“They slime. They ooze. They kill.”
Jumping on the 1970s bug band wagon (Squirm, Bug), Slugs: The Movie (yes, they needed to clarify because it was a book first) brings us the story of a small town that’s suddenly overrun with oversized slugs. Normally that would only be a gardener’s problem but when they start attacking people, our picturesque little hamlet is in deep kimchi.
The movie starts right out of the gate with death. An adorable young couple (and by adorable I mean totally annoying) are spending time together on the lake. Technically the guy is fishing and his girlfriend is bitching about it. He falls in and before you know it, blood is bubbling up like Jeb just struck oil before moving to Californy.
Our hero, Mike Brady (yep, that’s his name and he’s not the fuzzy haired every-dad from the Brady Bunch) is the new health inspector. He’s brought in on a case by the Sheriff when a local man is found dead in his home, half eaten. The Sheriff was obviously born with a 2×4 up his ass so you just know he’ll be useless throughout the entire film.
After a couple more deaths, Mike and his wife, Kim, discover one of the large slugs in their garden. Mike pokes his finger at it and the special F/X people totally pulled out a Dark Crystal puppet on crank with fangs! Needless to say, this concerns our health inspector so he enlists the help of a lab nerd, Foley, to figure out exactly what they’re up against.
There are a few more absolutely EPIC deaths when Don, head of the sewer department, finally discovers what caused the giant slugs. The town was built on top of an old toxic waste dump (this IS my shocked face). So he, Mike, and Foley come up with a plan to destroy the slimy menace and save the day. The question is: can they pull it off without blowing up the entire town?
As with most movies from the 80s, this b-horror schlock is pretty pathetic: dialogue (so cheesy), acting (laaaame), effects (I’ve seen worse but these are not great), and plot (unoriginal). Character development is sorely lacking. We’re basically given just surface details. They’re all clichés and wall paper.
I also hate story lines where the heroes are trying to get the authorities to do the right thing (like shut off the water that’s been contaminated with giant man-eating slugs) and all they do is bark bullshit past their half masticated submarine sandwiches. I didn’t care about anyone in this town. In fact, I was rooting for the slugs.
The deaths, however, are fantastic! The great thing about bug movies? Infestation – of plumbing, buildings, and especially people. I don’t know why but I love seeing people get eaten up by a swarm or colony or shitload of insects and other creepy crawlies. And this movie sates my appetite for the gruesome. Though one scene is reminiscent of The Raft from Creepshow and another of Poltergeist, all were enjoyable to behold! Just maybe don’t be eating your lunch when watching.
1.5 hatchets (out of 5) for the quality kills