Slugs (1988) Movie Review
Written By: Angela DiLella
Edited By: Grave Reviews Staff
Director: Juan Piquer Simon
Producers: Francesca DeLaurentiis, Jose Antonio Escriva, et. al.
Writers: Ron Gantman, Juan Piquer Simon
Based on the book Slugs by Shaun Hutson
Date Released: February 5, 1988
Michael Garfield as Mike Brady
Kim Terry as Kim Brady
Philip MacHale as Don Palmer
Rating = 2/5 Graves
***May contain some spoilers***
Slugs (1988) follows a rural town that falls prey to a spreading plague of slugs that have become super-sized and super-ravenous thanks to improperly disposed-of toxic waste.
As you may expect with the subject matter of slugs, there is a lot of blood and viscera throughout the film. Some scenes involve the slugs eating people as well as using their bodies to breed which add to the overall grotesque nature of this film. In addition, there is a mix of realistic special effects with some weaker ones. However, even the weak effects are gruesome enough to make your stomach churn. If you are squeamish about eyes, you may want to skip this one, or be ready to cover your own!
The Grave Review
Slugs has a very simple premise, common to many other “animal” horror movies: contamination from waste mutates the slugs and makes them hungry for humans. A decent job is done in respect to the plot of the film. Slugs following many different people in the small town and shows how different groups are affected and react to the slugs as the slugs target these individuals. The film also throws some creative measures into the antagonists (i.e. the slugs) and show that these slugs are not one-trick ponies but rather have many ways of dispatching humans. Slugs is consistently interesting, even though it can be hard to take the slugs seriously when they are not actively sampling the locals.
The cast for this movie is a standard B-movie fare; no one really blows the viewers away with their acting chops, but no one really sinks in their performance either. There is some very clumsy dubbing at times, which probably does some disservice to the members of the cast that were affected by it. Overall, there is nothing in the cast that you would not expect from a B-movie generally.
Slugs is an interesting movie for the fact that it is a film which attempts to be mainstream but unfortunately does not pass muster. The premise feels like it is a B movie, but it is just a little too good to be a B movie—while definitely not good enough to make it mainstream (in fact, it flopped in the US). The effects and make-up are sometimes way too good and will stay with you long after the movie has finished, but they are intermixed with occasional cheaper in-betweens, which can dampen the shock and horror. The acting is decent, but it is nothing to write home about, and the same goes for the sound mixing. The music is great, but it is weirdly outdated, as if some of it was made for a seventies action-adventure show. The final solution to the killer slug problem is creative and done convincingly, but one cannot help but wonder why no one thought to just use a bit of rock salt (or shallow plates and beer, for that matter) to take care of the slugs.
I would not write Slugs off, but at the same time, I am not surprised that I have never really heard anyone talk about this, positively or negatively. It is not bad enough to draw real ire or parody, but it is not quite good enough to earn status as a hidden gem. If you like horror movies that deal with mutant animals or a dash of body horror, I would say it is worth giving Slugs a watch. If not, I don’t think you really miss out on much by skipping this one.
For the foregoing reasons, Grave Reviews gives Slugs (1988) two graves out of five graves.
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