"Seems the town of Ashton has a dilemma...their plumbing is gummed up and emitting foul, stank odors...perhaps you're thinking they're got too much red meat in their diet and saddled with those lousy low-flow toilets...and you might be right, but that's not the cause of their woes. No, their trouble stems from an amassing army of hideous, ginormous, voracious, mutated, carnivorous, slimy, sewer dwelling, gastropod mollusks, otherwise known as slugs...Slugs: The Movie (1987) aka Slugs, muerte viscosa, co-written and directed by Juan Piquer Simón (Monster Island, The Pod People), features Michael Garfield (The Warriors), Santiago Álvarez (Star Knight), Philip MacHale ("Madigan Men"), Alicia Moro (Golden Balls), Emilio Linder (Amazons in the Temple of Gold), Concha Cuetos ("Onassis: The Richest Man in the World"), and John Battaglia (Mutant Man).
The film begins the killing quickly, as a couple in a boat get kakked, followed quickly by a bum, into two, seemingly unrelated sequences (actually, the entire movie is filled with seemingly unrelated sequences). Anyway, the police find the bum, or what's left of him, along with a whole mess of slime trails. Seems reports are coming into both Mike Brady (Garfield), the city health inspector, and Don Palmer (MacHale), a sanitation and sewer engineer (i.e. sewer worker) about clogged drains and foul smells. Soon large slugs begin turning up in gardens, toilets, sinks, basements, and what have you...the nasty, little things are everywhere, and they're hungry...for meat, of the human kind. Quite a few people get nibbled up before anyone realizes what's going on, and even then people are reluctant to believe. After some investigation, Don uncovers some pertinent information about what's buried on the outskirts of town, something that may be linked to what's going down. Wasting no time, Mike and Don hook up with an effeminate teacher/scientist, make plans to find the source and put an end to the nightmare, even if it means destroying the town to do so...its all out war as our three, plucky heroes try to save the day (and themselves) from the oozing horror that is...the slugs!
Well I tell you what, this was probably one of the more disgusting films I've seen in awhile... slugs in and of themselves are pretty icky, but throw on top of that some really visceral, bloody, gross out death sequences and you've got yourself a completely nasty bit of work here. I did have initial misgivings about the film primarily because of director Simón's earlier film The Pod People (1983), a film so awful that the gang at Mystery Science Theater 3000 could barely make it watchable (it was featured on one of the episodes), but this movie was actually enjoyable, if you can stand the gratuitous gore. The story is awkward at best, as it's continually lurching and stumbling about like a boozehound, offering up stoopid characters I think we were supposed to care about, but really didn't, along with others who seemed important, but really weren't...turns out they're usually fodder for the slugs, and there ain't nothing wrong with that. There may not be much tying all the aspects of the story together, but Simón keeps things moving at a lively pace. The acting is generally lousy throughout, but at least it was awful in the sense one could enjoy it if one thrives on that kind of thing. The only character I found remotely interesting was Sheriff Reece, played by John Battaglia, only so because he was a fairly angry a-hole most of the time and provided most of the unintentional humor...one of my favorite scenes, one that also exhibits the execrable dialog littered throughout the film, has the Sheriff Reece and a deputy investigating the recently deceased, economically challenged man (i.e. the bum), who got his early on...the deputy is busy photographing the scene, and the sheriff tells him "I want pictures of everything, understand?", to which the deputy replies, "Sure Sheriff.", followed by the sheriff yelling "Don't sure sheriff me unless you know your sure!" Say that a few times out loud and see how natural it sounds. Here's another bit...as Don is leaving to go with Mike to find the nest in the sewers, he says to his wife "I'll tell you what...when I do get back, how about we get nekkid and get crazy." Oh bruther...hurry home, Romeo...his delivery was hardly convincing as the actress playing his wife looked like the back end of an ugly dog...and about 20 years his character's senior. Mike's wife (played by Kim Terry), on the other hand, was pretty hot, especially in the scene where she was wearing that slinky, black lingerie...what was really funny is the during scenes featuring these two, you'll see the actress playing Kim grimace occasionally as the actor playing Mike delivers his lines...you might think she's doing it because of the slugs, but she's really doing it because the guy playing Mike is about the worst actor in this film, and that's saying a lot. Despite these weaknesses, the film does feature some good production values, and, as I said earlier, some over the top, gruesome death scenes with a whole lot of blood...not my usually my cup of gristle, but I can appreciate the work that went into the special effects. There were two outrageously repulsive scenes that stood out, one in a restaurant, and another featuring a young couple bumping uglies in the girl's parent's bedroom, so if you've a weak stomach, stay away. The structure of the story might be a mess and full of annoying characters, but ending is definitely worth hanging around for as it's satisfyingly bursting with flame broiled goodness...my only wish was the two main characters in the final sequence had traded places. If you're interested, there is some decent nekkidness in here, at least one scene, and it didn't feature the actress playing Don's wife, thank heavens...
