Many people told me this film would suck. I'm pleased as drunken punch to say that I really, really enjoyed Slither.
In-jokes abound and the influences are quite obvious. Night of the Creeps, Night of the Living Dead, Invasion of the Body Snatchers, John Carpenter's The Thing and many others can be seen. Heck, even the spitting thing reminded me of Day of the Triffids or even better, the Alien franchise. There's a lot of 50's sci-fi and horror going on, too. I think fans of Lost Skeleton of Cadavra will see some fun in Slither, too.
The story is simple: Something from outer space lands (say it with me now... SPAAAAAACE!), takes over one of the locals in a rural area, and the near-by town is assaulted in the way that results in cool scenes of terror and gore (my favourite way, might I add). It all comes down to "victim zero's" love (a woman name Starla), the small town chief of police (played brilliantly by Nathan Fillion) and a teenaged girl (who survives a "worm attack", thus gaining valuable insight on the alien menace).
There are other survivors, too... All played to the hilt. The Mayor especially! Jesus, what a hoot his character is!
This film does have its snags, though. The pacing is rough, and probably the weakest part of Slither. Also, there are a couple of other minor things that are typical of lower budget horror movies. Nothing all that big, though. This is certainly heavy on the cheese factor in spots, but that cheese is usually countered by snappy dialogue (a strong suit of writer/director Gunn) and some damn cool storytelling.
James Gunn proves again that he can write a fun and somewhat compelling film, full of great characters and nice bits that will make you smile. Directing it is another story; but I think that Gunn does a passable job. He's lucky that the stellar cast really carry this movie for him. I do wonder what this film would be like if Zack Snyder (Dawn of the Dead 2004) had directed it, for instance.
All in all, Slither is fun! Nothing all that scary, but it did have me on the edge of my seat in parts... And you may never look at meat the same way again.
Nathan Fillion needs to be in more movies, dammit.
Oh, yeah, and I should add that if Slither had been made 10 or so years ago, it would be considered a classic. Sadly, it loses classic status in a broader sense of the term because the bar has been set much higher on films of this nature... and it falls short a bit (once again, due to Gunn's direction, which many would call "lazy" or "unfocused"). I still enjoyed it, but I can see where many others would not.