After the mind-blowing awesome that was the mind-blowingly terrible Pieces, there was no way in the underworld I would pass up the Instant Watch convenience of director J.P. Simon’s Slugs.
Considering all the wonderful things Pieces director J.P. Simon was able to do with a gory slasher (among them: chainsaws and kung fu) you can imagine my excitement when I learned that master of cinema had made something for The Shortening, a legendary creature feature about…
Say it with me: SLUGS!
Quick Plot: A small American town is experiencing some oddities, from a pair of teens dying on a lake to an old man being discovered with his face eaten off and most entertainingly, a yuppie closing a business deal in a posh restaurant exploding from the inside out as li’l mealy worms cover what used to be his head. Thanks to the heroism of local health inspector Mike Brady (seriously) and his teacher/gardener wife, the culprits are found:
SLUGS! Big black SLUGS! They crawl…
When you put your finger right up to their mouths.
When you slap at them gently with a kitchen pan…
But you know, round up a ton of them, lay them on your parents’ bedroom floor and you can bet your boyfriend’s letterman jacket that your naked body is going to be their supper.
Like Pieces, Slugs is not a good film. Like Pieces, it IS a good time.
First of all, it’s about slugs (you probably figured that out from the title). Now I’m not innocent of coming home late to discover a brown glob on the stoop and say “Ew, a slug.” As bugs or mollusks or whatever they are go, there’s something innately disgusting about slugs. I’d probably make a pained face if I could one crawling on my leg and would certainly write to the health department if I found one in my salad. But you know, as monsters go, slugs are, well, let’s brainstorm words we associate with slug:
You get my point. The slugs of Slugs are mutant slugs, so that makes them more fierce but still: open a canister of Morton salt and I’m pretty sure you’ll be safe.
We can forgive Slugs such follies when the film hosts brilliant dialogue as such:
(upon discovering a couple has been killed) “Ah geez. They were nice people! I liked them a lot!”
The token resistant authority figure in dismissing the heroic health department supervisor: “You ain’t got the authority to declare happy birthday!”
And an alcoholic character admitting her problem to her husband in the most casual of ways:
“I’m sorry for being a bitch so much of the time.”
“The real problem is—“
“My drinking. I know. Maybe I should see someone about it?”
Subplot solved! Until her husband’s innards are eaten inside out due to the slug-spiked salad he had earlier consumed. If that doesn’t drive you back to the sauce, you are a superhero.
As with Pieces, there’s no fault in Simon’s skill and spare-nothing attitude when it comes to gore. Between slug explosions and eye socket tetherball that would put Eli Roth to shame, Slugs brings the gore in full force
Unless Pieces, Slugs just didn’t quite hold me with the same giddy fervor. Perhaps the final act has too much administrative conflict when really, we just want to see people get slugged
Between Mrs. Brady’s out of this world purple hologram striped thingy (with PEARLS!) and a teen character’s curled mullet, Slugs is oozing with ‘80s style
Okay, I doubt Simon was trying to reference Roman Polanski, but I SWEAR that angry jazz score that played as the film’s ill-fated gardener chopped off his own hands due to sluggings was used in Repulsion
What would old men say about their daughters sleeping with burnouts? They probably have cows, that’s what!
If your husband embarks on a dangerous mission and leaves you with the words “when I get back, how about we get naked and crazy?” you can bet your mumu that you will never see him alive again
When fleeing your would-be rapist, always consider the alternative to being a victim of sexual assault. In this case, said alternative is getting eaten alive by mutant slugs. No man can take that choice away from you
Slugs isn’t quite on par with the silly wonder of Pieces, but it remains a cheerily bad good time from the ‘80s. If you have 90 minutes and Netflix Instant, I can’t think of TOO many better ways to spend your time. I suppose options could include eating Cheetos, playing laser pointer with your cat, or doing your taxes but really, all these things and more could be accomplished while watching Slugs. So don’t be SLUGGISH about it.
Sometimes my inner Crypt Keeper just can’t be silenced.