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"Wasn't that guy dead?"
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April 07 2006

Cinematical speculates why Slither did so badly on its opening weekend. Eli Roth summed it up rather succinctly: "In 15 years, nobody is going to be watching 'Ice Age: The Meltdown.' Everybody is going to be watching DVDs of 'Slither.'

I pretty much 100% agree with this article. Wonderfully written and I loved when he joked about Nathan being the suck. *giggles*
"In 15 years, nobody is going to be watching 'Ice Age: The Meltdown.' Everybody is going to be watching DVDs of 'Slither.'"
Except me. Oh, once in a while, sure, but I plan to be spending most of my time watching the same DVDs I'm watching now: "Firefly" and "Serenity." ;)
Yeah, I agree, I don't think I'll ever have to see Ice Age again. Once is enough. I might rent the first one again, but I wouldn't buy it. Even though Slither isn't a movie I would go see, I still want it to suceed. Who knows? The dvd sales could be through the roof after everyone realizes what they missed in theatres.
I don't see why people are acting surprised that Slither didn't exactly set the world on fire. Weren't we expecting it to be pretty shallow at the b.o.? I know I was...

Bug/snake/creature features don't usually stir up much of a fuss. Except Alien.
I. Hate. Eli Roth.

I mean, he's probably right, and I liked Slither quite a bit -- but I hate that man, both for his terrible films ("future of horror"? I'd like off the bus) and his pompous 'I'm the greatest thing ever!' attitude. Grr.
*laughs* He's my cousin, The Dark Shape. Trust me when I say that Eli has created a public persona who, while not WHOLLY fictional, is not who he REALLY is. He's actually a really good guy. :-)
Jay Leno mentioned Slither in his monologue & it's quoted on

"Have you seen the new movie called Slither? Have we gotten so fat that we cannot outrun slugs? All you have to do is..." and then Jay mimes stomping on slugs...

Poor Nathan & his taste for difficult-to-market projects... Personally, I would love to see a Nathan-only, slug-free version of the movie :-)
I really dig Eli Roth, though I agree that his movies, while enjoyable, aren't "the future of horror" material. He seems to have a sense of humor about himself and his work, which is what I like in any creator.

As for Slither, I honestly am surprised by the poor box office. Horror flicks have been on fire lately, with even total crapfests like Stay Alive and When A Stranger Calls opening decently. Maybe the whole mixing of genres just confused people, as it usually does.
You can tell Eli knows Quentin. And I don't say that in a bad way. "The future of horror" is marketing, the kind of marketing that works for the masses.

As for Slither, I thought it'd open much bigger than it did. And I know people like Box Office Mojo agree with me, because they've said so. Horror films have generally done very well in the US. I mean, when you look at what some of the shit US horror films have taken recently, then you see a film in the genre appear with great critical love for once - and then it bombs - you have to wonder.
You ask why this film bombed and the others didn't bomb quite as badly?

It's the slime factor. I just can't get myself to go see it - in spite of Nathan's presence, there's too much spooge and slime and nasty secretions in it. I can handle blood from vampires and the guts of reavers flyin' around space. But spooge and slime and other unknown bodily effluvia? No thanks. Just typing all that up made me a little queasy.

I imagine I am not alone.
Okay, so remember kids: torture? Good. Slugs? Bad. ;)

In all seriousness, I don't think slim put a lot of people off. "The Hills Have Eyes" has a lovely gang rape bit, to go with the horror aspects, and did great. If you can get past gang rape in a country run by conservative people, slim isn't going to put that many people off.

[ edited by gossi on 2006-04-07 22:23 ]
Especially the word "spooge"... ew.
You said 'spooge'! *giggles*

I completely agree with the slime factor assessment. I'd love to see Nathan (his performance and the movie got very favorable reviews in our local weekly tabloid), but I just can't handle the idea of flashing back on people-infesting slugs for years to come. (I mean, I'm still getting over a fish-gut incident from when I was five that had me avoiding seafood until well into my '20's. Bleah.)

I can imagine that my husband will want to rent it one of these days, though -- when I'm out of town. ;)
Slim? I shall leave that typo. It rocks.
I'm not surprised by Slither's opening. It's lower than I expected, but not by much -- the highest prediction I saw for it was $9 million. Horror-comedies never do well, and worse, the trailers make it look like an extreme gross-out flick. Sally Sue wants to cuddle with her boyfriend when a PG-13 Babysitter is stalked inside the house ("Ohmygod!! Twist!!"), not watch sliming slugs do very... interesting things. I mean, there's a very phallic scene in Slither that's basically a rape.

