The period from January until the end of April is known in Hollywood as the “dumping period.” It is at this time that the major studios release the films that will most likely make little money and will not garner any awards recognition. Already this year we have seen the effect of the “dumping period,” having been bombarded by awful film after awful film (“Date Movie” is a prime example). However, “Slither” is by far the worst movie to come out thus far in 2006; this film falls into the category of “movies that are painful to watch.” Some movies are so horrendous that they are humorous, but not “Slither.” Watching the wooden and generic acting, the horrific special effects and listening to the ludicrous dialogue made me long for the credits to begin rolling. Director James Gunn, who has written a string of awful films, makes his directing debut with this film and I wonder if anyone will hire him after this.
The plot of “Slither” is all but forgettable. The movie takes place in Wheesly, a small, sleepy town that could be anywhere in America. One night an asteroid strikes Earth, and a local named Grant Grant (Michael Rooker) discovers something strange that came out of it. He is stung by the visitor and begins to take on savage characteristics, such as craving raw meat, especially that of dogs. Suddenly, stranger things begin happening. When a young girl goes missing and livestock turn up horribly mutilated, Sheriff Bill Pardy (Nathan Fillion) and Starla Grant (Elizabeth Banks) spring into action and come face-to-face with an ancient organism bent on devouring all life on Earth.
“Slither’s” plot is inane and unmemorable. The writers forgot that a good plot is the key to a good film. In this case, they gave up on that and instead give the audience a meaningless diatribe of dribble. One can only hope that the plot will thicken through the 96 minute film, but it does not. In fact, it is safe to say that the film gets dumber as it progresses. The acting does not even attempt to save it. The Southern accents are generic and the characters are vapid. Michael Rooker, who many of us loved as Mr. Svenning from “Mallrats,” has been reduced to playing roles that are uninteresting and bland. Elizabeth Banks is also dull, playing a generic Southern bell. All in all, Gunn most likely gave his actors very little to work with and it shows on screen.
Seeing as this film is classified as a horror film, one would assume that it would be scary. There is absolutely nothing frightening about this film, aside from the acting and the dialogue. The film relies heavily on the “gross-out” factor and attempts to frighten the audience with the disgusting images of the main alien and the zombies that it creates. Instead of trying to put the audience on the edge of their seats, we instead want to reach for a vomit bag. Also, the things that are meant to be disgusting do not even look good. The special effects are incredibly generic and bland. The worst part are the slugs, which resemble fat, purple sperm and are used to infect the inhabitants of the town by entering in their mouths.
“Slither” is the front-runner for this year’s Golden Raspberry Award for Worst Picture of the Year. With poor special effects, acting and dialogue, we can see why this film was selected to be released during the “dumping period.” Avoid this movie at all costs.