The widescreen (1.85:1) anamorphic print on this Anchor Bay Entertainment DVD release looks very sharp and clean, and the Dolby Digital 2.0 audio comes through clearly. There's not much in terms of special features, except for an original trailer for the film and liner notes by Michael Felsher in a booklet insert, the cover featuring a 5X7 reproduction of original poster art for the film. If you're interested in buying this DVD, I'd suggest doing what I did and buying the Anchor Bay DVD Fright Pack: Man's Worst Friends, which features six films including Parasite (1982), Lucio Fulci's The Black Cat (1989), Slugs: The Movie (1988), Bruno Mattei's Rats: Night of Terror (1984), Zoltan, Hound of Dracula (1978), and Dario Argento's The Cat o' Nine Tails (1971). It's available here on the Amazon website, at a really good price, and cheaper than buying the individual releases.
If I learned anything from this film it is always to check to make sure the anchovies on my salad are actually that, anchovies...and something else...musical scoring purloined from forgetable television police dramas from the 1970s is not appropriate for a horror film..."
Duuuuhh....Wuh? Sheesh! No? NO!? OH!? HA, HA, HA!! Doh!
E K Maxmias | Close enough to Detroit! | 10/17/2008
(3 out of 5 stars)
"So, that's kind of how this film plays. It is so mind boggling bad that you are left speechless or laughing at its ineptitude. I suspect this is what Ed Wood may have come up with had he been given this inexplicably large a budget. The fact that this film even got made is an absolute miracle. It is so bad that I almost suspect it was made badly on purpose. However, this is a fine example of the "Bad = Good" equation we so rarely stumble into. That doesn't necessarily mean you should run out and buy this. To see if you qualify for this movie I'll break down what is already quite broken.
-SWEET MOTHER OF MULLETS!! Is there any doubt what era this movie originated from when 80% of the actors have mullets and a third of them are women? Yea, I'm exaggerating just a little, but rest assured; this is one classy movie! With all business in the front and a party in the back, there is no doubt this is a 1980s snack! I hear it's a little salty though.
-THIS SKY-BLUE K-CAR STATIONWAGON ROCKS! My first new car was a 1985 gunmetal blue Reliant-K. I drove it for 16 years until the battery died. I couldn't see investing in a new battery when the car was practically worthless. I gave it to Charity (it still ran). In those 16 years, never did a dramatic soundtrack ever break out when I tooled around town. By the end of this movie, I was busting out in laughter every time the lead character would rush into a scene with this crazy dramatic music and his K-car. You must behold to believe.
-REQUISITE NUDY SCENE WITH LOTS OF TEASERS. Never did a movie beg for nudity more than this bold laugher. The movie starts out very promising; a hot babe on a boat who wants to go skinny dipping with some guy who's TOO BUSY FISHING?! Of course, as soon as she's about to strip the guy gets himself all chewed up by some slugs; DANG!! As the film meanders on, we see plenty of horny, middling 80s women who can't get their men to ravage them. They wear all sorts of loose bathrobes and such but none of them come off. What kind of a classy, 1980s horror movie is this?! Well finally we get a 10 second sex scene between Mr. porno-mullet and horny, "parents aren't home", bipolar daughter. Little is left to the imagination here (or anywhere else in the movie) and we get to see plenty. Heck, there's even some beefcake for the ladies compliments of Mr. porno-mullet. But you know what happens to naughty children in horror movies don't you?
-THIS HAM HAS A FIST THE SIZE OF MY HEAD!! "Slugs" might be the finest example of ham-handed gore you will ever see. I felt like the director was going to have a PE if he didn't get to do his gore scenes; "OK, that's enough shots of the K-car, LETS DO ANOTHER GORE SHOT!!!" Well, the Director's obvious spastic teenage love for gore appears as such. But I must admit, it was so ridiculously timed and executed that I couldn't help but giggle with glee! We get more inexplicable spewage than you could imagine. When I finally stopped laughing, all I could think was; "WTF was that all about?"
-BOOM!!! HEH, HEH, HEH!!! BOOOOMM!! The entire movie was really filmed on a shoestring so all the money could be used for gore and explosions. We get a lot of BOOM in "Slugs". The best part of this is why the explosions happen. The script in this film actually acknowledges the stupidity of the explosions, yet explosions will not be denied. These are some great Hollywood fireballs too. You'd be amazed how many explosive are kept in a greenhouse. This might be the one thing that makes me suspect intentional sabotage of this film for comedic purposes.
-I DON'T HAVE A PROBLEM WITH DUBBING, BUT... Some of the most horrendous dubbing you could ever imagine takes place in "Slugs". You might ask at this point; EK, I thought this was an American film?" and you would be correct. But when your actors are stoned out of their minds and can't speak, what are you gonna do? Of course, that's mean speculation on my part. However, when you see a scene with mostly close-ups, dubbed worse than any Asian film, you will be forced to draw your own conclusions. I have to say, I laughed my (expletive) off!
