Sunday, November 12, 2006

I’m sure James Gunn’s “Slither” would have been a rollicking event in a packed movie theater, and I can barely forgive myself that I’m only catching up with the film’s pleasures now on DVD. This is the stuff of B movie legend- a meteor strikes earth, releasing a slimy slug that infects one man (Michael Rooker). He becomes the host and impregnates several others in town, eventually turning loose a bevy of miniature slugs that infects the whole town by crawling into their mouths. The last remaining hope for earth lies in the resistance of the local sheriff (Nathan Fillion, so good in last year’s “Firefly”) a teenage farm girl (Tania Saulnier) and the wife of the host (Elizabeth Banks). It’s clear everyone is having a great time, and director Gunn infuses the film with such a genuine awe for splatterfest filmmaking that it doesn’t feel like an attempt to shock or ridicule the genre (as fellow filmmaker Eli Roth seems to). “Slither” is a great film that harkens back to the psycho-sexual undertones of Cronenberg’s “Shivers”. The reason that films like “Shivers”, “Slither” and “Invasion of the Body Snatchers” work is due to the fact they’re films that rely on our basic need to penetrate (and you can read that anyway you like!). They’re also films that speak on several levels about deception and the prevalent worry of transmittable diseases. While “Slither” is probably less politically minded than the previous 2 films mentioned, it’s still a pretty scary (and gory, and funny) interpretation of being taken over by something.


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