Juan Piquer Simón is an unheralded icon of low budget horror movies. The Spanish director was responsible for some of the most wonderful trashy horror flicks of the ‘70s and ‘80s, but it was the latter decade where he’d unleash his masterpieces: 1982’s slasher sleaze masterclass Pieces, and the topic of this review – Slugs (1988).
The impact of Jaws (1975) is still being felt on genre cinema, but it was during the aforementioned decades where its influence was at its apex; as evident with the slew of cheap and awesomely cheesy creature features that followed in its wake. Slugs might not be a blatant rip-off of Spielberg’s classic like say Grizzly (1976) or Piranha (1978), but it typifies the type of B level exploitation that thrived because of its existence. Plus, it’s one of the greatest movies about killer slugs ever made (although there are a couple of contenders to its throne if you’re prepared to slither into cinematic squalor and bask in it).
Based on the novel of the same name by Shaun Huston, the premise is simple: a small town is invaded by a swarm of slugs on a murderous rampage. What ensues is a series of slimy, gruesome deaths with a camp exploitative edge that will leave you grinning from ear to ear. It’s the epitome of cinematic junk food: tasty and bad for you in the best of ways.
With Slugs, all you’re getting is a gore-splattered good time. It’s as camp as camp can be with just the right amount of sleaze, but it boasts some outstanding gross out practical effects. The film is more than competently made, but it excels in being unabashed gratuitous entertainment that doesn’t take itself too seriously, but respects the horror genre enough to at least make you squirm.
Now that Slugs has received the Arrow treatment, it’s finally received the recognition it deserves and will light up the shelf of any cult movie collector. The film looks stunning with its brand new restoration, and the features are packed with entertaining interviews and audio commentaries. Slugs is a forgotten gem from the heyday of nature run amok flicks and it’s highly recommended.
Special Features: Audio Commentaries / Interviews / Original Trailer / Collector’s Booklet
SLUGS / CERT: 18 / DIRECTOR: JUAN PIQUER SIMÓN / SCREENPLAY: JUAN PIQUER SIMÓN, RON GANTMAN / STARRING: MICHAEL GARFIELD, KIM TERRY, PHILIP MACHALE, EMILIO LINDER / RELAESE DATE: OUT NOW