Slither (James Gunn). Opens Friday (March 31). For venues and times, see Movie Listings. Rating: NN Rating: NN
When publicists with a new horror film to sell start talking about how the film plays up the "campy, fun" aspects of the genre, it generally means the scares don't really work and, alas, neither does the humour.
This is pretty much the case with Slither , wherein intergalactic slugs invade a small western town and start turning people into zombies. The film reminds us that writer-director James Gunn started out at Troma and wrote the Scooby-Doo movies. It's a little more difficult to reconcile this with the unexpectedly good script he provided for the straight horror remake of Dawn Of The Dead.
Slither's a scattershot remake with a serious debt to Night Of The Creeps and, of course, Cronenberg's Shivers, with a surprising performance by Michael Rooker (Henry: Portrait Of A Serial Killer) as the first guy the aliens take over. Indeed, the film demonstrates that the only thing scarier and creepier than Rooker playing a homicidal sociopath is Rooker playing a guy who's trying his best to be nice.
Joss Whedon favourite Nathan Fillion -- the captain of the Serenity and villain on season seven of Buffy -- plays the heroic sheriff. He really needs to talk to his agent if this is the best he can get.