Back in 2006, however, he was the svelte town sheriff, doing battle with the aforementioned creatures in this creature feature that’s a loving throwback to 50s monster movies with the added bonus of some Lynchian weirdness (there’s a really odd karaoke version of The Crying Game performed in a sad-sack saloon).
In the tradition of the great monster movie deus ex machinas of the past, a pod comes hurtling to earth and there’s something weird inside it. Towney Grant (a grizzled Michael Rooker) is out fornicating with paramour Brenda in the woods and interrupts his coitus to see what’s amiss. The pod shoots a dart into his chest.
Meanwhile, the town of Wheelsy, South Carolina gets down at the Henenlotter Saddle Lodge, a boisterous sh*t-kicking saloon, and no, the Frank reference isn’t lost on us. Hell, we just revisited the awesome Brain Damage so when it comes to worm-like creatures f-ing up people’s synapses, we’re there.
Soon, the pod effects are starting to take their physical toll on Grant. He comes back to wife Starla (the always charming Elizabeth Banks) and explains away his facial deformity as a “bee sting.” Meanwhile his forest paramour Brenda has been tied up in a nearby barn, impregnated by Grant’s slug babies.
Soon, the worm slugs have multiplied and are sliding down the gullets of townsfolk. It’s pretty nasty stuff.
However Slither is a total joy.
It’s a near perfect mix of unrelenting disgusting gore and great zingers like “What kind of thing wants you to eat it?” and “You ever heard of anything like that? Huh? Me neither. And I watch Animal Planet all the f*cking time!” Gregg Henry as Mayor MacReady steals the show, but the cast is great and treats the material with the seriousness it very nearly deserves.
DEFINITELY check it out.
Be sure to also listen to our discussion of Slither (and Squirm) with Daily Dead’s Scott Drebit on the Really Awful Movies Podcast.
**** (out of 5)