As for Eli Roth, I hate him in a "his movies suck!" kind of way, not a "I'm going to butcher him... excellent" bit. I wouldn't have as much of a problem with him if he'd stop showing up everywhere.

[ edited by The Dark Shape on 2006-04-07 22:39 ]
Yep, that bastard playing Wonder Woman is a step too far! Let's not mention him writing it and singing the theme song, too.
Wonder Woman? Hell, I heard he convinced Bryan Singer to CG his head over Brandon Routh's in Superman Returns.
I was actually surprised when I read the reviews on RT. I didn't expect critics to like a movie like this. I thought a lot of people found the commercials to be gross.
Nah, that's false The Dark Shape - he decided Brandon's penis isn't big enough. (I jest, before IMDB syndicate this news).
gossi - I could use some slim myself.

*looks down at expanded waistline in dismay*
gossi, you gotta put the disclaimer first. IMDB (and others) might not read til the third sentence.
Empire Magazine's latest e-mail newsletter had this in the quote of the week section-

"Well now, that is some f***** up s***."
-Nathan Fillion accurately describes events in Slither."

As there was no actual website to link to and it isn't greatly important I didn't feel the need to post it as a story, but I felt I'd mention it. I'm also not sure about whether it was okay to post the actual words, but I thought cloaking them slightly would hopefully be appropriate but if not, mods feel free to delete/edit this.
Not sure that NOONE will be watching Ice Age in 15 years, but I agree with the second bit. After I walked out of the theater, those I was with compared it to Tremors, in how that's a movie that hangs around, gets a lot of cable TV play...I think a critic or two did as well. It's a kind that will do VERY well on DVD in my opinion. I thoroughly enjoyed it, and the slime, spooge and other secretions, mixed with the violence came across as all very surreal, unreal...not FAKE, just out there. Can't really think of the right word.

In fact, I was talking about the violence with someone today - how violence or explicit scenes on TV shows like CSI, House, etc (mostly when they cut open human bodies) is way more bothersome to me than what I saw in Slither. I'm not talking about being desensitized to gore either. I think it's comparing more or less "real" scenarios (autopsies and Tracheotomies with the unreal - almost cartoon like violence. But, if spooge, slim or even SLIME makes you oogy, then definitely DON'T go see Slither...Though you're missing some wonderful humor! Although the theater was almost empty, people laughed out loud at all the proper places, made for an enjoyable show.

"Well now, that is some f***** up s***." Was the exact humor I'm talking about. Funny, but I damn well know I'd be saying the same thing if I were in the same situation.

[ edited by Grace on 2006-04-07 23:56 ]
Demographics, schmemographics. I'm a 42-year-old woman, and anything that combines scifi, horror, humor, a little romance, good dialog and decent acting is exactly what I like. I'm going to see Slither this weekend, and I can't wait! I'd go even if nobody I ever heard of was in it. Nathan is icing on my cake. (I am, however, going to see White Noise II only because of Nathan, because the first one was massively disappointing.) I'm not surprised Slither didn't make much money - that's what happens to almost everything I like. It's not Nathan who's box office poison, it's me. The mere prickling of my interest is enough to doom any project. Wonder Woman should do okay, simply because I'm not all that shook up about it. So Joss, you can relax! As long as you cast an actress I'm not in love with, that is.
Slither strikes me as just the type of movie that will develop most of its fanbase after its dvd release comes out. The film is right up there with Evil Dead 2 and Shaun of the Dead. Perhaps the dvd release should be entitled Slither of the Dead for maximum power namage.
Slither II: Return of the Slugs.
The Slithering.
The Hills Have Slugs.
The Slithering Dead.
Slithering Becomes Her.

It could just go on and on!
"The film is right up there with Evil Dead 2 and Shaun of the Dead. "

Absolutely. It's very much of that genre.

