Actors: Michael Garfield, Kim Terry, Philip MacHale, Emilio Linder
Synopsis: They Slime. They Ooze. They Kill.
People suddenly and mysteriously die in a rural community and no one knows what the cause is. Health inspector Mike Brady has a possible theory; he thinks that maybe the townspeople are being killed off by mutated slugs but the idea is not welcomed and is actually scoffed at by the mayor. With the help of a scientist and a sanitation officer, Mike decides to take action himself before any more people are die. Sure, this is a ridiculous premise for a movie but we have had worms and tremors, killer rats and centipedes so what is so strange about killer slugs—we don’t like slugs anyway. It is hard to think of a slug that lives in gardens being a monster but once seeing this movie….
Instead of having the police chief or local ranger/warden as the hero, here we have a health inspector and a sanitation officer. These two characters are incredibly boring men and not just because of their jobs. The actors (Michael Garfield and Philip MacHale) that play them show no emotion whatever and could have been easily replaced by robots. It does not help that the dialogue is also awful.
For small creatures, these slugs do some serious damage. A man eats a slug in a sandwich, only to literally blow up later on in a restaurant as the slugs eat him from the inside. A young couple find their bedroom floor covered in slugs and the girl slips on one of them and is promptly covered in slugs. A gardener puts on a glove to find a slug has squirmed inside. However the slug takes a firm bite of his hand and no matter how hard he tries to hit the slug on the bench or tries to cut it off with garden clippers, he can’t do it. So he cuts his own hand off, knocking a shelf of chemicals over himself in the process and blowing himself and his greenhouse up.
There is a lot of gore and some great make-up effects are served but to get to those there is awful dialogue and robotic performances first. The setting is a picturesque little town built on a toxic waste dump. For whatever reason, this particular chemical concoction only seems to have an effect on our slime-trail leaving buddies, the slugs, who’ve acquired a taste for flesh. Mike Brady, the health inspector discovers the truth about the slug menace fairly early on, but the sheriff and mayor do not believe him. The body count continues to rise and Mike, his wife’s British professor pal, and sewer warrior Don and have a climatic battle to the death in the sewers below.
No sane person would believe that slugs could be a potential villain for a horror feature. The idea might be ludicrous but the concept works. A slug is really the last creature we’d expect to have evil intentions, but everybody involved takes it so very seriously. Of course, clichés abound. There are sex-crazed teenagers who get both barrels of the Slug-Gun as their sexual awakening is tempered by the “rampaging” slugs and a few lusty teenagers die horrible deaths. Those who die do so in places where slugs are usually found. The easiest way around this is to not go into gardens or sewers or open drains, yet somehow many characters find themselves in these situations and meet a grisly demise as a result. Other than a couple of brief moments where the slugs actually invade people’s homes much of the violence could have easily been avoided.
Some of the death sequences are so ridiculous that they’re brilliant. Most of these deaths are perhaps unintentionally hilarious and the film is gruesome and very funny at the same time.
By the finale, where we have two identically dressed men in yellow suits trying to avoid being eaten alive in the sewers beneath the town but we have known how the movie would end from the very beginning., you’ve known since the opening act how it will end. Even though these toxic slugs appear to explode violently when set alight, we know that there will be at least one left to wreak havoc another day. Spanish director Juan Piquer Simon gives us a tale of mutant slugs on the rampage in small-town America and as bad of a movie as it is, I had fun watching it.
* Brand new restoration from original film elements
* High Definition Blu-ray (1080p) presentation
* Original Uncompressed PCM Mono Audio
* Optional English subtitles for the deaf and hard of hearing
* Audio commentary with Slugs author Shaun Hutson
* Audio commentary with writer and filmmaker Chris Alexander
* Here’s Slugs in Your Eye – an interview with actor Emilio Linder
* They Slime, They Ooze, They Kill: The Effects of Slugs – an interview with special effects artist Carlo De Marchis
* Invasion USA – an interview with art director Gonzalo Gonzalo
* The Lyons Den – an interview and locations tour with production manager Larry Ann Evans
* 1988 Goya Awards promo reel
* Reversible sleeve featuring original and newly commissioned artwork by Wes Benscote