October 7, 2016

Blu-Ray Review: SLUGS

Michael Garfield, Kim Terry, Philip MacHale, Alicia Noro, Santiago Albarez, Emilio Linder, John Battaglia. Directed by Juan Piquer Simon. (1988, 99 min).

Pity poor David Watson (Emilio Linder) and his cursed luck. He comes home hoping for a nice steak dinner, but since his lush of a wife has been drinking all day, all he gets is salad. David still gets a bit of meat in his diet, though, since she unwittingly chops up a large slug along with the lettuce. Later, while wining and dining potential clients, fate gives this hapless bastard another kick in the ass: Just as he’s celebrating a huge business deal, thousands of writhing parasites burst from his face. It’s easily the most disgusting scene in a movie rife with them.

That’s the modus operandi of Slugs, one of the ickier exploitation flicks to ooze onto video shelves (no pun intended) during the 80s. Legions of mutated mollusks have invaded a small Northeastern town, chowing down on horny teenagers, drunks, boaters, unfortunate gardeners and everyone else who don’t seem to realize slugs are easy to outrun. Then again, what would be the fun in that?

And never mind the fact that turning a slug into a salad topping would never, by any stretch of the imagination, result in thousands of worms squirting from a guy’s eye. Sure looks cool, though. And, of course, not even our hero, health inspector Mike Brady (Michael Garfield) thinks to keep a few big-ass salt shakers at-the-ready for these slimy stand-offs (not when you have explosives handy).


Slugs forgoes such logic because it doesn’t need it. We can also forgive the poor performances, daffy dialogue and questionable dubbing (this was an America-Spanish co-production). Why? Because slugs are inherently gross, the movie knows that, and plays it’s premise to the hilt. Slugs is never particularly scary, but the “eeew” factor is off the charts. This nasty, squirm-in-your-seat movie has a mean streak a mile wide, backed-up by some truly nauseating special effects that might put squeamish viewers off their lunch (though the finger-biting slug is rather chuckle-worthy).

Because of that, the movie works.

Though not as widely remembered as many other cult classics from the 80s, Arrow Films has gone all-out to give Slugs a terrific Blu-Ray release. Not only is the picture nicely restored, the disc comes with a lot of great extras, including four brand new featurettes. Fans of the film will enjoy the retrospective interviews and kitschy trailers.

As for newcomers, grab some salt and a beer and get ready for a goofy & gross good time. Slugs will never be mistaken for a great film, but it is great fun. I’d probably avoid eating anything, though.

“The Lyons Den” (A tour of filming locations in the small American town where most of the exteriors were shot)
“Invasion USA” (Interview with art director Gonzalo Gonzalo)
“Here’s Slugs in Your Eye” (Interview with actor Emilio Linder, who seems like a charming fellow. Looks like his eye has healed nicely)
“They Slime, They Ooze, They Kill” (Interview with SFX artist Carlo De Marchis, who has nothing but praise for the director, equating his talent with Spielberg’s)
Audio Commentary by filmmaker Chris Alexander
1988 Goya Award Promo Reel
Original Trailer
Illustrated Booklet (Not included with this screener)
Reversible Cover Sleeve with New & Original Artwork (Not included with this screener)


No comments: