Written by: Michael Den Boer on October 17th, 2016
Theatrical Release Date: Spain / USA, 1988
Director: Juan Piquer Simón
Writers: Juan Piquer Simón, José Antonio Escrivá, Ron Gantman
Cast: Michael Garfield, Kim Terry, Philip MacHale, Alicia Moro, Santiago Álvarez, Concha Cuetos, John Battaglia
BluRay released: September 27th, 2016
Approximate running time: 89 Minutes
Aspect Ratio: 1.85:1 Widescreen / 1080 Progressive / MPEG-4 AVC
Sound: LPCM Mono English
Subtitles: English SDH
BluRay Release: Arrow Video USA
Region Coding: Region Free
Retail Price: $34.95
Slugs was co-written and directed by Juan Piquer Simón whose other notable films include, Jules Verne’s The Fabulous Journey to the Center of the Earth and Pieces. A key collaborator on Slugs includes cinematographer Julio Bragado (Further Than Fear, Rage of Honor). The screenplay for Slugs was adapted from author Shaun Hutson novel of the same name.
Content wise, Slugs fits nicely into man verse nature film genre which rose to prominence during the latter half of the 1970’s. At the core of this diabolic tale of carnivorous slugs is tale about how man messes with nature and this action leads to mutated slugs. And though on the surface slugs don’t look imposing, at least they disgusting with the slimy ooze that they leave everywhere. Just imagine hundreds of them all around and crawly over you. And it is precisely this ability to get under ones’ skin that proves to be this film strongest asset.
The narrative is well constructed and when it comes to pacing things are always moving forward at a brisk momentum. The characters which populate this film are one dimensional and their lack of depth extends to the performances. Fortunately, the film’s visuals are one of its strength and they do a good job reinforcing the mood of the film. And though there is a crudeness to the FX. This is easily forgiven since this film more than delivers when it comes to the death scenes.
Slugs comes on a 50 GB dual layer BluRay. The film is presented in a 1080 progressive widescreen. Colors look vibrant, flesh tones look accurate, contrast and black levels remain solid throughout and the image looks sharp. Also grain looks natural and there are no issues with DNR or compression.
There are no issues with distortion or background noise, dialog comes through clearly and everything sounds balanced. Range wise things sound good and the more ambient aspects of the soundtrack are well presented.
Extras for this release include, a trailer for the film (1 minute 35 seconds), four interviews – the interview with actor Emilio Linder titled Here’s Slugs in Your Eye (7 minutes 38 seconds, in Spanish with English subtitles), the second interview with special effects artist Carlo De Marchis titled They Slime, They Ooze, They Kill (10 minutes 43 seconds, in Spanish with English subtitles), the third interview with art director Gonzalo Gonzalo titled Invasion USA (11 minutes 51 seconds, in Spanish with English subtitles) and the fourth interview with production manager Larry Ann Evans titled The Lyons Den (21 minutes) and two audio commentaries – the first audio commentary with author Shaun Hutson and the second audio commentary with filmmaker Chris Alexander.
Topics discussed in the interview with Emilio Linder include, Juan Piquer Simón and the various collaborations, Slugs, his death scene, how the special effects were primitive and his thoughts about the film.
Topics discussed in the interview with Carlo De Marchis include, working with Juan Piquer Simón and how he is Spain’s best FX director’s, how they had little time to prep what they were working on, key FX moments and his thoughts about the film.
Topics discussed in the interview with Gonzalo Gonzalo include, working with Juan Piquer Simón, working with a minuscule budget, shooting in America and locations featured in the film, shooting slugs real ones and fakes ones and his thoughts about the film.
Topics discussed in the audio commentary with Shaun Hutson include, how he came up with idea for Slugs, the differences between the novel and the film and other novels that he written like a novelization of The Terminator.
The audio commentary with Chris Alexander provides insight about the film from a fans perspective.
Rounding out the extras is a reversible cover art option and a twenty-page booklet with cast & crew info, an essay about the film titled Slugs: The Movie written by Michael Gingold and information about the transfer. Overall Slugs gets a definitive release from Arrow Video.