Blu-ray: Slugs (1988)
I devoured books during my teens and twenties, the majority of which fell into the horror genre. I’d scan the shelves of my local bookshop looking for the latest titles by James Herbert, Stephen King, Dean Koontz and many more. Then one fateful day in 1982 I spied the cover of a book called ‘Slugs’ by an author that I had not heard of before; Shaun Hutson. Always willing to discover fresh new work, I paid my money and went home. Although already well versed in the horror genre, this was something completely different to what I had previously read. This was far more visceral, gritty and flowed along at such a pace that I couldn’t put the book down and read it all in one sitting. Here was an author who connected with me on many levels…he even loved rock music!
Fast forward to 1988 and Shaun Hutson books are proudly on display alongside all the other of my favourite authors. To top it all off Slugs has been made into a movie and released on VHS, which I immediately run out to rent (no clicking a button on Netflix back then folks). That was the last time that I watched Slugs (until this fantastic release by Arrow Films of course) which says a lot about the movie right there!
The premise of the movie is quite simple; people are dying in horrific ways and it takes the deductive skills of health worker Mike Brady (Michael Garfield) to discover that killer slugs are to blame. Will the slugs kill everyone, or can a way to stop them be found?
Directed by Juan Piquer Simon, Slugs has the look and feel of a 1980’s television show, albeit a very gory 1980’s television show. Despite the hammy acting and obviously low budget sets, this movie has aged like a fine wine for me since I first saw it on VHS all those years ago. This is not only due to the superb brand new HD presentation, but also to the story, which although follows the outline of Shaun’s original book, goes off on it’s own tangents too. Although by no means would this ever be considered in any of the ‘Top Movies of 1988″ lists, it has a charm all its own that sneaks up on you without you realising it…much like the ubiquitous slugs in the movie.
It’s light on budget but there are some great gore scenes (which I won’t go into detail on, you can discover those for yourself) and you’ll find yourself immediately wanting to skip back and watch a few of them again. A word of warning though; don’t have anything to eat while watching this movie…especially a salad!
As with all Arrow Films releases, the icing on the cake is always extra features, and what an incredibly thick layer of icing they have put on this cake! 2 commentary tracks, interviews, locations tour, promo reel, trailer, reversible sleeve and collectors booklet…an outstanding set of special features. I have to say though that THE standout feature is the commentary track with Shaun Hutson. It is absolutely hilarious and one which I will be going back to many times in years to come. I’d even go so far as to say that it is worth buying Slugs just for this commentary track!
Whether you’ve never seen Slugs before or your an ‘old-timer’ like me and only saw it on VHS, Arrow Films release is an essential purchase. Just make sure to go and buy Shaun’s book too…hell, buy ALL his books!
SPECIAL EDITION CONTENTS:
- Brand new restoration from original film elements
- High Definition Blu-ray (1080p) presentation
- Original Uncompressed PCM Stereo audio
- Optional English subtitles for the deaf and hard of hearing
- Audio commentary with Slugs author Shaun Hutson
- Audio commentary by writer and filmmaker Chris Alexander
- Here’s Slugs In Your Eye – an interview with actor Emilio Linder
- They Slime, They Ooze, They Kill: The Effects of Slugs – an interview with special effects artist Carlo De Marchis
- Invasion USA – an interview with art director Gonzalo Gonzalo
- The Lyons Den – an interview and locations tour with production manager Larry Ann Evans
- 1988 Goya Awards promo reel
- Original Theatrical Trailer
- Reversible sleeve featuring original and newly commissioned artwork by Wes Benscoter
- Fully-illustrated collector’s booklet featuring new writing by writer Michael Gingold
Review by Dave (host of 60 Minutes With) from a disc kindly supplied by Arrow Films.