Lewd, crude and unabashedly Freudian, “Slither” constitutes the single most delightful piece of low-budget sci-fi shlock since “Tremors.”
Writer-director James Gunn's deadpan hilarious tale of a rural American town besieged by mouth-invading slugs has the brains — and guts — to instantly qualify for George A. Romero-style gross-out sainthood.
Gunn, the “Scooby-Doo” screenwriter and longtime Team Troma protégé (“Tromeo and Juliet”), sets the action in Bassett, S.C., a tacky, torpid little backwater with a profanity-spewing mayor (Don Thompson) and enough barflies to go around. Ripe for the picking, in other words.
The town's delicate sociological balance starts to unravel when local yokel Grant Grant (Michael Rooker) returns home one evening from a quasi-adulterous romp in the forest, infested with an extraterrestrial insect that rips through his torso and takes control of his brain (shades of the 1987 Kyle MacLachlan action film “The Hidden”).
Unbeknownst to his pretty schoolteacher wife, Starla (Elizabeth Banks from “The 40-Year-Old Virgin”), Grant develops a voracious appetite for meat products and begins a not-so-subtle physical transformation that will culminate in a pair of reproductive tendrils that snake out of chest, anime-style, to pump unsuspecting victims with his alien seed and make them, in the words of one revolted townsperson, “all womby.”
Soon, Grant's pink wormish offspring have blanketed the town, turning the townsfolk into zombies and forcing Starla to take refuge with hunky young police chief Bill Pardy (Nathan Fillion from “Firefly”). Gunn's spot-on script makes for a satisfying jujitsu of tension and humor, creating scene after scene of creepy, up-your-pant-leg thrills.