch Me If You Can" and
40-Year-Old Virgin"). One night in the woods, Grant makes
the mistake of investigating a strange, alien-like...alien too
closely, which leads him to develop a bit of a skin condition that
slowly mutates him into a full-blown zombie/alien hybrid. The
Wheelsy Police Department, led by Chief Bill Pardy (Nathan Fillion),
follows leads of a sick nature--you know, missing, half-eaten cats &
dogs and other random livestock that has been kidnapped and eaten by
the alien thing--and figures out that Grant might have more than a
minor bug bite.
Gunn's film is often pretty nasty, kind of
like "The Blob" or other blood-guts-and-gore remakes that seem to
have a blast getting everyone in the cast bloodied up or covered in
goop...but, Ross and I did do a good bit of laughing because some of
the lines these characters spout as they are faced with terror of
the unknown are just fucking great. Fillion seems especially
well-equipped for this sort of comedy, having played essentially the
same role in "Serenity" last year as the
wiseacre captain of a space ship that is constantly in trouble.
Rooker--a king of B-, C-, and straight-to-video films over the last
ten years--hams it up well, especially as his character takes the
detour to Hell and his skin is turned to a red rubbery substance
late in the movie. The other bit players that show up--most of
whom naturally bite it in nasty ways--seem to believe in this
material enough to give it their best effort, which just makes
watching all of them play their best zombie even funnier.
But, "Slither" never really hits it out of
the park, and its horror element never really makes much sense, even
as it gets to the height of its nastiness when we see what Grant's
new form is going to mean for the greater community. But, for
a 90-minute low-budget horror film shot in Canada, "Slither" is good
Comments? Drop me a line at
Bellview Rating System:
"Opening Weekend": This is
the highest rating a movie can receive. Reserved for movies that
exhibit the highest level of acting, plot, character development,
setting...or Salma Hayek. Not necessarily in that order.
"$X.XX Show": This price
changes each year due to the inflation of movie prices; currently,
it is the $9.50 Show. While not technically perfect, this is a
movie that will still entertain you at a very high level.
"Undercover Brother" falls into this category; it's no "Casablanca",
but you'll have a great time watching. The $9.50 Show won't win any
Oscars, but you'll be quoting lines from the thing for ages (see
"Matinee": An average movie
that merits no more than a $6.50 viewing at your local theater.
Seeing it for less than $9.50 will make you feel a lot better about
yourself. A movie like "Blue Crush" fits this category; you leave
the theater saying "That wasn't too bad...man, did you see that
Lakers game last night?"
"Rental": This rating
indicates a movie that you see in the previews and say to your
friend, "I'll be sure to miss that one." Mostly forgettable, you
couldn't lose too much by going to Hollywood Video and paying $3 to
watch it with your sig other, but you would only do that if the
video store was out of copies of "Ronin." If you can, see this
movie for free. This is what your TV Guide would give "one and a
"Hard Vice": This rating is
the bottom of the barrel. A movie that only six other human beings
have witnessed, this is the worst movie I have ever seen. A Shannon
Tweed "thriller," it is so bad as to be funny during almost every
one of its 84 minutes, and includes the worst ending ever put into a
movie. Marginally worse than "Cabin Boy", "The Avengers" or
"Leonard, Part 6", this rating means that you should avoid this
movie at all costs, or no costs, EVEN IF YOU CAN SEE IT FOR FREE!
(Warning: strong profanity will be used in all reviews of "Hard