|In fact, the cover makes me want a pet Slithis and a shirt that looks like this for each of us.|
As you can guess, Slithis is the tale of a mutated monster who is born of nuclear waste. Actually I think he's the product of a Frankensteinan doctor who was trying to create a living organic mud, or something, according to the film. Somehow, a bland guy with a curly fro and his woman named Jeff become enlightened to Slithis' existence by a stoner friend after a bunch of killings make the news. The great city of Venice - which is shot with a murky lens that makes it look more like Detroit or Pittsburgh - and its police officers believe the killings to be cult related, and start to interrogate "unconventional" groups around town during a brief montage of hippies being accosted. But our bland hero Wayne, played by Alan Blanchard, is on the track of Slithis.
- Oh, sure, they have to make the fat kid throw the frisbee too far. That's such typical movie fat-cism.
- When it comes to snacks, hobos are to '70s movie monsters as Jell-O is to humans. There's always room for 'em.
- Giant falafel sandwiches?!
- There's big hair and mustaches all over the place here.
- That Gabe Kaplan lookin' dude has a large framed headshot between two mood candles. Classic.
OK, I lied. It's kind of an excruciating film from the getgo. All the actors are stiff and boring, the plot is completely spelled out in dialogue, and the film is patched together in a standard manner that provides few moments that are visually interesting. And by few, it might actuall by none. There's a fun moment when our emotionless hero has to fend off this wild-haired, stammering, mad scientist of a police detective with only his words, but this scene mostly works because the dude playing the detective clearly knows he's getting paid no matter how ridiculous he acts.
The creature itself is slightly amusing, and is probably the best thing about the film. The Slithis monster fits well into its spot between The Creature from the Black Lagoon and the Humanoids from the Deep, but both of those films had more going on than this one does. Without inventive direction or cheesy comedy or characters that don't resemble cardboard cutouts, Slithis fails to entertain like the classy Creature or the sleazy Humanoids. What we're left with is a b-monster movie that feels like it should have been made for TV.
I guess I should take this as a lesson learned about cover judging...but that cover is fantastic. I regret nothing!