Slime City

Slime_CityThere are few things more daring in horror than the killer torso. Sure, there are severed hands, which are nice appendages for throttling and the like but the killer torso really has little it can do other than a flying body press favored in 80s wrestling.

Slime City owns its killer torso.

When Alex and girlfriend Lori move to The Big City and a slum apartment they encounter lots of weirdness (she’s meant to be a virginal 22-year old, which beggars belief, as does her age when she seems much older. This is common in 80s horror – running away from psychopaths apparently makes you prematurely age)

Alex is welcomed by an occultist tenant whose hair is Flock of Seagulls-possessed and whose dinner invite includes the less than appetizing “I’ll pick something that won’t spoil”. When Alex takes him up on it, the menu features “Himalayan yogurt”, a green and sometimes blue concoction that is the film’s first and most innocuous introduction to the titular slime. If only it stopped there.

slime_city2Soon after ingestion, Alex’s face soon morphs into a double cheese pizza, he goes berserk and he pummels a homeless man to death with a lead pipe.

He also charms a dominatrix neighbor who looks like she stepped out of a RATT video, circa 1985 and unceremoniously bashes his best friend’s skull in, who only wanted to move to the city to “bag babes!” (the poor fellow).

Along the way, Alex drips facial mustard goo onto the dinner plate in front of what were to be his future in-laws, wraps his face up like The Invisible Man and fights off a gang of street thugs in a scene as disgusting as it is funny – one of the toughs is familiar with the HG Wells-inspired movie and another comes back for the ghetto blaster.

Poor Lori, who was previously warned by a psychic “Alex is involved with the dead!!” – has to fight him off.

Gruesome, gory and fun.

**** (out of 5)

The Crazies

The_CraziesProblem: residents of your idyllic burg are suddenly acting crazy and no town hall meeting chaired by the public works commissioner or the comptroller, can fix things.

In The Crazies, Timothy Olyphant makes a great town sheriff. He earned his stripes on the show, Deadwood, a town where it was not uncommon to solve petty disputes by blasting one’s adversary away in front of the nearest saloon (and these were everywhere – the town probably had to pass with some difficulty, a city ordnance that not every business be a brothel or a saloon).

Olyphant as sheriff Dutten, has to cope with something even more sinister than prospector BO, in this case a virus called Trixie, which finds its way into the town’s water supply when a military jet ended up in a local bog (Ogden Marsh, Iowa being the kind of place that’s so sleepy, the impact of a large aircraft crashing into said bog didn’t even rouse the townies)

The_Crazies_2As the authority figure in these kinds of movies, it is of course incumbent upon the hapless sheriff to sound the alarm. But unfortunately for everyone concerned, shutting off the town water supply would compromise the growing season and hence the local economy!

Slowly but surely, people living closest to the water utility start behaving strangely, even more strange than putting the almighty dollar ahead of a dire health emergency.

In the middle of a baseball game, the violent town drunk (is he expressing opposition to the designated hitter rule or overcome with the bug?) staggers into left field wielding a shotgun. And, this being rural Iowa, it doesn’t raise any eyebrows until he starts aiming it someone (and even THIS doesn’t cause widespread panic…the appearance of a gun in an urban ballpark would definitely cancel the seventh-inning stretch).

Sadly for Sheriff Dutten, filling the trigger-happy tankard full of lead doesn’t stop the weirdness. More people are infected by Trixie and are turned into murderous, well, “crazies”.

Finally, it’s time for the US Army. Locals are quarantined (President Obama, that’s a pretty good argument for universal healthcare right there) and to ratchet up the creepy-meter, they’re kept in the dark, as are the soldiers about their mission.

Residents are caught between being shot on the spot if they breach the perimeter or perhaps worse, dealing with the growing number of homicidal raving loons in their midst. Things are done with pitchforks that would make you look twice at American Gothic.

The sheriff, his young wife and two other characters find themselves themselves on the run.

Apart from some low-rung runaway truck CGI and nearly superhuman abilities of our four heroes to not ingest any food or water while fighting for their lives (this red herring is halfheartedly dealt with—-not to worry, they got spotty internet connectivity and cellphone reception covered), this is a pretty fun, slick and fright-filled remake of the George Romero original.

***1/2 (out of 5)