Recently released from the presses of glorious Arrow Video, comes one of the greatest spectacles in animal attack films, the gruesomely gooey, Slugs. The film based on a novel by Shane Hutson and helmed by Juan Piquer Simon, director of the equally glorious and batshit insane slasher flick Pieces, is a masterpiece of completely terrible cinema and a gore soaked assault on the senses.
Being the big grizzly horror fan that I am, it’s only fitting that I’m absolutely terrified of most bugs and creepy crawlers, including slimy disgusting slugs. This is a fear that I’ve lived with since I was a child and back then when I saw Slugs on VHS in local video stores, I wanted no part of it. Now 15 years later and after learning this comes from the mastermind behind Pieces, I’m facing my fears and tackling this gross out festival head on with this beautiful new Blu-ray release from Arrow Video.
Telling the story of what would happen in small town America if a legion of mutated flesh eating slugs invaded their sewer system, Slugs as Joe Bob Briggs would says doesn’t have too much plot to get in the way of the movie. It also has plethora of goofy characters whose names do not matter, because they exist solely to be slug food, offed in the most splattertastic ways possible. If the meager plot and nothing characters don’t do it for you, you can also enjoy that the scripts dialogue feels as if it was written by a 9 year old. The film rides a line between competent film making and feeling like the whole thing was put together by an infant.
With almost every aspect of the movie working against it, Slugs still manages to be one of the most entertaining movies I’ve seen in quite some time. Albeit for all the wrong reasons, but still the film is an absolute hoot. Slugs is the perfect flick to waste a night with a couple friends and some beers. When you aren’t questioning the actions of every character you’ll be cheering for the explosive gore that splatters the screen. Even the person I was watching with, a viewer typically not fond of movies so bad they are good, could not help but be swept up in the ridiculousness of Slugs.
Slugs has a cast who attempts to play everything as straight as possible, this only adds to the joy viewers will find. Lines like “You don’t have the authority to declare Happy Birthday!” and “I can’t believe shes dead. She was so nice.” roll off actors tongues with the grace of a rhino on ice skates. The most wonderful thing about Slugs though, is the excellent gore effects. The film is straight up gruesome and features all manner of human mutilation. Slugs move dreadfully slow; how can they kill humans you may wonder? Well here they are established to have hilarious looking teeth, creep up from toilets, a have the power to explode worms out of your eyes. Yeah, I’m not sure how any of that works either, but Slugs is a great time nonetheless.
Arrow Video continues to steamroll the competition with one of the best transfers I’ve seen all year, I was genuinely blown away while watching. Slugs is presented here with a brand new 2K restoration of the film and it absolutely shines. Lots of detail in the picture overall, combined with a beautiful color palette that jumps off the screen, it creates an overall really great looking viewing experience. The close up shots of the slugs rival all the best nature documentaries and the gore lights up the screen with different shades of red. Slugs has no business looking so good and this is just another example of me being extremely thankful that Arrow Video puts this much love into trash cinema.
Less impressive is the audio of Slugs, presented in its original uncompressed mono 1.0 track. The movie sounds fine but has some noticeably bad dubbing in certain scenes. The odd slithering sound effect used for the slugs is partnered with a extremely generic horror score that you’ve heard a million times before. For better or worse, the sound of Slugs is unremarkable and inoffensive.
We all know by now any release by Arrow Video is no joke. Slugs is no different, featuring the standard reversible artwork, essay booklet, and a thick clear case. The new artwork is one of my favorites in the Arrow Video line up. Not ones to ever short us on features, they have stacked the disc of Slugs with an assortment of features that’s sure to please any collector and fan. You’ll learn more about the movie Slugs than any one person would need to know. This release not only features a commentary track with writer and filmmaker Chris Alexander but a second commentary track with Shaun Hutson, writer of the original novel. The original trailer and an assortment of interviews with cast and crew compliment the two feature commentaries including:
Here’s Slugs in Your Eye – an interview with actor Emilio Linder.
Invasion USA – an interview with art director Gonzalo Gonzalo
The Lyons Den – an interview with production manager Larry Ann Evans featuring a locations tour of Lyons, New York as well.
My favorite feature included here is They Slime, They Ooze, They Kill. It’s an interview with special effects artist Carlo De Marchis. I’m always interested in getting an inside look at the gore work on a fun horror movie. The bonus here is seeing how they did the slug themselves; a combination of forced perspective and building bigger sized slugs to film.
Brand new 2K transfer presented in High Definition 1080p in 1.85:1 aspect ratio
Original Uncompressed PCM audio track presented in Mono 1.0
1 Blu-ray disc
While its hard to out right recommend everyone go out now and buy Slugs, there is definitely an audience that is going to love this film for what it is. I had such a fun time watching this movie. It’s an excellent terrible movie while still having enough budget and craft behind it to not feel like complete trash. If you enjoyed films like the directors aforementioned, Pieces or fellow Arrow Video release The Stuff, Slugs is definitely one you should check out. For everyone else, I’d still have to recommend it at a sale price, it’s just too genuinely charming to pass up.