Welcome Horror fans! Cult takes a walk in the garden and spies…
This movie is based upon the literary works of Shaun Hutson, an author whose output I have spied various times in numerous locations since my early childhood, strangely enough I have also seen my father reading his works (it certainly wasn't typical of his tastes compared to others at that time). I'll admit before I go any further that the name of this movie's director sounded familiar though it wasn't until a quick internet search that I realized why. Apparently JP (short for Juan Piquer) Simon also directed another deliciously jaded cult gem from the early 80's. A film that successfully harnessed the allure of a lumberjack's favorite tool (much like another based in Texas a few years earlier) and though also known for its horrid over-the-top acting is also notorious for one of the shortest quotes in splatter movies history, namely, ”You Bastard!” The movie in question is Pieces and predictably enough appears in many languages and censored formats (some hacked more than others) even more than thirty years after its initial release. So what then about this film? Please allow me to unload my thoughts upon your eager visual receptors.
For starters the first scene irritated me to the point of yelling aloud “you deserved that you punk, what the F is wrong with you?” Of course not everyone will be as vocal as me. My annoyance stemmed from the fact that the young actor on the boat (all by itself in the body of water) seemed more interesting in fishing, and then subsequently turning into pink froth, than the well-endowed barely legal blonde (bored off her ass) more than willing to bear all only mere feet away on the same watercraft. The scene ends leaving the young filly screaming on the boat, I can't help but wonder if it's because her companion has been diminished to frothy swirling red tinged water or because she had no conceivable idea of how to get back to shore.
Will this movie get any better? Will its content stand up to other controversial features released around the same time? Will I get to view any more barely dressed European beauties? All of these, and others, were questions gnawing away at my curiosity as I continued to watch, I felt I had to. The opening credits roll after the aforementioned scene and are very reminiscent of another cult hit, Re-Animator (made three years previous) both in the quirky orchestral soundtrack and image montage arena. The movie continues to show a gent, who may or may not be a hobo, retiring to a darkened house to partake of some nefarious treats, his companion wants nothing to do with the place voicing (barking) aloud his refusal to enter and is allowed to wait outside. Meanwhile his master chooses to relax. The scene ends with a scream of discontent and an obvious feeling of frustration and helplessness at being chosen to be something's late night snack.
Skip across town to a trendy nightspot/eatery where the audience is introduced to Mike, a health inspector and Don, a county sanitation supervisor (it's fancy talk for ”I get to crawl around in the sewers”). A business acquisitions dealer and his lady friend are also introduced, she admittedly partakes of perhaps a little more of the potent 'juice' than is considered prudent. Ironically both Don and Mike soon end up knee deep in schiite. In other movies this might be due to a rather peculiar fetish but in this feature the reasoning is a possible sewer line blockage and search for an answer as to why the sewer system seems weirdly backed up.
Don soon learns there's a concentration of dead matter in a certain portion of the sewer, coincidentally the same area used to be a toxic dumping ground before it was filled in (standard formula as these type of movies go). Meanwhile 'topside' as the body count continues to rise, the Sheriff can only laugh as Mike, based on his powers of deductive reasoning, claims that a mutant form of slug may be to blame. Others would agree, especially the two teens in a priceless scene where one slips around naked on a bedroom floor covered in slime (technically mucus) and carnivorous beasties, all the while pleading Bobby, as her partner looks on drunk, confused and not ready or willing to help on account of his recently emptied testicles.
Another elderly unfortunate finds himself hacking at his wrist and knocking asunder uncapped gas canisters in his prized greenhouse as he does battle with a glove full of pesky and seemingly rather peckish slithering garden dwellers (aka a rather rare strain of blood flukes). The gruesome deaths continue as Mike happens upon an oversized slug which he then whisks away to a handy dandy English professor, after all what's a B movie without diversity? In an especially humorous scene the professor states his finest line in the movie,”I beg your pardon?” a shocked reply to,“Have slugs ever been known to eat meat?”
Back to our couple from the restaurant/discotheque. There's a big 'deal' about to go down and our hero (of sorts) is primed for some major signing action and mountains of cash. It was only the evening before that he'd consumed a 'light' salad containing ingredients that both he and his partner were blissfully unaware of. The dinner itself goes well, if you consider an impromptu facial explosion and resulting cloud of infantile vegetation devouring insects a remarkable event, it's certainly a meeting to remember as occurrences such as this don't happen on an everyday basis, if at all, unless of course you've been lucky enough to witness the final moments of David Cronenberg's Videodrome (1983).
Efforts to find a culprit, if any, suddenly become doubled as the news of recent alarming events become widespread and loose tongues start to uncontrollably wag as they are want to do in small communities. Mike, however, believes he has a plan and together with Don and the professor (along with his unmistakable European cadence) accompanied by an industrial sized vat of concocted 'special sauce' they take steps to hopefully rid the small township, Ashton, of the slippery bastids once and for all. This is a prime example of an 80's 'pest' movie and comes complete with everything a connoisseur of the genre demands, and then some. Personally, I would add super mullet to that list, one that would even make Joe Dirt (actor David Spade) stand up and go wide eyed in dumb struck awe. I'll neglect to mention 'big' hair, socialites dressed in casual business attire, the deputy's constant references to graphic images being worse than anything seen even in ‘Nam, clandestine horny teen rendezvous (seriously what interest is a horror movie without an insatiable and lusting group of teens ripe for devouring, chopping up or chasing?) and small town authoritative attitudes. Damn I just did. (insert smiley face emoticon here).
If I'm not mistaken this is also an example of a movie produced and shot using dual languages, (much like Joe D'amato's Anthropopagus the Beast and The Living Dead at the Manchester Morgue (Jorge Grau I mention him as JP Simon is also a Spaniard!) among a mountain of others. Most of the dialogue is notoriously cheesy, sometimes awkward and often delivered with such conviction that you can't help but smirk as you continue to watch much as you would a deadly vehicle collision involving two mini's crammed to bursting with assorted midgets (where's the PC police?) and brightly made up clowns on a quest to break a pointless and long standing world record. The effects are intriguing at times, in others laughable but always fun and appreciatively plentiful. I, for one, would love to know how they trained a slug to A) ride bareback on a hamster and B) snarl at the camera amongst a variety of other things that darn near blew my tiny mind.
All in all Slugs is an entertaining movie without annoying factors like a well written storyline to get in the way of anyone's viewing experience. IMO Slugs is certainly well worthy of an hour and a half of anyone's time, though don't fool yourself at any time into thinking it might win any Oscars. For one this movie is near thirty years old but lastly and more importantly there's yet to be a union formed for remarkably talented gastropods with a penchant for feasting upon human flesh. - Cult
Well would you look at that... Feind found this 80s gem for you so take a gander at Slugs!
Stay tuned to this site for a review of Squirm. I guess I'm on somewhat of a subterranean bug movie kick as of late thanks to the urgings of a fellow reviewer whom I often converse and compare reviews with on a social media site with a blue 'birdy' type theme.
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What do you think of this 80s creature feature Scribbler fans? Let us know in the comments below.
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Feind loves watching movies of all kinds so if we watch it, we tell whether you should as well. I'll share mostly horror but I also enjoy everything from big Blockbusters to micro-budget Independent films.
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