In fact, the very beginning of Slither had me laughing because it very much had that 'running through the woods with the camera stuck on a board' effect from Evil Dead 2! I took it as a total nod to ED 2.
I am usually very squicked out by the gross stuff (I saw "Cabin Fever" only because we all went to a screening WITH Eli at the Boston Film Festival; I couldn't bring myself to see "Hostel!"), but I didn't find "Slither" all that squirm-worthy *sorry- couldn't resist!* ;-) Seriously, it had some gross moments but there were so many original touches and so much funny stuff and Nathan is just so. damn. adorkable... it all worked together. I wish more people would go see it! Oh, and I saw "Ice Age 2" the same weekend and all I can say is that "Godfather 2" it ain't. :-P

As for Eli showing up everywhere, I think he really pushed the limits of his 15 minutes when he decided to audition for the Mother Theresa movie. Then again, he'd be better than Paris Hilton! :-D
Hostel really isn't that intense in terms of gore. There's some, but it's nothing that's going to make you vomit.
it's nothing that's going to make you vomit.

Wow, there's a sales pitch for you: See This Movie, and You Won't Barf (Probably)! ;-)

{rant on} What is going on with horror movies, ffs! They should either be creepy, like The Shining or Session 9 or the first The Ring (or like the original Nosferatu, that is scary, I tells ya!), or draw you in to a powerful story, like 28 Days Later (or like the original Frankenstein or Dracula, not scary now but good stories). It can also have a little or lots of comedy mixed in, like my big favorites Shaun of the Dead or ED2 & Army of Darkness (or Slither, yeah!). But I'll say it again: torture & dismemberment & gang rapes (as gossi said is in one of these "fine" new horror films, eww) do not equal horror. They equal demeaning & disturbing in a not good way. /rant
Saw it today and thought it was a let down. Great performances, ok flick, but IMO it is in no way as funny or clever as Shaun.
They equal demeaning & disturbing in a not good way.

I'd disagree with this. Horror is whatever scares an audience, whether it be making them jump or disturbing them. The Hills Have Eyes is a fantastic horror film because it makes you care for its characters, then murders a good few of them. It's the only horror film I've ever seen that made me tear up at a death scene.
Studios have found a real audience again with horror, and I don't think that's a bad thing in many cases. I love horror. I won't slag The Hills Have Eyes off as I haven't seen it -- but I will say this, people probably are scared by graphic horror, but that doesn't always equal a good movie.

If a movie makes me think and feel whilst chopping off limbs, that's fine with me, as long as they have a reason for doing. That's actually why I didn't mind Saw - when you look back at it and think 'What did I see in that film?', people tend to think they'd seen incredibly graphic violence. They hadn't. You don't see much in that film at all. But it makes you feel uneasy.

I think horror with no real plot is a waste of peoples time, though. Horror comedy? Great stuff. All British movies should be horror comedies, as we're too sarcastic for our own good, which is the quality you need for those.

Goners, as I understand it, aims for the scary horror - in a fantastical context. I'm looking for it to.
Quoting myself, "disturbing in a not good way." There was a thread not long ago where there was a lot of talk about "who owns a character," and one of the themes that was discussed was the value in catharsis, in making an audience feel something, even if it's something sad or disturbing. Yeah, I'm all for shaking up an audience, but, like gossi described, "as long as they have a reason for doing." What reason is there for showing limbs being hacked off (in a horror context, as opposed to an LOTR-type sword battle) or a gang rape? Typically, not much, IMO. If the violence is mostly off-screen in Saw, then two cheers (I admit I haven't seen it, so I can't discuss it positively or negatively), but I also ask what the point of the violence was? Was it just for grossing people out? Was it just to say, "Evil, disgusting things are done by people to other people"? That's what I mean by "disturbing in a not good way."

Maybe Saw was about how people can be manipulated into doing terrible things, like the psychology experiments where they told people that they had to give an electric shock to someone in another room (yeah, I'm studying psychology this year, too); that might possibly be "disturbing in a good way" because it would make you think about it and question it and ask yourself what you would do and what your values are -- that has a value in it. But, if it's just to freak you out -- not good. I guess I'm talking about violence that is "prurient" ("Not Sick Enough to Make You Vomit, But Almost!") as opposed to violence that is part of a story that has something to say (hey, now I'm suddenly describing A History of Violence!).

