FINAL GIRL explores the slasher flicks of the '70s and '80s...and all the other horror movies I feel like talking about, too. This is life on the EDGE, so beware yon spoilers!

Apr 23, 2007

Animals Run Amok Week 2: Day 6

Slugs (1988) is the kind of movie that has absolutely nothing to hide. If, upon putting the film in your DVD player, you find yourself wondering if Slugs will be a good movie or a bad movie, you don't have to wait long to get your answer; in fact, the very first scene and the very first line tell you all you need to know. As the film opens, a young woman chooses this moment:

to say to her boyfriend "So, you weren't kidding when you said we were going fishing, huh?" What, she didn't pick up on any of the other clues? Like when he said "We're going fishing!"? Or when he loaded the fishing gear into the car? Or when he drove to the lake? Maybe when he took the fishing gear out of the car and walked over to the lake? Or when they got in the boat and started rowing? How about when he sat down and cast his line? Yeah, that's when it finally sunk in!

What these opening moments tell you is that the best you can hope for from Slugs is that it's a good-bad movie. Clearly, it will make no sense. it a good-bad movie? Oh yes...I think it is.

The plot is simple, and it's a storyline as old as time itself: toxic waste turns harmless garden slugs into "giant" (they keep calling the slugs "giant", but...they're not) man-eaters. It's up to a variety of bitter civil servants, such as the town Health Inspector and the town Sanitation Supervisor, to save the day.

What goes oh so wrong- and oh so right- in Slugs? Let's see...the acting is atrocious and the dialogue is far worse, although there are some true gems in there:

"You ain't got the authority to declare Happy Birthday! Not in this town!"

"When I get back, how 'bout if we get naked...and get crazy?"

Sometimes I thought that the film was trying to be tongue-in-cheek, but the longer it went on, the less likely that seemed. The soundtrack is generally inappropriate and sounds as if it's lifted from a '70s TV show, the direction is just plain odd: there are countless 5-10 second random scenes sprinkled throughout, and the solution to the slug problem will ultimately cause far more damage to the town and its inhabitants than the man-eating slugs ever could. I know these all sound like negatives, but Slugs sports a lethal combination- lethal to my willpower, that is- of ineptness and '80s cheese, including (but not limited to) '80s-style dancing and the most repulsive mullet ever captured on film.

Slugs also bears the dubious honor of being, without a doubt, the grossest animals run amok movie I've ever seen. There's people stepping in pools of slugs, there's exploding eyeballs, there's decomposition, limbs cut off, goo, blood, and all manner of on-screen disgustingness. While the effects do, at times, look really fake, on plenty of occasions I found myself sporting the unpleasant pinched face of an upper-crust British nobleman who's just been approached by a poor person. This movie is barftastic.

What can I really tell you? Slugs is terrible, but also terribly fun. And really, isn't the world divided into two kinds of people? Yes, it is: those who want to see a film called Slugs, and those who don't. If you're on the fence, however, perhaps one or more of these stills will get you to choose a side:

Come on, that last picture is fucking GOLD. Where do your loyalties lie? You're either with me or against me!


Anonymous said...

That slug is GIANT! I mean, it is approximately the size of an actual slug. And those teeth look like they would be mildly annoying to be bitten with. I think banana slug toy is much gianter. And yes, gianter is a word.

Stacie Ponder said...

Slugs comes out of the gate with one major strike against it: slugs aren't scary, and trying to make them scary is patently absurd! I mean slugs travel at what...1 mile per week? To make up for this slowness (and its obvious non-threateningness), the filmmakers just have rooms become suddenly full of slugs. It's retarded, yet awesome.

And yes, the slugs never grow beyond regular-size! Were they actually giant-size, it would have been much cooler.

Heh...banana slug. Rachael is referring to the banana slug that attacked my cat like so. Luckily, my cat saved the day, like so.

Amanda By Night said...

The director of this movie, Juan Picquer Simon (sp?) is a MAD genius. He is the maker of Pieces, which is equally as perplexing and totally awesome too.

Slugs IS gross. I mean it's nasty and sometimes it's really hard for even ME to watch. Yet, I love it so. I think Simon was definitely not putting his tongue in his cheek, I'm not sure he knows how, but his movies are pure gold. Gold, I tell ya! GOLD!

Great review. And nice still of a man and his mullet!

Anonymous said...

They're slugs! Watch out, Young Jaromir Jagr!

Anonymous said...

Stacie, have yo seen 'Locusts: The 8th Plague'? It's an awesomely bad animals run amok movie. Bad cgi + bad acting + bad screenplay + bad plot turns = Great fun! You should check it out if you haven't already and review it as part of your Animals Run Amok section.


Sad man

Anonymous said...

Official site

spleenal said...

It's got, like, 4 teeth!
All of which look a little rounded over. This little guys teeth look cute!
Is that how they got people?
"urgh look a slug! let's move away from it, once it gets close enough"
"aw, no look, it's smiling! how cute! I'm gonna call it becky. ow shit! it bit me!"

Anonymous said...

I have to say, I watched this a long time ago, and the highlight for me is how they got a "giant" slug to kill the guy after it got sliced up in his salad.

That took at least a little bit of creativity...

Josh DeSlasher said...

Looks like we've both watched totally wicked-terrible films Stacie. I just finished reviewing Don't Go In The Woods, and if Slugs falls anywhere near Woods' ball park, count me in. I am searching for this sluggish delight as I speak.

-Body Boy (

Stacie Ponder said...

Sad Man- I haven't seen Locusts...not have I seen very many of sci-fi's animal offerings. That on in particular looks like a lot of fun.

Spleenal- this movie is hilarious because all of a sudden people will be covered in bitey slugs, and they're powerless to fight back!

Anonymous- you're right, the slug doing major internal damage after being cut up and swallowed is indeed a masterstroke! I had no idea slugs were so deadly.

Josh- if you want to comment here to exclusively pimp your own site, please try to at least pretend you're not and be a little more subtle about it, eh? :)

Josh DeSlasher said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Josh DeSlasher said...

LOL, you SO caught on. What can I say, I am a true pimp. :)

But seriously, the DVD cover for Slugs confuses me. Is it the original retro version, or a new replacement, via Paramount style. ( M.B.Valentine ) :( I cry now. The girl in the picture looks like an eighties queen, so I'm gonna go ahead and say it's the original....or....I can get your opinion! :D Yay!


-Body Boy
Oh! Wow, I didn't even realise I promoted in my name. :| Doesn't matter, I'm in a big enough hole as it is. Arf.

Joseph Emmerth said...

Jesus, this movie is begging for a remake. I see Jeff Foxworthy and Meatloaf on the top billing, with Uwe Boll directing.

"Slugs: What have you got to ooze?"

insomniac said...

If I didn't have such a dislike and hate for all things insecty I would totally pick this up.


Paco Fox said...

I really think Simón was serious with this picture. Al least, here in Spain (for this is a spanish film) it was advertised as such. Mainly beacuse it was a time when there were very few horror films produced. It even won a Goya (spanish Oscar) Award for the special effects. I suspect it also did good business, because it allowed Simón a bigger budget for the (also goofy) 'The Rift' (AKA Endless Descent)

By the way, this is the original artwork for the film:

M said...

I vote that last picture for Cute Overload.

Jason Adams said...

This movie was filmed in my hometown. When I was in Junior High they filmed both this and The Lady In White there. I didn't get to see any of the filming though, dammit. All I remember is freaking out when I found out that Mona from Who's The Boss was staying at the local motel.

They also reintroduced Luke and Laura to General Hospital in my hometown. Apparently they were hiding out at my local diner for years!