Sunday, April 09, 2006

I really should not review this, but... Slither

My bunny video has been watched 127 times on youtube. Sure, that does not sound like much, but did anyone else in my class share their mini-doc with 127 fans that they don't know? I think not.

A bit about rip-offs. I'll take rip-offs over remakes any day. From a fan perspective rip-offs are fun, but is it fair to yesterday's horror makers if today's use their ideas without giving tribute?

Slither, homage, or rip-off? Take a movie like Evil Ed (Swedish, 1997, video could be found at most rental stores).. Evil Ed had the character, The Darkness, from Legend, running around in one scene. It steals the catchprase, "don't you fuckin' look at me!", from Blue Velvet. Yet, Evil Ed is not trying to make anybody think that they created these elements. The movie is about editing horror films and their are numerous horror films referenced by posters on the walls.

How about Making Contact . This Poltergeist copy featured little Joey's Star Wars toys coming to life and flying about the suburban home. In one Goonies-type scene, the bullies, trapped in a maze, come across Darth Vader. Many belief that Roland Emmerich would have been sued, had this been an American movie. It was made in West-Germany. In any case, two versions of the movie exist. If I remember correctly (from articles I've read - I only have one version of the movie), they changed a boy's testimony from "I saw Darth Vader" to "I saw my hero."

How about Hostel? It stole blatantly from two Asian horror films, perhaps more... Here is where we can tangent into talking about Slither, which steals the kill of a man getting cut in half vertically, from Takashi Miike's Ichi the Killer. In both movies, the victim is stunned for a 2nd, spills a little blood, and then suddenly splits in half.

How about Night of the Creeps? While scene for scene, Slither and Creeps (1986) are different, the general concepts behind the two are identical. Slugs from space go into mouths and turn people into zombies. Both movies are comical and both feature zombie animals as well as people. I won't go into, but I will share this
link where Slither director James Gunn claims he did not see Night of the Creeps until after Slither finished filming. To his credit, he also mentions Basket Case and Re-Animator, two movies I am about to bring up...

Many horror viewers will pick up on the fact that Slither is breaking very little new ground. Similar sequences in Tremors, Return of the Living Dead, and John Carpenter's The Thing are fairly well know. Still, I feel that two more frequent horror collaborators were somewhat burned by this movie and should have at least got a thank you or some sort of credit for their inspiration. The first is Stuart Gordon, most famous for directing comical shock horror, Re-Animator, in 1985. The villain, G.G., of Slither, was very similar, in my opinion, to the man/monster in Gordon's 1986 movie, From Beyond. I could site Belial, from Basket Case, as well, but really see more in common between the creature in From Beyond and G.G..

Spoilers in this paragraph: Also ripped-off badly, Brian Yuzna. He produced From Beyond and directed the Re-Animator sequels, but it is his debut film that I want to focus on now. Society (1989), a tale about secrets of the upper-class, end with the exact same climax as does Society. I'm talking about a giant orgy where the gooey flesh of many merges into one gelatinous blob. I saw this coming too. When the voices call for Starla from downstairs, I was thinking in my head, "I bet it's all like Society down their in that living room." I knew, I shit you not!


Anonymous Tyson said...

Yeah, but did you like Slither? Hate?

9:42 AM  
Blogger warrenzone said...

It was average.. funny at times, not always funny, pretty good FX.

7:31 PM  
Blogger Patrick said...

I haven't seen it but the poster immediately make say to myself: Did they remake Cronenburg's Shivers?

10:44 PM  
Anonymous The Devil's Advocate said...

Warren, Nothing is original,important ideas and concepts are perpetually stirred up in the public consciousness refusing to stay dead. Horror has and will always be exploitation, and i say that lovingly. Friday the 13th 2 is a carbon copy of Bava's Bay of Blood, does it make you like it less? probably not because you were young when it influenced you into wanting to make slasher fare. Nostalgia is a bitch, because we cant detach from it, we are only our influences filtered through time. James Gunn is a hack and almost admittedly has always been and yes any horror fan will notice it is a mish mash of mid-level 80's horror mostly the overabundant goofy output, I mean it even stars Michael Rooker from the decidedly non goofy Henry:Portrait...etc..((side note: you neglected to mention Lloyd Kaufman's cameo, firmly planting the film as the worlds most expensive Troma Film))but what is interesting to note is that now is OUR heyday, it will not last long so try to enjoy it. I can call bullshit on just about every movie I've ever seen in any genre telling you what it is referencing, i usually do, but don't turn too hip on this one. It is good that your developing you critical eye but It was thoroughly enjoyable, slight in scope, and unafraid to be unpopular. Why didn't you give Hostel a more thorough lashing it was stealing all it's stuff from barely 5 years old films, not 15 or 20, and trying to pass itself off as sort of important, which i never feel Slither does in the remotest sense. Are you kicking it while it is down because it did not do well at the box-office? I've noticed a slight tendency of yours towards this. Don't hate on this gift, A non-sequel, non-remake, studio funded gross-out picture.

3:12 PM  
Blogger warrenzone said...

a lot of good points in that last comment, I will respond:

I like Friday the 12th pt 2 MORE because it rips of Bay of Blood. It's is entertaining how it does so.

I am glad that Slither was made and yes this is THE TIME for horror. While I dislike most of it, I won't deny that some of these movies will perhaps be more interesting 10 years down the road, as time capsuls from the early 2000's.

I really did like Hostel more - it has original material - though good point, the rip-offs were more criminal.

Still, one thing, it's funny how James Gunn said he had never seen Night of the Creeps. For someone so involved with Troma (similar gross out comedy) and so knowledgeable about 80's horror, that one should not slipped under his radar. It is almost bizarre that he missed it.

rip-offs and horror, they do go hand in hand, I agree, the point is, can they rip-off something I love and still make me like their movie? Slither almost got away with it, but the Society rip-off did not work for me - and so influenced my overall opinion of the movie.

4:12 PM  

Post a Comment

<< Home