Slugs (1988)

Slugs (1988)

They ooze. They slime. They kill.

People are mysteriously dying in a rural community and no one knows what the cause is. Health inspector Mike Brady has a possible theory that the townspeople are being killed off by mutated slugs but the idea is scoffed at by the mayor. With the help of a scientist and a sanitation officer, Mike decides to take action himself before any more people are killed off.

 

Yes the idea is as ridiculous as it sounds but don’t blame me, blame Shaun Hutson for writing the book. I first remember my dad reading me a passage from Slugs when I was younger, about a character that bites into a slug without knowing and swallows it, little realising the danger he has subjected himself to. Needless to say as a young child, anything sounds cool when said in the right way. As an adult who has taken it upon himself to watch every single monster flick ever made, it’s going to take a lot more to impress. And impress Slugs does not.

If the thought of killer rats or centipedes bordered on the insane, then what is to stop the idea of killer slugs sending someone postal with the hysteria? Killer slugs for crying out loud! Those slow, plant-munching globules of slime that inhabit gardens are hardly the stuff of nightmares and, after watching this, you’re more likely to start prodding them with sticks in the garden than run away in terror.

Slugs runs like your basic monster flick. You know the type – the Jaws template monster flick. I’ve recapped it so many times in the past few weeks that I’m sick of it so swot up on one of my other monster flicks to get the feel of it, if you don’t know it off by heart already. However the film does the unthinkable and instead of having the police chief or local ranger/warden the hero, it makes a health inspector and a sanitation officer the heroes of the piece. So there is hope for window cleaners and bin men to save the planet yet. These two characters have to be the most boring men on the planet and not just because of their obviously-feeble jobs. The actors playing them just can’t convey emotion at all, belting out their lines like robots impersonating humans. The unintentionally bad dialogue doesn’t do anyone any favours but the acting is one of the low points of the film. Given that there’s a hell of a lot of talking, it’s going to grate on you pretty quickly. Needless to say the resumes of Michael Garfield and Philip MacHale didn’t see too many additions after their starring roles here.

Thankfully, something that isn’t so low is the gore and the body count. Surprisingly for small creatures, these slugs can’t half do some serious damage. A man eats a slug in a sandwich, only to literally blow up later on in a restaurant as the slugs eat him from the inside. A young couple taking a break from a quick romp (which provides the film’s token T&A) find their bedroom floor covered in slugs – even more unfortunate for the chick that slips over on them and is promptly covered in slugs. And, in the film’s cheesiest scene, a gardener puts on a glove to find a slug has squirmed inside. However the slug takes a firm bite of his hand and no matter how hard he tries to hit the slug on the bench or tries to cut it off with garden clippers, he can’t do it. So he cuts his own hand off, knocking a shelf of chemicals over himself in the process and blowing himself and his greenhouse up at the end. I guess if it’s your time to go, best to do it in a bit of style!

 

Slugs does about all it can manage to do with the ridiculous premise of killer slugs. A fair dollop of gore and some great make-up effects are served but you have to sit through some awful dialogue and robotic performances to get to them.

 

 ★★★☆☆☆☆☆☆☆ 

 

 

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