But the B Movie has survived and come into its own over the years, and has evoked yet another subset: The B Movie Tribute. These are those flicks that make it as unashamed and proud B Movies, as if the director was saying "Look, I grew up on 'em, I love 'em, DEAL WITH IT PINK BOY!". These are some of the best B-Movies ever, Kemosabe! Seriously, who among you could possibly resist the funny and surreal charm of a flick like Bubba Ho-Tep? Judging from the fact that you're on this site, I'm guessing none of you!
This leads us directly into tonight's lecture at hand, the unashamed and proud B Movie known as Slither! Slither is your typical bottom sector Alien Invasion Rubber Suit and Zombie Thriller, and it is hilarious. It couldn't be more of a B movie if it was named Blithbler instead.
It's almost impossible not to love this blatantly silly and joyously deadpan Sci-Fi/ Horror/ Comedy. I'm surprised to say so, seeing as how every preview and poster made this look like a throw-away piece of theatrical filler. However, this is universally well acted by a cast that was obviously having the time of their lives and adeptly written and directed by a veteran of "Z-Movies". Troma's old reliable James Gunn has officially come into his own with this one.
In a tiny shit-kickin' town in rural USA, a teeny-tiny little meteor falls to the Earth and out pops a Slimy Sleazy little Alien, intent on ruling and eating as many words as possible.
Lucky for him, local hottie Starla Grant (Elizabeth Banks) has just kicked her richer, older, balder husband Grant Grant (Michael Rooker) out of their marital bed and into the arms of another hottie in the woods.
Then, quicker than you can say "Well Shiiiiiii-iiiiiiiiiit!", Grant's playing host to the interstellar slime slug from the Nth Dimension, and doing a whole butt-load of things that just don't seem all that Grant-like, ya'll. Oh, he's also eating pets, growing extra limbs, getting a very "Tommy Lee Jones"-like skin condition and impregnating strange women with millions of tiny slithering space worms. Now that's darn rude.
Luckily, there's a new Sherriff in town. Well, no, I guess there's a new "Chief of Police" in Town, but "Sherriff" just sounds cooler in that sentence. Anyway, his name's Bill Pardy and he's played by the anything BUT serene Nathan Fillion at his deadpan best! Old Bill has what is clinically referred to as "The Hots" for sweet, sweet Starla to an extent that proves positively the undeniable textile strength of Police Issue Trousers. To be fair, he does find himself fully occupied with other things besides Starla when mutant enemy alien worms take over his town. I mean, seriously, who wouldn't be? I mean, like besides me?
Man, these little worms are nasty, and as ubiquitous around town as cowboy hats at a Pro-GOP rally. Not quite as tacky, though. These dang old worms have a hankering to pop right in your mouth, kinda like the Breakfast Buddy Sandwich from Burger King. Of course you could guess that once in there they turn every townsperson into a Zombie. And, kids, here's where it gets funnier and funnier and funnier. An entire town jam packed with hicks who share the same brain as Michael Rooker. It kind of make me think of what Mallrats II: The Revenge of Mr. Svenning might look like!
As wonderfully hilarious as Nathan Fillion is while cutting a dusty trail through the spitting Alien Zombie Hoardes, he's made even better by his corn-ball sidekicks who give him every opportunity to crack wise and throw out one liners like a Ball Player caught with Cocaine. Gregg Henry is perfect as the profane and constantly freaking out mayor, Jack MacReady! Never a dull moment with this idiot as your mayor. How's this for a The Office Sighting: Jenna Fischer, the only likeable character from NBC's The Office plays (DRUMROLL) a receptionist named Shelby at Bill's police station. The best part is Tania Saulnier's Kylie Strutemyer whose briefest of the brief encounters with the Super Slug from Outer Space gives her prescience enough to know the inside score and history of what Grant "Squid-Boy" Grant has up his tentacle.
Speaking of Tania Saulnier, the brief, brief nudity is greatly appreciated in this film. While Slither is disgusting, it doesn't rely on "Gross Out Comedy" for its laughs. No, it's got the profanity, slapstick and (believe it or not) well thought-out and clever lines for that. Also, yes, Slither is legitimately scary, with rubber monsters, CGI squirmy ol' worms and zombies, zombies, zombies! Luckily you'll be too busy laughing your ass off to crap your pants... these things are symbiotic, you know.
This is, after all, a B Movie, and while James Gunn is brilliantly smart in his writing here (kilometers beyond his mediocre Dawn of the Dead remake, and his two [gulp] Scooby-Doo flicks), he is making an intentionally silly movie. Viva la Cheese! This kind of flick will never get a five-star rating, but surprising or not, this is a must for fans of horror, sci-fi, comedy and all sorts of genres this thing sends up. It could become one of your favorites. Just make sure you've got some Salt on you.
Every horror is met with a great and hilarious line, every grotesque moment is played with brilliant comedy, and every scene of rampaging cannibalistic redeadened alien possessed Zombies is accompanied by... an Air Supply song. Okay, so it is sometimes more scary than funny! Air Supply... Ach! Three and One Half stars out of Five for James Gunn's Slither. This is no throwaway piece of theatrical filler, this is a smart and hilarious thriller in the vein of the best and least self-conscious B Movies out there. In short, it is a PURELY entertaining flick. Look, folks, if you've read down this far in this goof-ball review, you're probably up for anything. Then again, I did follow this up with Basic Instinct 2, which is at once scarier, grosser and funnier, so take that with a grain of salt. Stay through the credits for an extra clincher scene. Meanwhile, I'm going to get some sort of defense against worms, just in case... I hear the pet store has some pills for that. See you in the next reel, slimy, lowly and spicy.
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