DVD Review: Slither (Widescreen Edition)
Release Date: October 24, 2006
· James Gunn
· Nathan Fillion
· Elizabeth Banks
· Michael Rooker
· IMDb: Slither
· Cinema Spider: Slither
by Alex Keen
Published: November 7, 2006
"Slither" is now on DVD after receiving decent reviews earlier in the year but failing to make an impact at the box office. This horror-comedy hybrid purports to be "Evil Dead 2" or "Shaun of the Dead" but winds up more like a Troma movie. That's quite a shame because horror-comedies can be incredibly successful and entertaining when the correct mix of goofiness and scariness gel together.
Written and directed by James Gunn, "Slither" is the story of a small town infested by space slugs hell bent on zombifying the population. On paper, zombies + space aliens should = comedy dynamite. Instead, this concept is weakened by poor dialogue and flaccid comedy. Unlike recent cult favorite "Shaun of the Dead", "Slither" never steps beyond the lowest form of comedy. Where "Shaun of the Dead" milks the idea of slow moving zombies for an extensive amount of comedic gold, "Slither" spends its efforts on nude teenager jokes.
What's worse is "Slither"'s impact dissolves the second you eject the DVD. Instead of lingering in your brain for the next several days, "Slither" only leaves you empty. None of the jokes or devices are remotely unique or jarring enough to last. Instead the only feeling left behind is utter disdain for the film's failure to be original.
The cast includes several established character actors that are wasted in roles meant for amateur performers. It's embarrassing to see Michael Rooker, Nathan Fillion, and Elizabeth Banks step below themselves for schlock like this. Selecting roles is always a risk, but actors of such high quality should have known better after reading the script. None of the lines delivered could have been saved even by the likes of Samuel L. Jackson. And because the screenwriter is also the director, this movie was destined to suck from inception.
"Slither" fails to be a step beyond amateur filmmaking because it is straddled by a director without the creativity to grow out of the initial concept. The idea of alien slugs infesting a small town isn't any easy one to sell. Perhaps in the hands of John Carpenter or Wes Craven this movie might have stood a chance. Writer/Director James Gunn would be better suited sticking with screenplays directed by Zack Snyder.
Overall, "Slither" is not worth your time because it entertains neither as a comedy nor as a horror film There are several movies that straddle both of these genres better and your time would be better served watching (or re-watching) them.
"Slither" uses one disc to share both the movie and the extra content. I can't imagine what might be possible on a second disc and I'm glad I didn't get stuck with that. The bonus features on this disc include a feature commentary, deleted scenes, extended scenes, some featurettes, and a video diary from Lloyd Kaufman. The feature commentary will probably be interesting to fans of the movie, while the deleted scenes might add some more suitable content. The commentary is an above average presentation but still only good for seriously interested listeners. The deleted scenes include one beautiful visual clip between Elizabeth Banks and an inch worm. Besides that, the extra features on this disc are on par with the feature itself.