Slither (HD DVD)

January 28, 2012 7 Min Read

Review by: Matt Brighton

Plot: What’s it about?

I have to admit that I was more than a bit intrigued when I saw “Slither” announced for HD DVD. Come to think of it, I’d never even heard of the movie but even the cover of the case pretty much explains it all. I was just telling someone the other day how they really don’t make a lot of “B” horror movies like they used to and then, lo and behold, along comes “Slither”. Naturally I was curious and I, like many others, have become so desensitized to movie and television violence that it would take something really awful to make me flinch. Keeping that in mind, we have “Slither”. I’ll go out on a limb and say that the filmmakers weren’t trying to win any awards with this movie, mainly just have a good time and it appears that they accomplished their goal. The movie features a very diverse cast and two recognizable faces in Michael Rooker and Gregg Henry (most notably from “Payback”).

The premise is utterly simple: an asteroid falls to Earth containing an alien life form. After a frustrating night with his wife, Grant (Michael Rooker) heads to the local bar and as he’s staggering home, meets up with the alien. It injects him and Grant becomes the “host” of sorts – the ringleader to start the new race on Earth. At first it’s not noticeable, but his wife (Elizabeth Banks) notices the obvious physical changes in him and his passion for raw, red meat. As it becomes clearer and clearer that he’s not the same Grant, a few of the townspeople manage to escape getting infected. Namely the sheriff (Nathan Fillion) and the swarthy Mayor (Gregg Henry). From there the movie turns into a typical zombie movie with the infected all heading towards the host and thereby infecting anyone that they come into contact with. I will have to note that the way they get infected is interesting and I’ll leave it as a surprise to the viewer to see this in action. Will the Earth be taken over by this new race or will the few lone survivors defeat them and live happily ever after?

”Slither” is just pure fun to watch and though it won’t go down in history as one of the better movies made, that’s its saving grace in that the movie doesn’t take itself too seriously. I really don’t think movies like this will ever go out of style as there seems to always be some sort of yearning for the zombie movie. Yes, its fun to watch and yes it’s predictable. The actors might not always be familiar but really…so what? There are far worse movies out there that are trying to make a point and “Slither” is one that is best seen taken at face value. Check your mind at the door and sit back and enjoy. I did.

Video: How does it look?

“Slither” is an unlikely choice for HD DVD, but Universal is doing their best to get a variety of titles out there. This is a combo format HD DVD, meaning you’ll get the standard DVD on the other side of the disc. A low budget movie, the 1.85:1 HD transfer for “Slither” isn’t bad at all. Edge enhancement isn’t a factor and black levels are consistent throughout. The film has a very sleek and filmlike quality to it, which was the intended point. By contrast, the standard DVD isn’t that bad, but some of the more obvious faults are more evident. When it comes to transfers, I wasn’t expecting much from this one and that’s good because I was pleasantly surprised.

Audio: How does it sound?

A standard Dolby Digital Plus mix is present here along with a Dolby Digital 5.1 track on the standard DVD side. The movie isn’t too audio heavy, but at key moments during the film we do hear that “slither” sound from the surrounds which really helps bring the movie to life (no pun intended). Dialogue on both tracks is clean and relatively natural as well. “Slither” pretty much delivers what it promises, which is a fairly straight-forward track. Nothing more and nothing less.

Supplements: What are the extras?

The features for this disc are mostly on the standard DVD side with only the audio commentary being on the HD DVD side. I’m not a big fan of this as we’re paying a premium for the HD DVD, only to have to get the supplements on the standard DVD side. At any rate, the audio commentary by Nathan Fillion and James Gunn is pretty funny indeed. The two chuckle and yack it up nearly all the way through and they knew that they weren’t trying to change the world here. Fans of the movie will really get a kick out of this track and it’s nice to hear such enthusiasm from those involved in the movie. There are a handful of featurettes as well, the most interesting of which is “Bringing Slither’s creatures to life” in which we see how they make those little slimy suckers. There’s 14 deleted scenes and a gag reel as well. “Slither” might not be for everyone, but if this is your type of movie then you’re in for a treat.

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