- Movie Rating -

Slithis (1978)

| July 21, 1978

[reviewed June 12, 2020]

Let’s start with the title.  You want to call it “Slithers” but you know that’s not right.  Then you want to call it “Slithas” but you know that’s not right either.  No, the movie insists that its pronounced “Slith-is” which I’m afraid is a title that I can’t respect.  Even the characters in the movie take time to work it out.

I couldn’t really respect it if I wanted to because . . . well, I never finished it.  Let me explain.

Years ago, I went to the dentist (bear with me) and as I was waiting for my appointment, I noticed an old video store across the street.  In the window was a Going Out of Business sign.  When I finished with the dentist, I decided to check it out.  Inside were a dozen or so bargain bins – like the DVD bins that you see today at Walmart, all marked with various prices.  This was in the waning days of VHS and lying among the discounted tapes of the 25-cent bin was a battered copy of Slithis, then called Spawn of the Slithis.  Heck, I’m always game for a trashy monster movie, so grabbed it up.

I took it home, and it was as bad as the box cover promised.  Something about a leak from a nuclear accident that raises a mutated monster that looks like a mummified cantaloupe.  Its mission here on Earth, of course, is to feed on tourists, nubiles, pets and any other flesh-covered matter that it can get hold of.

Actually, the monster is a bit concerning.  It doesn’t really move; it just sort of lurches to the side as if the actor inside the suit is having trouble figuring out which why he is supposed to move.  I find in my very lazy, half-assed internet research that the suit was made without buttons or zippers so that actor had to be sewn into the thing every single day.  That explains a LOT.

Unfortunately, about an hour into the movie, the tape broke and was unrecoverable.  Maybe it was the age of the tape.  Perhaps it was the quality of the film.  Either way, I chalk it up as a mercy killing.  I have no idea how the movie ended but it can’t be as complicated as trying to work out that stupid title, which Roger Ebert comment: “You don’t know if you’re saying it or chewing on it.”  Well said, Roge.  Well said.

About the Author:

Jerry Roberts is a film critic and operator of two websites, Armchair Cinema and Armchair Oscars.
(1978) View IMDB Filed in: Horror