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Movie Review: Slither (2006)

August 19, 2010 3 comments

Woman in bathtub surrounded by slugs.Summary:
When an asteroid comes to a small, southern US town, it brings with it alien slug-like creatures who infest a local man.  His wife is the first to notice something askew, but not before the slugs manage to impregnante a local woman.  Can she and the golden-hearted sherriff save the day?

Review:
The two most important things to know about this movie are: 1) It was written and directed by James Gunn Dawn of the Dead and 2) the part of the sherriff is played by Nathan Fillion of Dr. Horrible’s Sing-Along Blog fame.  Fans of either absolutely must watch this movie, particularly fans of Fillion as there’s nothing quite like watching him face slugs.  That said, I can’t tell if this movie was actually trying to be scary.  It certainly isn’t scary at all.  It is deliciously disgusting and hilarious, however.  It kind of reminds me of Killer Klowns from Outer Spaceonly with slugs and a woman who looks like Cartman at his fattest because she’s so full of alien spawn.  If that sort of thing is up your alley, you’re going to enjoy this movie.

Probably the best part of this movie, besides watching Fillion, is the special effects.  The slugs look totally believable, and as the husband becomes more taken over by the aliens, he looks increasingly like Brundle in The Fly.  Plus the slugs naturally do all sorts of disgusting things and the effects aren’t the type that take you out of the gross-out moment.  

My main gripes with the film are that the husband is kind of miscast.  It’s really not believable that his wife ever married him to start with.  He at least needed a better looking face or something.  Plus his acting prior to all the special effects taking place is kind of iffy.  I also wished the slugs had wreaked a bit more havoc prior to entering the bodies whereupon we can’t see them anymore.  They were cool to look at.

Overall, you’re going to enjoy this film if you enjoy B-level, gross-out horror.  It’s not up the level of The Fly, but it is a fun watch. 

3 out of 5 stars

Source: Netflix

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Book Review: Slither by Edward Lee

June 28, 2010 4 comments

Woman wrapped up in a giant pink worm.Summary:
Nora and Loren are polychaetologists–worm scientists.  They are asked by their college to accompany a National Geographic photographer to an island off the coast of Florida to help her photograph a rare worm.  They are accompanied by a member of the military, as it is an island that is unused military property.  Also coming surreptitiously to the island are two criminal brothers and their mutual girlfriend to check on their pot growing operation and a group of four college students looking to party.  What they don’t know is that the island is gradually becoming infested with a parasitic worm.  Only this worm isn’t microscopic.  It’s huge and has multiple, gruesome ways of using its hosts.  As the various groups try frantically to avoid the worms and their ova, it seems that someone in toxin-blocking suits is watching them.

Review:
I originally picked this book up and read its blurb because of the cover.  I mean, look at that!  Such a striking piece of art.  Upon reading the description, I decided it sounded a bit like a slightly more phallic Michael Crichton-esque book.  In a way, it certainly is.  It has the group with scientists attempting to solve a situation that is putting civilians at risk.  The similarities kind of end there, however.

This is definitely a horror book, but I wouldn’t call it a scientific horror book.  There’s nothing particularly plausible about any of it.  I’d absolutely classify it more as the B-type movie gross-out fest.  Lee does the gross-out part well.  I found myself continually surprised and disgusted by the various things the worms do to human beings.  The worms are…well, they’re so gross that it took me a bit longer than usual to read this book because I couldn’t read it right before bed or while I was eating.  So he’s definitely good at that!

The book blurb hints at exciting sexual tension, but the sex veers much more strongly toward sexual abuse or gross sex than fun, crazy sex.  I didn’t particularly find this bothersome, although a bit sad for the characters.  However, I know some readers find that triggering, so you should be aware.

I enjoy watching B films with silly effects and bad dialogue, but it’s a lot more tedious to read awful dialogue than it is to hear it, for some reason.  The dialogue really, truly is atrocious.  Particularly bad is when Nora talks or thinks.  It’s like Lee has never been around a nerdy woman in his life.  It’s not much better when he’s writing anyone’s thoughts.  They all have the most inane thoughts I’ve ever read.  This actually was so tedious to get through that I almost gave up on the book a few times in the beginning.  I’m glad I didn’t, because the end is absolutely a surprise.  Not so much in the who survives sense, but in the mystery of the worms.  It was a satisfying payoff, but I wish he’d either gotten to it sooner.

I feel that overall this is a decent horror book.  It’s entirely possible that the beginning just didn’t jive with me, but would with others.  I recommend it to fans of gross out horror who don’t mind flimsy dialogue.

3 out of 5 stars

Source: PaperBackSwap

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