Bitch Is Hardcore: Slither Blu-ray Review + Screenshots

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There needs to be more films like Slither. Here is a film that came from a studio that has fun with the genre without creating a Cinematic Universe or worrying about sequels.





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Interview with Writer/Director James Gunn (29m 38s, HD)

This is a newly produced featurette by Scream Factory and has Gunn in very high spirits and ready to talk about his directorial debut, Slither. Gunn is full of stories, anecdotes, and behind the scenes information that you would be surprised that this film is more than ten years old. Gunn is able to conjure up some of the most minuscule tidbits about Slither and some of these we fans haven’t heard yet. Gunn talks about how the film came to be, how the casting went about, and how hard the film was to make. This is a wonderful interview.

Interview with Gregg Henry (8m 8s, HD)

This is a newly produced featurette by Scream Factory and finds Henry in good spirits, but not full of information. He talks about working on the film and what his favorite lines are, but I would be hardpressed to tell you anything else that he says. I don’t know if this is due to Henry not being able to remember things (which I don’t think is the case) or if it is the interviewer not asking Henry the right questions (I am more inclined to think that it is that latter). I wish that this interview was better because I love Henry’s work and think that he is due for a big break.


Deleted and Alternate Scenes (17m 13s, Upscaled SD, 1.85:1, 4x3)

Outside of a few scenes that made me laugh (there is a scene where Michael Rooker takes all the meat in his house, puts it into different file folders marked with the name of meat on them, and then files them away in a filing cabinet.) there is not much here and one can see why these scenes were cut.

Visual Effects: Step by Step (5m 4s, Upscaled SD)

CGI has to go through numerous steps before a final render can be made. Here we get to see some of the scenes before, after, and during the various steps. I found this to be very interesting for any filmmaker.

Slithery Set Tour with Actor Nathan Fillion (4m 41s, Upscaled SD, 1.33:1)

Fillion was given a camcorder and told to wander around the set and see what he could film. He finds some very funny things said by most of the people who worked on the film and also finds that the set was a happy one for the most part. As for the “set tour” aspect of it, actress Elizabeth Banks is the only person to show off some of the set that the film was filmed on at the time.

Who Is Bill Pardy? (5m 14s, Upscale SD, 1.85:1, 4x3)

More goofing around on the set. This time at the expense of Fillion.

The Sick Minds and Slimy Days of Slither (10m 4s, Upscale SD, 1.33:1)

This is more a demented EPK than anything else. Lots of cursing, great shots of the make-up and gore, and just a nice jovial atmosphere.

Brewing the Blood (3m 17s, Upscale SD, 1.33:1)

Kurt Jackson, who worked on the effects, teaches us how to make movie blood.


Bringing Slither’s Creatures to Life (18m 38s, Upscale SD, 1.33:1)

The effects are the main draw for Slither and we get a really good look at all the different monsters and effects used in the film. I wish that we would have gotten a better look at the “Brenda Blob” as that is the one effect that I can’t wrap my head around fully.

Lloyd Kaufman’s Video Diary (8m 58s, Upscaled SD, 1.33:1)

Uncle Lloydie, Lloyd Kaufman, the president of Troma, who gave the world The Toxic Avenger, also gave James Gunn his first movie job which was writing the script for Troma’s Tromeo & Juliet in 1995. Kaufman was given a cameo in Slither and we see him arriving on the set and meeting the cast and crew.


Around the time that Slither was released into theaters, Troma re-released Tromeo & Juliet on DVD for the film’s 10th Anniversary, Kaufman included his full taped visit including the deleted footage from his scene in Slither.

Gag Reel (8m 11s, Upscaled SD, 1.85:1, 4x3)

A pretty good gag reel with lots of flubs that are worth the watch.

Theatrical Trailer (1m 29s, HD)

2017 Audio Commentary with Writer/Director James Gunn and actors Nathan Fillion and Michael Rooker

Sitting down since the film was released, these three friends have a blast watching the film (which they get lost in a few times) and telling stories both new and old. This track is a blast for those who are fans of any of these guys. A must listen.

2006 Audio Commentary with Writer/Director James Gunn and actor Nathan Fillion

Gunn and Fillion are a bit more technical in this track but don't think that fun isn't had. It just seems like these guys are a bit more focused than on the other track. Still worth a listen though.


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This is a Collector’s Edition from Scream Factory so you that there is a slipcover.


front covers for the scream factory release of slither

The front of the slip features brand new artwork by artist Justin Osbourn, who also provided artwork to Scream Factory for Tales from the Crypt Presents Demon Knight and Bordello of Blood as well as a lot of the commissioned artwork on the Scream Factory titles.  Here he captures many of the most memorable scenes in the film including the “Brenda Blob” and the slugs in the bathtub, while also capturing the stars of the film. This is a really nice piece of work and I wish that I had been able to get the poster that Scream Factory was offering.

The front cover of the blu-ray case is reversible with one side featuring Justin Osbourn’s artwork while the other side features one of the film’s theatrical posters. The one that Scream Factory chose shows the bathtub with the girl’s leg showing and the slugs making their way into the bathtub one by one.


back covers for the scream factory release of slither

The back cover features the film’s synopsis along with the blu-ray’s special features listing and tech specs. The back cover is the same as the back cover of the slip just with a different picture on it.