-WHAT ABOUT THOSE SLUGS EK? The slugs in "Slugs" might be the one thing that impressed me the most. First: I've never seen such enormous slugs in my life, and they are real slugs. Second: I've never seen so many giant slugs in my life; hats of to the slug wranglers. As impressed with the scale and numbers of these buggers, I could never figure out how they filled a room so fast when they always moved "at a snails pace". The best part is when an actual animatronics slug is used; don't go breaking the budget fellas!
-ACTORS (AS IF WE CARE). Do you really want me to name these people? That's what IMDB is for. But I have to say, these people did an admirable job considering they had to know this movie was going to blow chunks. Yet, they all were real troopers, rolling around in those slugs and getting all messed up in slop. There was a genuine hint of sincerity in our heroes, Mr. K-car and his buddy, Joe Plumber (Tee hee!). "Slugs" actually had a large cast of character that was mostly meaningless to the plot; wait... ...what plot? Anyway, some characters added to the body count while others provided people to do the screaming at the carnage. They all keep the goofy mood going for sure.
-IF ONLY THEY HAD ABBA. Having Abba do the soundtrack of a horror movie might have been funnier than this, maybe. Obviously I thought the musical track was funny beyond the K-car theme song. I've heard of stock footage, but is there such a thing as "Stock Music"? I think that's what we have here. I'm sure somebody could help me out with that one. Regardless, it was appropriately inappropriate in fitting with the rest of the aspects of "Slugs".
-THE WORST FILM I'D EVER RECOMMEND. Make no mistake; this is an awful movie. If its intentions were to be the best "so bad its good" film then it would be pure genius only to be rivaled by Ed Wood himself (who did it by mistake). I have to believe the Director had "bad" on the mind when he made this. All I can say is that the final affect is successful at making me laugh about 20 times throughout the movie. Whether this was the desired outcome matters not. My recommendation to you is this; rent "Slugs", order some pizza, invite over a couple of close friends (have them bring some beverages) and have your own MST3000 party. I'm not the first to allude to the idea, but "slugs" is ripe for vast mockery and hilarity.
"If you are born genetically gifted with smarts and you can't bare being so intelligent then why not pop down to the local family Doctor for a prescription of "Slugs" the movie.
I wanted to drop my IQ by 4% so that I didn't have to do everybody's work in the office any more and the Doc recommended that I watch this twice to reduce my IQ by 4%. At -2% a run that is certainly worth the price tag.
The effects really start to kick-in when you see the close-up shot of a slug with teeth.
It is my understanding though that it comes with a warning on the label about not exceeding the maximum dosage levels, so you have been warned."
"Slugs" is J.P. Simon's "Plan 9"
man_invisible | Dork, PA | 06/06/2001
(3 out of 5 stars)
"Every country has its own self-delusional hack when it comes to genre films: In Italy, it's Bruno Mattei ("Night of the Zombies"). In the US, it's the once-great Tobe Hooper ("Texas Chainsaw Massacre 2", "Spontaneous Combustion", "The Mangler"). And in Spain, it's Juan Piquer Simon, the type of director who you can almost see watching the daily playback of his films, smiling with Ed Woodsian delight over how WELL things are going."Slugs" is probably one of Piquer Simon's better films, and that's only if it's viewed for laughs. Really, carnivorous slugs making progress through a small town, eating up everyone in their path? Gimme a break. This tripe is directed with an obviously straight face, but neither the actors nor script are up to the challenge, so most of it comes across as unintentionally comic (thank God). You get the Health Inspector who's aware of the problem but whom no one believes, his Sewer Cleaning(?) buddy who's turned into chum, a Dorky Science Professor (complete with a snooty English accent) who just happens to be an expert on slugs, and the Requisite Horny Teens having what looks like the dullest Halloween party in history. Put these--along with countless other stock characters--in a blender, and you have a campy treat (but only for genre fans who are used to this sort of bad-good rubbish).But what about the slugs? Yes, they are nasty critters who, despite their slowness, can somehow occupy entire rooms within minutes if so motivated (note the funny sex scene), and only seem to come around to knock off annoyingly unlikable characters (which I applaud). In all seriousness, there is an excellent effect in which a guy's (actually a refugee from Piquer Simon's "Pod People," MST3K fans take note) head melts/explodes into a shower of maggots and leeches (er, slugs) right in the middle of a restaurant meal!Anchor Bay's DVD has the usual excellent picture quality, but the extras are sadly sparse. One can only hope that Juan Piquer Simon will contribute some commentary to his masterpieces in the future..."
Eat Before You See This!
Allen Benton | Costa Mesa, CA | 10/26/2004
(5 out of 5 stars)
"As one of the many 80's horror films I saw as a child, SLUGS stands out the most. With it's generally unknown cast and gruesome violence, I had to own the DVD. I love the stereotypical scientific type who identifies the slugs as killers by toxic waste. And who can forget the scene at the restaraunt where many a slug offspring inside a man's head decide it's time to come out? A MUST BUY forrer true fans of the genre at the time."