Blu-ray Movie Review – Slugs (1988)

Slugs
Directed by J. P. Simon
Courtesy of Arrow Video & MVD Distribution
Original Year of Release: 1988
Blu-ray Release Date: October 4, 2016

slugs

There’s no doubt creepy-crawlies make ideal subject matter for horror films; many, many great films from the past sixty years in the genre have been iconized because of them. But the 80s gave birth to some of the best creature features ever made. This is partly due to the fact many of them used REAL bugs!

SLUGS is one of these very films, and it is chocked full of schlocky, slimy goodness. Arrow Video and MVD Distribution have restored this 80s classic in HD, and the result is a fantastic foray into good, gory fun. If you’re new to SLUGS, pick it up today and enjoy its squishy goodness; and if you’ve seen it before, get this version immediately…there’s nothing like watching these small creatures wreak big havoc in high def!

If you are not familiar with SLUGS, here is the plot synopsis courtesy of Arrow Video & MVD Distribution:

THEY SLIME. THEY OOZE. THEY KILL.
From celebrated Spanish director Juan Piquer Simón, the man behind the truly demented slasher flick Pieces (1982), comes a terrifying tale of mutant slugs on the rampage in small-town America.

The townsfolk of a rural community are dying in strange and gruesome circumstances. Following the trail of horrifically mutilated cadavers, resident health inspector Mike Brady is on the case to piece together the mystery. He soon comes to a terrifying conclusion giant slugs are breeding in the sewers beneath the town, and they’re making a meal of the locals!

Based on the novel by acclaimed British horror author Shaun Hutson, Slugs outdoes its creature feature peers by adding an extra dose of gross-out gore into the equation, culminating in one of the most squirm-inducing animal attack movies ever to slither its way across screens.

One of the greatest aspects of this film is how unintentionally funny it is in some parts. The overall tone is serious, but the clunky dialogue and odd overacting make some of the scenes riotous.

SLUGS is shot well and looks great, thanks to the restoration from original film elements. I saw this long ago (on VHS, I think), and I remember the picture quality as grainy and difficult to see, particularly in the low-light shots. But everything looks excellent now. Even the sound quality is improved; my surround sound cranked out every squelch and slime-splatter to perfection.

The acting in SLUGS is actually pretty laughable, although the fault lies in the script, not in the talent levels of the cast. They do the best they can, but the dialogue is so awkward that it’s difficult to imagine a real person saying it. Thus, that detracts a little from the viewing experience, but not nearly enough to stop watching.

The special effects in SLUGS are excellent for the most part, and I am impressed with how well they stand the test of time. Some of the blood appears pretty fake (it’s a lot lighter in color than it should be), but the rest of the gore is superb. Of particular note is a scene in a restaurant, where a man’s face literally explodes with bugs. I’m not sure how they pulled off this effect, but it looks stunningly real. I tip my hat to the effects crew and their efforts.

Despite its flaws, SLUGS is a lot of fun, and it’s a perfect Halloween film for horror fans of all ages (well, those 17 and up, of course…the film is rated R, after all!). I’d wait until after dinner to watch it, though…some of the gore, and even the slugs themselves, might force a few unintended gastric disruptions.

Special Edition Contents:

• Brand new restoration from original film elements
• High Definition Blu-ray (1080p) presentation
• Original Uncompressed PCM Stereo audio
• Optional English subtitles for the deaf and hard of hearing
• Audio commentary by writer and filmmaker Chris Alexander
• Here s Slugs In Your Eye an interview with actor Emilio Linder
• They Slime, They Ooze, They Kill: The Effects of Slugs an interview with special effects artist Carlo De Marchis
• Invasion USA an interview with art director Gonzalo Gonzalo
• The Lyons Den an interview and locations tour with production manager Larry Ann Evans
• 1988 Goya Awards promo reel
• Original Theatrical Trailer
• Reversible sleeve featuring original and newly commissioned artwork by Wes Benscoter
• Fully-illustrated collector s booklet featuring new writing by writer Michael Gingold

MSB

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