Tuesday, August 11, 2015

Spawn of the Slithis (1978)

A drab creature feature set in the funky milieu of the Venice Canals, back when the coastal Los Angeles neighborhood was still a sketchy enclave for artists and surfers and vagrants, Son of the Slithis—the title of which is occasionally abbreviated to just Slithis—offers little of interest, even for monster-movie maniacs. The setup is the usual noise about radioactive waste getting into the water system and causing the birth of a mutated killer. The plot is just as trite, with a journalism teacher and a police detective both investigating murders until clues lead them to discover the truth about “slithis,” an experimental substance that was unwittingly released by a sloppy lab workers. And the monster itself is a standard man-in-suit embarrassment, suggesting the Creature from the Black Lagoon’s dorky cousin. As for the attack scenes, envision shots of everyday people checking out strange noises in their homes at night, only to discover a giant green slime monster with a bad attitude—the watchwords here are “dreary’ and “repetitive.” Unsurprisingly, highlights are hard to come by in Spawn of the Slithis. The bit with the mad doctor revealing he once felt the cold touch of slithis, resulting in a face that looks like it was dipped in acid, is infinitesimally amusing, in a campy sort of way. And the vignette of the monster either eating or killing or raping a young woman is diverting, if only because the muddy photography forces the viewers to parse the imagery for clues about what’s happening. More typical of the picture, alas, is the long scene of the hero negotiating with three drunks for information. Like the movie itself, the drunks have nowhere to go and they’re not in any hurry to get there. Even though Spawn of the Slithis is basically coherent and linear, it’s so lifeless that it never even generates much in the way of so-bad-it’s-good ironic entertainment value.

Spawn of the Slithis: LAME

1 comment:

Xteve said...

I remember this one fondly from the early VCR rental days... In theatre ads they also pushed a "Slithis Survival Kit"... Shades of William Castle.