SLUGS (1988)

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SLUGS (1988)
Directed by Juan Piquer Simón

After a series of gruesome deaths in the town of Ashton, health inspector Mike Brady is convinced that some small creature is reponsible. With the bodies piling up, Brady suspects giant slugs found near the scene are to blame. With the town holding a secret history involving chemical waste storage, it seems the mutated slugs have more than greens on their mind. Why have lettuce when a full slab of meat complete with squishy organs is sitting right there ready to be consumed?

Shot in New York and Madrid, SLUGS, based on the novel by British author Shaun Hutson, is a gore-tastic creature feature horror about those slimy little critters that leave a trail of slime wherever they slide. Bigger and meaner than our garden variant, those in the town of Ashton have got flesh on their mind, particularly eyeballs, and it seems they won’t stop til they’re had their fill. Breeding at an alarming rate due to their hermaphrodite qualities, this trail of carnage doesn’t seem to be ending anytime soon which leaves health inspector Mike Brady, sewage engineer Don Palmer and a British lab technician to stop the slugs before they wipe out the entire town.

Who knew slugs could be such vicious creatures. You’d think sprinkling a little salt on them would soon make short work of them, something which the characters in this movie neglect to do, but it would seem that the town of Ashton are dealing with an entirely new breed. With toxic slime capable of paralysing its victims before allowing them to devour their entire bodies, these slugs are on a mission to take over and that’s just what they appear to be doing. Eyeballs scoffed at the drop of a hat and razor-sharp teeth capable of gripping so tight it could cause a human to cut their own hand off just to be rid of the critter clamped on the end of their fingers. Don’t forget the parasitic worms lying in wait that will feed long after the dissection of a slug. All this spells splatter-heaven as the red stuff spills and squirts all over the screen in glorious practical effects from artist Carlo De Marchis.

Scenes of skulls crawling with slugs and worms and flesh being torn apart to reveal the gooey centre is what horror fans are here for and the film delivers in this aspect. The story, however, isn’t quite as enjoyable and suffers from poor momentum and a lacklustre narrative but the trail of terror of the killer slugs is enough to appease the viewer considering the fact that bloody carnage is what we horror fans have come to see. A weak narrative can be overlooked in this case.

SLUGS is a rather run-of-the-mill fare but the death scenes, with their glorious practical FX, more than make up for it. We get to hear more about these scenes thanks to Arrow Video’s special feature interviews with actor Emilio Linder, who has the most disturbing death scene in the movie, special effects artist Carlo De Marci and art director Gonzalo Gonzalo. There’s also a locations tour feature with production manager Larry Ann Evans and theatrical trailer whilst the disc itself comes with a reversible sleeve featuring original and newly commissioned artwork bu Wes Benscoter and a collector’s booklet featuring enw writing by Michael Gingold.

It might not be the most exciting film out there, but SLUGS has a warm, slimy, gory charm that genre fans will feel right at home with.

Rating: ★★★★★★☆☆☆☆


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About Bat 4392 Articles
I love practical effects, stop-motion animation and gore, but most of all I love a good story! I adore B-movies and exploitation films in many of their guises and also have a soft spot for creature features. I review a wide range of media including movies, TV series, books and videogames. I'm a massive fan of author Hunter S. Thompson and I enjoy various genre of videogames with Kingdom Hearts and Harvest Moon two of my all time favs. Currently playing: The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt, Yakuza Zero and Mafia III.

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