Saturday, September 25, 2021


Movie Name:
Year of Release: 2006
Director: James Gunn
Starring: Nathan Fillion, Michael Rooker, Elizabeth Banks, Don Thompson, Gregg Henry, Xantha Radley, Tania Saulnier, Dustin Milligan, Haig Sutherland, Jennifer Copping, Jenna Fischer
Genre: Comedy, Horror, Sci-Fi
Score out of ten (whole numbers only): 7
Watch it on Amazon

Synopsis and Review:
James Gunn is a well known name these days, since he has successfully brought to the big screen some very iconic Marvel and DC properties, including "Guardians of the Galaxy" and more recently, "The Suicide Squad". However, before he tackled comic books, Gunn had made a name for himself as a screenwriter, starting with his work for Troma Productions, and eventually writing bigger films such as Zack Snyder's "Dawn of the Dead" and Raja Gosnell's "Scooby Doo". "Slither" from 2006 is his feature directorial debut, and follows the events that occur in a small town that is suddenly victim to an extra-terrestrial parasite. The film focuses specifically on Starla Grant, a high school teacher, whose husband is the older and wealthy Grant, a very successful local businessman. One night when Starla refuses his sexual advances, Grant decides to fool around with another woman, and on their way to her place, he gets attacked by this strange parasite, who invades his body. He soon infects the woman he was with, but decides to return home, where Starla apologizes for her behavior. Grant soon starts acting very oddly, and his appearance starts rapidly changing until he becomes this monstrous creature. Starla upon refusing his advances once more, is almost infected, but the local sheriff, whom has always had an interest in her, comes at the right time saving her and forcing Grant to flee. As the sheriff and his team investigates what is happening in the small town, everyone suddenly realizes that the parasite's intentions are far more sinister than they imagined.
One of the most interesting aspects of "Slither", or for that matter, of James Gunn's most celebrated features, is his ability to marry different genres and styles, always populating his narratives with humor and a lack of pretension, which allows for his characters to be somewhat relatable and ultimately humane. "Slither" is a film that has influences from David Cronenberg's "Shivers" but also George Romero's "Dawn of the Dead" and Philip Kaufman's "Invasion of the Body Snatchers", but makes its own narrative distinct, by placing all the occurrences happening in a small town, where everyone knows everyone. Much like Joe Dante's "Gremlins" showed a darker side of what can happen in an idyllic small town in Middle America, James Gunn does the same here, but in this case he peppers the story and the central villain in particular, as a mix of monstrous being doing despicable things, while also being a creature who still has remnants of love for his human wife. While the characters are once again fairly thinly defined, the film has momentum, and allows for the interactions between the main characters to introduce who they are, and what their relationships have been in this small town. As third act comes around, the film deftly mixes action and comedic moments, making the film all the more entertaining. The cast is uniformly solid, with Elizabeth Banks and Nathan Fillion making a good central couple, with the always fantastic Michael Rooker stealing the show as Grant Grant. The score from Tyler Bates is great, as is the cinematography from Gregory Middleton, who more recently worked on the limited series, "Watchmen". An entertaining film from a very interesting director.