"What the hell is that thing?"

Famous last words.

As many of you know, I'm a B-Movie addict. From wobbly paper plate "spaceships" in black and white, to huge, squishy monsters in glorious color, I love 'em all. Even when they're lousy. Granted, there's a difference between good bad, and bad bad, but I'm sure I don't have to explain that to you.

Like most B-Film lovers, I'm a big fan of the Sci-Fi and horror genres (horror in particular), simply because most B-Films fall into this category. So I've watched a lot of crap. A lot of crap. Horror fans have been moaning for a long time that the genre just isn't what it used to be. You've heard the complaints; "it's all flash and no substance," "the special effects were the star," etc, etc. Every time a debate begins about "why no one goes to the movies anymore," one of the most common complaints is simply this: The movies suck. (The other most common statement seems to be "Hire some fucking ushers that will shut people up so I can enjoy the movie I paid ten dollars to see," but I digress.)

I've been despairing at the current trend in horror films: Torture Horror. I don't like it. I mean, I really don't like it. I'll jump right in when fans are complaining that studios are doing another remake of The Texas Chainsaw Massacre or The Hills Have Eyes, not necessarily because they're remakes, but because my thought is, "Geez, why remake that? I didn't enjoy it the first time!"

Before some fans jump down my throat, let me just say this: I recognize that the originals of these two movies are classics, and I do think they're damn scary, exciting, good movies. I just don't find torture scary, and I'm not entertained by "let's watch this person's horrible ordeal for the next two hours." I'll take The Thing over Saw any day. But that's me; your results may vary.

Anyway, what's my point? Well, I went to the movies this weekend, and I saw Slither. And here's my recommendation:

Go see it. Right now.

Slither is more than just a throwback to the monster B-Movies of the 50's and 60's; it's a genuine return to the reason we go to the movies in the first place: to have some fun. And Slither is many things, but first and foremost, it's a gas. (Even the husband loved it, and he's got a very low tolerance for cheesy movies.)

(NOTE: I'm going to try and make this part of my rant as spoiler-free as possible, but I will be describing some scenes from the movie. If you're wanting to go into this cold, you probably want to skip down to the last paragraph.)

From the opening shot, I knew this was my kind of movie. The first thing seen is a meteor, hurtling earthward. Now, any B-Flick fan knows, nothing good can come from meteors. And this one is no exception. It's carrying a sluglike parasite that has been traveling from planet to planet, devouring the inhabitants and heading to the next. The meteor lands in the woods. We get a fast P.O.V. shot winding through the tightly-packed trees, finally slowing to focus on the much smaller meteorite steaming on the forest floor.

It splits open, revealing a gooey interior. The title of the film blazes across the screen. In my theatre, the audience cheers.

Warmed my black little heart, it did.

Slither doesn't waste much time. Within a few minutes, local businessman Grant Grant (har, har. Played by Michael Rooker) has found the huge, maggot-like creature that's oozed away from the meteorite... a disgusting grub that has a nasty surprise for Grant hidden inside its slimy body.

Grant comes home... changed. His wife knows something's different about him, although with Grant, that's not necessarily a bad thing.

The next day, Grant has sudden cravings for raw meat. He hits the grocery store, and fills the back of his pickup with beef. The town is suddenly being wallpapered with notices about missing pets. And Grant has padlocked the basement door.

That's the first fifteen minutes or so of the film.

(If, by the way, you recognized the nods to The Blob, Evil Dead, and Invasion of the Body Snatchers, in that sequence, and knew that Michael Rooker also played Henry in Henry: Portrait of a Serial Killer, you must see this movie.)

Things escalate rapidly. Within a few days, the small town of Wheelsy is besieged by slime spitting-zombies, a "squid monster" that's gutting cattle, and an army of huge slugs that have a nasty habit of lunging into your mouth and burrowing into your brain.

It's gory. It's slimy. It's funny. It's got some great scares. It's filled with profanity and off-color jokes. And man, is it fun.

Does it have problems? Yes, of course. Wouldn't be a B-Movie if it didn't. But you're having such a good time while watching this movie, it won't matter in the slightest. Slither is the best horror flick I've seen since Shaun of the Dead. Do yourself a favor... grab a bunch of friends, head to your theatre and catch it before it's gone. Be entertained by your entertainment for once.

If you miss this to see the Larry the Cable Guy movie, you're dead to me.

UPDATE: Remember that scene in Raiders of the Lost Ark where an exhausted Indiana Jones simply shoots a scimitar-wielding attaker, rather than go through a big fight? There's a scene in Slither that plays with a common horror movie cliché in the same manner. See if you can spot it. I think you'll be pleasantly surprised.

(Overture, curtain, lights... this is it, we'll cross-post the heights...)

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