Spawn of the Slithis ReviewJoe Shaffer
A horror movie title like Spawn of the Slithis should tell you what to expect: that it's not a well made piece of cinema, but a cheesy midnight movie fit for gathering some friends, knocking back a few brews, and laughing at its many inept attempts at tension and character development. However, even on that front, the film fights a losing battle.
Enter Slithis, yet another entry in a long line of give-a-hoot-don't-pollute-or-you'll-be-devoured-by-a-mutant-monster films. It's a flick consisting of pointless character interactions, horrible scripting and acting, and questionable camera and visual techniques. During the film's opening scene, for instance, a couple of children toss around a Frisbee in slow motion, with a series of irritating synthesized sound effects firing off with each slo-mo toss of the disc. Not long afterward, the children find a pair of half-eaten dogs. One of the kids identifies them as his neighbor's pups, and is very nonchalant about their deaths. "Hey, it's Mr. Whosit's dogs, and they're horribly mutilated. That's not traumatizing at all. Oh well, let's go play somewhere!"
More terrible/accidentally funny character interactions ensue. A man and his wife argue in bed after she hears a noise in their living room (caused by the man-eating antagonist, of course). She talks her hubby into investigating the racket, which spurs him to put his clothes on. That, in turn, causes her to question why he would do something so stupid, as if she were asking the writer why he would include a character who would enact such a pointless task as dressing before checking out a potential burglary. Their dialogue only serves the purpose of justifying nonsensical actions performed by their characters, and it becomes tough to tell if the movie is subtly parodying bad horror films or if it's just a bad horror film itself. Bear in mind that this isn't the only scene that plays out in this manner.
What good-bad horror movies need is healthy doses of silliness and mayhem, the former of which is usually not intentional. Unfortunately, Slithis doesn't sport of wealth of either element. Sure, there are plenty of instances of cheesy dialogue, but they're intermingled with lines that were obviously written to be funny and clever, but aren't. The many samples of zany lines spouted off by an eccentric scientist and ill-fitting schtick issued from a creepy police chief don't have the same effect as the film's few hilariously bad "serious" lines.
There are several scenes where the movie attempts to have a plot and tries to make some inconspicuous commentary on pollution and law enforcement, and those attempts are part of what hamper the film. Rather than attempting to tell a cautionary tale, the movie should be delivering consistent gobs of campiness, prerferably with each death scene. Instead, the movie is pretty much a ninety minute session of having simplistic morals jammed down your throat while a humongous, amphibious biped noshes on random characters. Almost every death consists of the monster roaring in the face of his victim, then slurping him to death, usually off-camera. The only scene that breaks this tradition involves an attack on a woman in a houseboat, which culminates in an uncomfortably violent display that makes the supposedly-implied-rape in "Castlevania: Lords of Shadow 2" look like playful cuddling.
Slithis's only saving grace is that the antagonist looks kind of cool. Maybe he's not all that believable, but you can tell that whoever designed and pieced together the suit put a lot of effort and love into it. Honestly, though, I feel that the spawn would have been more appropriately used in a kaiju movie, knocking over cardboard buildings rather than racking up a bunch of tiresome off-screen kills.
Plainly put, Spawn of the Slithis is a dull monster movie that fails to entertain even on an ironic level. It doesn't possess the charm or camp of other mutant beast flicks, and will only leave you shrugging as you behold its predictable conclusion. My honest recommendation is to skip this one and check out some more worthwhile bad flicks starring hideous pollution spawn. Prophecy and Godzilla vs. the Smog Monster come to mind.
Fun fact: Contrary to popular belief (well, "popular" amongst b-movie fanatics anyway), the monster in this movie is not called "Slithis." That name is actually designated for the primordial ooze that the monster came from, making the beast the "spawn" of the Slithis.
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