Fright Fest Review #3 – Slugs (1988)

slugs-corpse
Not how I’d want to buy the farm…

Subgenre:  Killer Animal

Summary:  Carnivorous slugs prey on the residents of a small town.

Review:  Slugs lets us know we’re in B-Movie territory right off the bat, opening with the titular beasts devouring two skimpily dressed teens.  After that the slugs make their way inland, feasting on unsuspecting townspeople.  Now it’s up to health inspector Mike Brady and his team of government employees to put a stop to the slimy invaders once and for all.

In classic low-budget fashion, the proceedings are almost universally incompetent.  Long stretches of dialogue are obviously dubbed, and there’s some truly terrible acting from most of the cast.  The token decent performance comes from Michael Garfield as Mike, who keeps things grounded and does an admirable job selling the laughable dialogue.  One area where the film displays some real aptitude – and to be fair, it’s the one that matters most in this kind of movie – is the effects work.  The slugs themselves (aside from a few close-ups) are clearly real, and their black, slithering appearance is instantly stomach-churning.  Meanwhile, the kills provide enough gore to satisfy even the most demanding horror fan.

Despite the clunky dialogue, the script displays some borderline-efficient pacing, even if it lifts large chunks from Jaws.  An early scene shows an unsuspecting yuppie eating a slug by accident, and the movie shows impressive restraint in delaying its inevitable, gruesomely satisfying payoff.  The man vs. slug climax, set in the town’s sewers, is too drawn-out for its own good, but ends with an over-the-top bang.

The Verdict:  As entertaining as it is vile, Slugs is a gory treat for fans of B-Movie Horror. I give it six-and-a-half marauding mollusks out of ten.

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