creature feature

Shaun vs. Slugs (1988)

slugsWhat happens when you mix toxic waste with slugs?  Slightly larger than normal slugs, which may not be a big issue if it weren’t for the fact that this breed is also carnivorous meat eaters with a sudden fascination for human flesh.  It’s not so bad since you can just step on them, but when there’s a million of them coming up through toilets like Ghoulies, I think I’d rather just move to another town.

Directed by Juan Piquer Simon

Starring Michael Garfield, Kim Terry, and Philip MacHale

The Story

Due to toxic waste dumping decades ago, a strain of black slugs have mutated to the point where they’ve gotten much bigger than regular slugs and have developed a taste for the humans of a nearby rural town.  No one can believe that theory so only the local town health expert and a British slug expert can save the day.

The Trailer

Trivia

The film was banned in Queensland, Australia until the censorship board was disbanded in the early ‘90s. 

The filming was spread across the United States and Spain, some scenes look jarringly different although supposedly being the same location.

The Review

Bringing along Mike, the local health inspector, the sheriff drives to a home to evict the owner on health violations.  They discover his corpse and later find out most of the vital organs have been eaten.  After looking around the house, and admittedly finding it to be filthy, Mike finds what appears to be large slime trails but initially thinks nothing of it.

Then things start to get hairy in the garden as an elderly couple discover slug eggs on their plants in the greenhouse.  They don’t seem to concerned until one of them comes across a slug in their glove which leads to him trying to hack off his hand, and would’ve gotten away with it too but their house blows up in an accident. 

slugs1

Yummy yummy yummy got your finger in my tummy.

Mike discovers some slugs in his girlfriend’s garden but gets bit when he gets too close.  He traps one and takes off to visit a slug specialist visiting from England.  We get a crash course in slug behaviour and learn that there are some forms of slug that are carnivorous.  Mike brings the scientist along and together they come across how the slugs became what they were and try to stop them before they take over the town.

Sharks, bears and alligators seem to be no brainers when it comes to these animals gone wild type of movies.  However over the years taking gross bugs and creatures and making them bigger, therefore scarier also seem to make sense.  Spiders, ants, worms all had a shot, so why not slugs?  The movie aims to make slugs the next menace to society which might happen if we’re all as stupid as the characters in the movie.

slugs2

This is your brain on slugs.

How do you not notice a big old slug in your head of lettuce and chop it up?  How do you eat the whole damn salad with giant slug parts and guts in it?  During a make out session, a couple of teens never once notice the entire room becomes covered wall to wall with slugs (which wind up disappearing leaving no trace they were ever there!)  The movie plays everything as straight as can be but asks a lot of the audience to take this seriously with the silly characters who die in bad ways.

As ridiculous as it may come off, the highlights of the movie are the over the top death scenes.  These slugs can do massive damage eating away humans pretty fast and leaving behind disgusting, mostly devoured bodies.  One dude’s head explodes through his eyeballs with a bunch of worms spewing out to make it even more ridiculous than it could be.  Hilarious yet disgusting (much like the dubbing.)

The Score

Story: 4 – It’s the usual environmental message about toxic waste creating creatures we can’t handle but only this time with slugs.

Blood: 7 – The effects guys went overboard with what I think slugs could do, but it’s the most entertaining parts of the movie. 

Nudity: 5 – There’s a brief sex scene that ends poorly for a couple of fully nude teenagers.

Overall:  4 – Pretty stupid, slightly entertaining though.  The film has its fun moments, either the interesting gore effects or the hilariously awful dialogue and dubbing providing unintentional laughs. 

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