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John’s Old School Horror Corner: Slugs (1988)

February 1, 2012

MY CALL:  Pleasantly less awful than expected.  An enjoyably campy 80s horror flick featuring among the least menacing “monsters” ever.  IF YOU LIKE THIS, WATCH:  There are some fun animal-horror movies out there.  Some of my favorites include Gnaw 2: Food of the Gods (1989), Lake Placid (1999) and Black Sheep (2006).

Toxic waste has offered up a lot of fun to the movie industry…The Toxic Avenger, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, Class of Nuke’em High, the Return of the Living Dead series.  In this case, sewer slugs are mutated into enlarged, opportunistically anthropophagous critters when they are exposed toxic waste.  People are dying, the slugs are spreading, and it’s up to our faithful county sanitation workers to save the day.

When slugs attack!

It should come as no shock that a lot about this movie just didn’t work.  The score was way off.  Often we’d hear uppity tunes between serious scenes.  For example, someone calls in that a dead body was found and as the cop is responding we hear some goofy sitcom jingle as he makes his way to the scene.  The acting sucked.  But there’s really no more to address on that issue with a “when animals attack”-themed horror movie about slugs.

Another weird thing was that these slugs seemed to come out of nowhere.  There’s this scene where two people fooling around in bed.  Then woman gets up and slips on the floor which, during however long they were getting freaky, has become covered so densely with slithering slugs that you can’t tell if it’s hardwood or carpeted.  Where did they come from?  How are they that fast?  It’s like how Freddy and Jason seem to just “appear” unexpectedly to make the kill.  Anyway, this was a good kill.  She flops about like she’s in an oil wrestling match with a slimy slug swarm.

Like any other horror flick, you have premarital sex…slug death!

Slugs was a lot of things.  None of those things are “great.”  But even bad 80s horror flicks deserve to be recognized for effort.  This flick was successful at being campy and gory.  Festive use was made of fake spurting blood, silly squirming sound effects, and fanged (yes, fanged), bitey slugs.  There was even an attempt at injecting some (fake) biology trivia when someone accidently eats a slug in a salad and becomes infected with deadly blood flukes which, naturally, explode from your face once they’ve fully developed.   This was the best kill by far!  It happens while he’s trying to close a business deal over dinner and drinks.

I say give Slugs a shot if you’re really bored and love campy 80s horror.  It made me smile.

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