Ten years after its debut, director James Gunn's SLITHER remains a spectacularly slimy, boldly bloody monster movie that says «yes» to every possible excess. Guts are spilled, heads are cracked, flesh is eaten, bodies explode — it's exactly what you'd expect from a film in which otherworldly creatures attack and the local sheriff warns his posse, «Don't let 'em in your mouth!»
Set in the South Carolina hamlet of Wheelsy, SLITHER opens with a meteorite landing in the woods, not far from where married businessman Grant Grant (Michael Rooker) was planning a little hanky-panky with Brenda (Brenda James), the town tramp. Grant and Brenda put their hormones on hold and follow a gooey trail to find a pulsating gelatinous mass that shoots a tiny projectile into Grant's chest. Before long, Grant is stockpiling meat and trying to convince his suspicious wife, Starla (Elizabeth Banks), that the boils and blisters engulfing his body are the aftermath of «a bee sting.»
Starla doesn't buy his story, and her intuition is right on the mark: Soon, Grant has turned into a tentacled monster determined to bring a plague of space slugs down on his neighbors. As Starla, police chief Bill Pardy (Nathan Fillion) and Wheelsy's hard-drinking, foul-mouthed mayor (Gregg Henry) watch in horror, their fellow Wheelsyians turn into man-eating ghouls and the countryside becomes littered with corpses.
Gunn's writing is terrifically witty — particularly the choice lines he gives Fillion — and many of the situations he dreams up are true mind-benders. Rare is the writer-director who would utilize Air Supply's supremely syrupy «Every Woman in the World» in any context, let alone as the tune a horribly disfigured Grant uses to try to win back Starla, who's understandably resistant. Weird, wacky and gloriously gross, SLITHER is a classic of its kind.