Slither Blu-ray (Collector’s Edition)
Director: James Gunn
Screenwriter: James Gunn
Cast: Nathan Fillion, Elizabeth Banks, Tania Saulnier, Gregg Henry, Michael Rooker
Distributor: Scream Factory
Rated R | 96 Minutes
Release Date: August 1, 2017
Written and directed by James Gunn (Guardians of the Galaxy and Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2), 2006’s Slither was a box office bomb but has since become a cult classic. Enter Scream Factory, Shout! Factory’s sub-division of cult horror and science-fiction films, known for resurrecting forgotten movies and giving them new life, along with a high-definition transfer.
Now Gunn’s delightfully disgusting creature feature gets a second chance with a deluxe Collector’s Edition Blu-ray, jam-packed with bonus features, including a new audio commentary with Gunn and actors Nathan Fillion and Michael Rooker.
At the start of Gunn’s horror comedy, a meteorite containing a hostile extraterrestrial parasite crashes into the sleepy town of Wheelsy, South Carolina. While making out in the woods with Brenda (Brenda James), local car dealer Grant (Rooker, of The Walking Dead and Guardians of the Galaxy) is infected by the parasite, which takes over his body and absorbs his consciousness and memories. Soon, pets around town begin to disappear. Grant’s wife, Starla (Elizabeth Banks of The Hunger Games and Pitch Perfect), begins to question his health, but he explains that it’s nothing more than an allergic reaction to a bee sting.
Grant, meanwhile, impregnates Brenda with his offspring. Hidden away in a barn on the edge of town, Brenda swells — think Violet Beauregarde in Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory, but more grotesque. When Starla is attacked by the increasingly aggressive Grant, Sheriff Bill Pardy (Fillion, of Firefly and Castle) leads a man hunt to catch the Grant, who has transformed into a tentacled, slug-like monster. Their search leads them to the barn, where they find Brenda just in time to watch her explode, releasing hundreds of baby alien slugs. As the slugs begin to infect the town’s population, it’s up to Pardy and the few remaining survivors to destroy Grant’s hive mind and stop the infection from spreading.
Slither is simultaneously outdated and ahead of its time. It’s a film that would’ve cleaned up in the ’80s, when effects-heavy sci-fi horror movies like The Thing, Night of the Creeps, and Chuck Russell’s The Blob were all the rage. In 2006, however, audiences weren’t that interested in nostalgic send-ups of monster movies. This was before Grindhouse, The Mist, and Cloverfield – movies that reinvigorated interest in the genre by putting a new spin on an old style of moviemaking. If Slither came out today, after Gunn’s success with Guardians of the Galaxy, it would be a huge hit, especially with Yondu in a starring role!
Thankfully, this wildly entertaining, gloriously gross movie is getting the second chance it deserves. Slither absolutely belongs among films like Tremors, Shaun of the Dead, and The Cabin in the Woods – fright flicks that effortlessly blend comedy and horror while delivering great performances and classic creature feature fun. If you’re a fan of Gunn’s work and haven’t got around to seeing Slither yet, Scream Factory’s Blu-ray is a great way to experience the under-appreciated film.
As for the disc, this Scream Factory Collector’s Edition Blu-ray offers a 1080p high-definition transfer (1.85:1 aspect ratio) with a DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1 soundtrack. This release is a must-own, even if there isn’t a new 2K transfer included. This transfer appears to be sourced from an existing HD master, but it’s impressive nonetheless, with solid grain levels, fine textures, and vibrant colors. There’s also a sizable selection of bonus materials, which you can read more about below.
Scream Factory’s Slither Collector’s Edition comes with a few newly produced special features. In addition to the aforementioned audio commentary, there’s “The Genesis of Slither,” an interview with James Gunn; and “The Other MacReady,” an interview with actor Gregg Henry, who plays Mayor Jack MacReady in the film.
There are also several previously released bonus materials, like a commentary with Gunn and Fillion, deleted and extended scenes, a gag reel, theatrical trailer, and Troma Entertainment co-founder Lloyd Kaufman’s video diary. Featurettes include “Visual Effects: Step by Step,” a “Slithery Set Tour” with Nathan Fillion, “The Sick Minds and Slimy Days of Slither,” “Brewing the Blood,” “Bringing Slither’s Creatures to Life,” and “Who is Bill Pardy?”
The Slither Collector’s Edition is now available on Blu-ray at Amazon.