Monday, 7 March 2011


Title: Slugs
Director: Juan Piquer Simón
Released: 1988
Staring: Michael Garfield, Kim Terry, Philip MacHale, Santiago Álvarez

Plot: When people start mysteriously dying, local health inspector Mike Brady (Garfield) discovers that a mutant strain of black slugs are responsible, but can he convince the authorities in time?

Review: There have frequently been moments throughout the history of the creature feature, were upon realising that the usual scary animals (Snakes, Spiders, Sharks etc) had been exhausted, that studios started looking to less likely objects of terror, such as Worms (Squirm), Giant Bunnies (Night of the Lepus) or Ants (Phase IV), while Larry Cohen has spent the best part of his career making the least likely of things scary, most memorably with his killer baby trilogy “It’s Alive” as well as also turning his attention to the idea of Killer Yogurt with “The Stuff”. Still some of these films worked surprisingly well or at least held some camp value, while as to be expected, these idea also created some serious none starters which it’s safe to say this film is certainly one of.
I first came across this movie, like I did for “Xtro 2” which was while scanning the shelves of my local video store "The Video Bug". It was here that I spent hours looking through the horror titles mainly and getting my kicks off the various gruesome cover arts and equally graphic film stills and like “Xtro 2” something stuck with me about this film, even though I’ve only now finally got around to watching the darn thing, which honestly for all it was hyped up by my cousin back when I was a kid, it really wasn’t worth dwelling over, for while slugs are naturally creepy things, they don’t exactly lend themselves well to horror, even if they are particularly vicious mutant strain complete with angry teeth filled mouths and even less when your relinging on showing speeded up footage of them.

The main problem “Slugs” suffers from is that it’s strengths all draw from it's gory scenes, which grows increasingly graphic as the film goes through with Simón not satisfied to stick with just slug on human carnage, but also manages to include a popped eyeball, a hacked off limb and even finding time to include what is possibly the first exploding greenhouse captured on film, aswell as a particularly standout moment were the slugs give one unfortunate victim one hell of a headache. Sadly as result of this focus the film has far to many dull patches between these scenes, were none of the cast and least of Director Simón seem to know what to do, which is helped even less, by how unlikable the characters are, with the majority of them nothing but slug chow. It’s kind of a shame actually that Simón’s interest doesn’t seem to stretch past the attack scenes, as these are frequently quite haunting in places including a scene towards the end were one character after being knocked into a pool is suddenly ravaged by the titular beasties in a scene which not only features a truly laughable attempt at a rescue, but also a corpse that looks like it’s deflating. Still these chills could be more to do psychological effect that slugs tend have over folks (myself included) than anything to do with any directorial talent of Simón.

Still when it comes to the method for dealing with these pesky beasties, no one seems to have considered using anything resembling the traditional way of dealing with them, by showing them with salt, but rather opting for the Hollywood way of Explosives and electricity to despatch them back to whatever slimy circle of hell they slithered out from. Yes this is the plan devised by a so called SLUG EXPERT played here by Santiago Álvarez, who here also handily fills the requirement for a British scientist, the kind of who are required by law to appear in these movies and preferably wear lab coats at all times, as after all that's how we know he's the expert.

The other problem the film suffers from is that it is a page to screen copy of the original novel by Shaun Hutson. Yes that’s right kids the publish world also bought into the idea of killer slugs and incase you were wondering, it’s bizarrely enough also garbage, just in the written word form as it is in the moving picture form, not that Hutson really cares it would seem apparently stating that Simón could “do what he liked” providing that he got paid and his original work wasn’t changed, which only surprised him further when Simón took him at his word, which might not have really been the best option here, especially as the plot is painfully plodding at best, with disposable characters having back stories fleshed out, which serve to really only add to the local colour of the town than anything plot wise.

The soundtrack here is almost schizophrenic, seeing how it seems to have been compiled purely of library tracks, rather than anything written specifically for the film, with only the slugs getting any form of soundtracking, while the rest of the soundtrack verges from sitcom to just plain random tracks, with none of it seemingly being placed to represent the action on screen.

“Slugs” is a film with numerous issues and wasn’t exactly worth the wait to see it, even if the gory moments are quite satisfying and no doubt the bits your more than likely to revisit, which is now only made the easier thanks to the film getting a DVD release, which is also the fully uncut version which gives you a few extra seconds of gore, but still nothing to explain how this film made it onto the banned list in Australia.


  1. Wow, this sounds like it could be fun even though its bad, just like all of Simons other movies. Ever scene "Pieces"? Gorefest all the way, but stupid and silly all over.

    Also, if you havent seen Chuthulhu Mansion, you havent seen the worst of Simon yet! Now there is a laughably bad film! Its so bad its good, and back to bad! Highly recommend it if your ever in the mood to see something along the lines of Troll II.

  2. This was the first film of his that I have seen, though seeing how he's got a real cult following I doubt it will be the last, especially if your saying that "Chutulhu Mansion" could be worse.

    Still got Troll 2 in the watch pile, which at last check was around 346 titles on "Lovefilm", 64+ hours of recordings on my SKY+ box aswell as a worryingly high pile of DVD's still to watch, which continually threatens to fall over on me.

    Still not sure how the Slugs manage to drag a body, which you see in the trailer, much less how anyone fails to notice a carpet of slugs filling the room.

  3. Pieces was as good as he got in my opinion, all else is laughably bad stuff, that entertains but for all the wrong reasons. Hope you get to watch them someday, if you are ever in the need for some bad cinema.

  4. Will have to check them out at some point, as really intrested to know how if he can get worse and especially as he has such a rabid fanbase, but always on the look out for Bad cinema aswell as general recommendations for what you guys, think I should be watching.

  5. This is one of my faves; as anyone who reads me can tell you - I have a lot of love for Juan Piquer Simon, either because he is so bad or because he is so awesome. Either/or.

    Wonderful review, and you have a lot of valid points - TONS of them, in fact. Makes me want to watch it again!

    In the meantime, if so inclined, you can check out my opine on same:

    - TGWD

  6. Your post on the film is a great counter argument for this film and much like those folks, who convince me that they can make me like Liver, it almost makes me want to sit through this film again, if only for the exploding greenhouse. Alas like Liver though I know it's not gonna be an overly fun experience.

    Still you guys will no doubt be the ones responsible for me watching the rest of his back catalogue.


Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...