Spawn of the Slithis (1978)

aka Slithis
Article 3734 by Dave Sindelar
Viewing Date: 10-23-2011
Posting Date: 11-4-2011
Directed by Stephen Traxler
Featuring Alan Blanchard, Judy Motulsky, J.C. Claire
Country: USA
What it is: Monster movie

A series of gruesome mutilation murders are taking place in the town of Venice, California. The police believe it’s the result of a religious cult, but a journalism teacher knows the truth – it’s a creature mutated from radioactive mud known as Slithis.

I remember the ads catching my eye when it first came out; good-old fashioned monster movies were pretty hard to come by in those days. I remember seeing it a few years later and not being impressed with it. I went into this second viewing only remembering three things about it; the monster made a disgusting slurping sound, the best scene involved a conversation with a scientist hidden in the shadows that ends in a startling reveal, and the movie featured one of the single worst acting performances I’ve ever seen committed to celluloid. Watching it now, I can see more clearly what it’s problems are; it’s lethargic, full of dull conversations and pointless scenes, and spends far too much time with minor characters who we don’t care about. I also noticed for the first time that the end of the movie borrows at least partially from JAWS, but it never even comes close to the suspense level of its model. I didn’t find the monster’s slurping noises near as disgusting this time round, but that’s probably because I’ve seen movies that are even worse in that regard. I still think the scene with the scientist is the best scene. And the performance that appalled me the first time I saw it is still just as bad as I remembered. I think anybody who has watched the movie knows which performance I’m talking about, but for those who are curious, it’s the performance of the chief of police.

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