The disc art features an overhead shot of the girl in the bathtub with the slugs coming at her from all sides.


disc art for the scream factory release of slither

The disc is REGION A (locked)


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two small town cops look at a dead dog.


Slither has been out on blu-ray in many countries, but it has yet to hit our shores until now (well August) and it arrives with a really nice transfer. This one is progressive scan and not interlaced like the Canadian blu-ray from a few years back. The film is presented in its original aspect ratio of 1.85:1 and looks great. The first thing that I noticed is that it isn’t interlaced which was not something that I was afraid of, but it was still in my mind. Colors are vibrant and there are no digital messings with like a lot of other studios like to do. Pink (and its variants) are the primary color and they look really good. Blood comes out as a dark red and there is a bit of grain to be found, especially in the nighttime scenes. There is also a nice depth to the picture and the effects look good, even when they are not that great, to begin with. I think that Scream Factory did a great job with the picture.


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Scream Factory has given the film a lossless DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1 track and it rocks. Dialogue is crisp and clear and the surrounds get a bit of a workout, but not too much. The score, by Tyler Bates, is well represented here and the surrounds give us some nice atmosphere.


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In this blend of the B movie classic The Blob (1958), and some Romero's zombie films, a meteorite collides in a small town. Grant finds it and is infected by a parasite worm, which installs in his brain and causes him a creepy transformation into a monster. Starla, his wife, and Bill, a policeman, will try to stop him and the plague of worms generated by the creature.

I have been following James Gunn’s work since Tromeo & Juliet. I am a big Troma fan and he was a person that stuck out to me with his messed up hair and thick black glasses. After he did Tromeo & Juliet, he kind of disappeared for a bit. Sure, his name would come up every once in awhile, but things were never concrete. Then Scooby-Doo was released and he was all over the place. I never really liked the two Scooby-Doo films that he wrote, but I loved his remake of the George A. Romero zombie classic Dawn of the Dead. There was a wit to it that other writers wouldn’t have added that made the film stand out.

Two years after Dawn of the Dead, Gunn was given the chance to direct his first film. That film would go on to become Slither and Gunn would soon become a household name with the Guardians of the Galaxy films.

Slither holds a special place in my heart because it is trying to be an old-school monster movie with updated effects and gallons of blood. The film has the feeling of The Blob, both versions, and other films where there is some type of parasite that is turning good people bad. The film takes place in small town, which is usually a good sign for a film like this. I hate it when filmmakers try to take a small film and turn it into some big mess. Staying in a small town helps the film’s budget, but it also allows the writer and director to craft real characters that we get to know throughout the course of the film.

The standout role for me, and most people who see the film is that of the town’s mayor, MacReady, played with all the scene chewing glory of Gregg Henry. This character not only gets the film’s best lines like “If I weren't about to shit in my pants right now, I'd be fuckin' fascinated.” and “Where is the Mr. Pibb? I told your secretary to pack Mr. Pibb. It's the only Coke I like. Goddamn Brenda exploding like a water balloon, worms driving my friends around like they're goddamn skin-cars, people are spitting acid at me, turning you into cottage cheese, and now there's no fucking goddamn Mr. Pibb?”, but he has gotten one of the best final scenes I have seen for a character so beloved. I am truly happy that Gunn wrote this role and Henry played it.

The rest of the film is pretty good, but it falls into the same pattern as the films that it loves so dear. The film begins with the monster coming to Earth, followed by its discovery, and its ultimate demise. The whole time watching the film, I was expecting there to be a twist, something different that this film would do to get the horror and sci-fi fans to stand up and take notice, but the film stay the course. This causes the film to become a bit too familiar. We know where it is going and we know how it is getting there.

The one scene that most people talk about is the “Brenda Blob” scene, where a woman has grown to the size of a tractor trailer, but her head remains the same size. If you have seen the trailer then you know what I am talking about. This scene is the scene where the filmmakers have to kill off most of the cast because they can’t afford them to go any further in the story. This is the scene where the slugs are introduced and they play a vital role in the film.

I talked earlier about Slither holding a special place in my heart. It does. Even though I am talking about the things I didn’t like about the film, it still is special to me. There are not many films that try, and succeed, to do something old-school like this. Everyone compares the film to the similar Night of the Creeps. While that film is just amazing, Slither is pretty good too. I need to review Night of the Creeps someday. I love that film. Now there is a film that throws caution to the wind and gives us sights and sounds that we have never seen before, something that I wished Slither would have done. I think that if Slither had more money, Gunn would have been able to make the film that he wanted to make. He made a good film that has some great scenes and characters, but the film is too familiar to die-hard horror and sci-fi fans. I still love the film, but in my own way. It is not a film that I can recommend to everyone, but the ones I do can appreciate where I am coming from.



The Film8
The Picture8.5
The Sound8
The Features8.5
The Packaging8.5

Summary

We finally have Slither on blu-ray after many years of waiting and the film is still a lot of fun to watch. It doesn't really bring anything new to the table in terms of plot or ideas, but the comedy works really well. The cast are all game and the one-liners are fast and funny.

The blu-ray, from Scream Factory, is just great. The picture and sound quality are great and the special features are worth the price of admission alone. Add to that a beautiful, newly commissioned artwork for the packaging and you have yourself one great blu-ray.
8
Overall Score






CHECK OUT PAGE 2 FOR MORE SCREENSHOTS! BE AWARE THERE MAY BE SPOILERS!!



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