Slugs [Movie review by Jori]

Slugsaka Slugs, muerte viscosa
89 min., 1988
Directed by Juan Piquer Simón
Language: English with some dubbed dialogue
My rating: ***
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A gorefest disguised as a crappy movie.

* * *

In a town where everyone is an asshole, it is up to health inspector Mike Brady (Michael Garfield) to figure out what exactly is causing the townspeople to die in particularly gruesome ways.  If your guess was slugs, then congratulations – you read the title of the movie!  But how does one convince people of the danger when we all know tiny little garden slugs are gross but harmless?  (Also: forget the plot, this is just hilariously gruesome!)

Needless to say, we can just skip over the plot.  It is incredibly simple and this is more about what they do with it than it is about story.  (Please note:  this is no reflection on the novel it was based on.  I have never read the novel.)  What happens is that we have a movie so incredibly bad that you can’t help but laugh.  The score is performed by an orchestra.  Somebody forgot to mention to Tim Souster that this is a throw away movie.  It is really far too grand for the level of movie it is in.  Not to mention certain scenes where we get this bizarre eighties TV theme music more reminiscent of a Dukes of Hazard chase scene – certainly not appropriate for a boring driving scene.

Besides the standard wooden acting, we are assaulted by some horrendous dubbing.  I mean like Italian bad.  At first I thought it had to do with the streaming quality, but when I took the time to concentrate – well, it’s awful.  With laughable dialogue, it just makes it all the more ridiculous.  Why couldn’t they have just made a Spanish language film with subtitles?  Luckily, this is once again a perfect example of “so bad it’s good” saving the day.

The real surprise here is the terrific special effects.  Oh the sweet, glorious gore!  It was far more “gross” than I expected.  The deaths gradually become more over the top as well, which really helps distract you from the rest of the crap.  This has perhaps one of the greatest over-reaction scenes I’ve ever seen!  I found myself cheering out loud.  The greenhouse couple win this hands down.  The practical effects are truly fantastic – proving yet again that practical is superior to CG.

The word of the day here seems to be exaggeration.  For a movie that really doesn’t have much going for it it absolutely entertains.  Did they want you to take it seriously?  Yup.  But that makes it even funnier!  This is definitely a beer and buddies movie – gather your friends and giggle at the silliness of it all.  Cheer for the death scenes.  Most importantly – enjoy it for what it is.  Campy fun with a dash of gutsy gore.  Sometimes it’s okay to love a movie for being awful.  I doubt you’ll walk away from this fearing slugs – but you’ll at least have a giggle every time you see a greenhouse.

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About Jori

Being a stubborn girl, Jori insisted on watching scary movies as a little girl and proclaiming "I'm not scared!" from behind her oma's rocking chair. Much sleep was lost in the early years due to paralyzing fear, and her uncle Albert deserves a special mention for unwittingly showing her Monkey Shines. Jori spends her adult life trying to recapture that initial feeling of terror that she experienced as a child. Follow her on Twitter at @fvjori.
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