31 Days of Horror – ‘Slither’

James Gunn's campy romp packs big stars, bigger gore and plenty of killer scenes

Some of our biggest stars first got noticed in low-rent horror films.

Kevin Bacon met Jason Voorhees’ ma the hard way in the original “Friday the 13th.” Renee Zellweger and Matthew McConaughey graced “The Return of the Texas Chainsaw Massacre,” the 1995 sequel that failed to replicate the terror of the 1974 classic.

“Slither,” from the delightfully warped mind of James Gunn, gave Elizabeth Banks an early, extended close-up. She’s joined by fellow standouts Michael Rooker, Jenna Fischer of “The Office” fame and “Firefly” alum Nathan Fillion, all of whom emerged with solid careers across film and TV genres.

Slither (2006) - Official Trailer (HD)

The film follows a small town overrun by alien worms that take over their hosts and turn them into, well, the ugliest critters you can imagine.

Fillion plays the long arm of the law, and his way with the film’s wink-wink screenplay is one of many highlights. “Slither” is unapologetically a horror-comedy hybrid, and Gunn has the perfect cast to pull the tonal shifts off.

Banks is coming off her scene-stealing moments from 2005’s “The 40-Year-Old Virgin,” and she’s forced to get up close and personal with Rooker as his body morphs into a scaly, gelatinous mess.


The splatterfest leans heavily on practical effects, the gooier the better, and Gunn’s willingness to go for broke adds to the merriment.

The future “Guardians of the Galaxy” director once described his film as “the weird kid in the back of the class that is putting his boogers underneath the desk.” It’s hard to imagine a more accurate take on the movie’s wacky spirit.

31 Days of Horror:

One Comment

  1. I would also mention Clark Gregg, who is hilarious as the foul-mouthed town mayor. The scene where he freaks out and rants about how there’s no Mr. Pibb (“It’s the only Coke I like!”) is one of the movie’s highlights.

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