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Slugs (1987)
Director: J.P. Simon

review by Ian Shutter

They are slow moving and comparatively small, but also black and slimy, and very ugly - and they breed in the sewers. "I know it sounds crazy," says the hero...
   Slugs: The Movie is based on a novel by the maestro of Brit schlock horror, Shaun Hutson, and it's every bit as ludicrous as it sounds. Killer slugs menace a small US town built near a leaking toxic waste landfill site. Human casualties grow along with the spreading infestation of carnivorous mutants. A drunken old squatter is gored on his sofa, a gardener has to chop off a hand because his glove is full of poisonous slime, the youngsters having illicit sex find the bedroom floor is alive with man-eating slugs and they meet horrific ends (death by genre cliché), the businessman hoping to clinch a big deal over dinner finds his headache turns into a nosebleed and then his eyes pop across the restaurant with an explosion of wriggling blood flukes.
    We have been here before. Creepy-crawlies and slithery-sliders of the small, but deadly, monster movie hold an illustrious position as an important staple of the 1970s' nature's revenge cycle: Piranha (fish), Squirm (worms), Bug (cockroaches), The Swarm (bees), Frogs (reptiles), Kingdom Of The Spiders (tarantulas), Phase IV (ants), and Willard (rats). Although Slugs is stuck with a diabolical script and lousy actors, and is evidently lacking in the satirical wit or sheer demented terror of its various predecessors - it does succeed with a self-mocking sense of fun and some crassly gruesome effects that should endear it to horror fans, if only because of the film's unexpectedly explosive climax.
   Before you dismiss Slugs entirely, it's well worth noting such themed movies continued throughout the 1990s with Arachnophobia, Ticks, and Bats, numerous episodes of The X-Files, while millennial recycling trends look set to scare us into laughter for many years to come.
previously published online, VideoVista #29
Slugs
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