Schindler's List and Hotel Rwanda were also about the "evil, disgusting things done by people to other people," but they were also about people who really were ordinary, "unheroic" people who took action anyway -- a different reason, then, to show the EDTDBPTOP. Or some of the horror movies I mentioned that had compelling stories without "gore for gore's sake," movies like 28 Days Later, The Ring, Session 9 -- they were "disturbing," but in a cathartic way. I'm not sure I can describe it any better than by mentioning examples, but I can't think it's cathartic just to watch people torture the bejesus out of each other.

Speaking of which, I think "Passion of the Christ" was a disturbing torture film which had little to do with what Jesus is about, IMO. I get that Jesus sacrificed his life and suffered for others without having to see every single second of it recreated in close-up. Some people, though, think that seeing all that endless torture and violence helped them understand Jesus' sacrifice better. I can say it's definitely not my kind of film, and for me it was very disturbing in a not good way. Some people will say that it was disturbing in a good way. This might be a case of agreeing to disagree. But, if a film is showing scenes of torturing the living daylights out of someone who is not part of a story of self-sacrifice for the benefit of others (see the new thread about "Bodhisattvas" in the Buffyverse), then I just don't see how I can agree that there is any way it can be disturbing in any way but a "not good way."

From what gossi says, Goners sounds like it's the kind of horror I do like. And based on Joss' track record, I'm sure it will be disturbing (like Tara's death disturbing, or Wash's death disturbing, plus probably "have to go to sleep with the lights on" disturbing!) but it will also have a lot to say -- disturbing in a good way, then, IMO.
I'm not surprised Slither didn't make much at the box office. I only went because of Nathan. And I'm sure the gore didn't gross me out as much as I expected because it was so fake and also humorous at the same time. It was the creepy crawly giant bugs in King Kong that grossed me out much more. Ewww... now they were GROSS. Overly realistic.

I tend to agree with those above who prefer horror without comedy, like The Ring, even if I can kinda enjoy it. Now The Ring was a great scary flick, imho. Can't comment on a lot of others, but after reading so much about Shawn of the Dead it's on my to-watch-in-the-future list. My tastes have changed since I was younger, but Fright Night will always be one of my faves. Didn't Night of the Comet come up in a Joss-centric thread awhile back? That one made an impression on me too.

Disturbing topics/scenes/words have a place in movies and other story mediums. It's all about how and why the creators depict/portray them. Are they there for a reason or just to grab attention? Too much gratuitous anything screams "cheap" for days, but the "offensive" or "disturbing" bit of material can work fine elsewhere when it serves to develop the story. I laughed the first time Nathan's co-star in Slither (the one from The Train Job) said "c*cks*cker" because it sounded funny when he said it. The second? third? time he said it I was annoyed, because why couldn't he have said something I hadn't heard before? If you want to impress audience members who love good writing, shake up the characters' vocabularies. If the character is a redneck Bubba, give him a wide redneck Bubba lexicon. It's not that hard.

I have high hopes for Goners. Sounds like my kind of movie.

Don't know anything about Eli Roth but the article was a great read.
Night of the Comet is one of Joss' film loves I believe. What a film love is, I'm not entirely sure, but I made up that term - go me.

Maybe Saw was about how people can be manipulated into doing terrible things

That's entirely what Saw is about. You have two people locked in a room, together with a cop hunting 'the bad guy', and a backstory played out - and a great many of these people do terrible things in order to survive. There's some great moments, such as the opening 30 seconds (or what seemed like 30 seconds) taking place entirely in the dark, as one of the characters struggles to find the light in the room. Nothing (literally) was shown, but it's quite unnerving. The sequel? Didn't see it. On prinicple, though, I'd say there would be no reason to make a sequel, as then you're just exploiting it. I bet the sequel has hot young nubile ladies.

Saw's definitely not a film for everybody - it's essentially a torture film, as I've said before - but it is a well made film.

I finally watched Slither today (and let's not mention the fact it's not out in the UK yet). Good, very tongue in cheek film. Too much swearing. I'm not against swearing, but when the swearing is the comedy you're in trouble.

It's certainly no Shaun of the Dead, though. Shaun of the Dead has, you know, zombies pushing shopping trolleys at ASDA Walmart. I think that says it all (and the zombie thing in SOTD is entirely about how we live in society, in a subtext kind of way - and it's spot on). Plus SOTD has a several minute 'oner' - twice. I love that film.
You are spot on about the swearing, gossi (is that how y'all Brits use "spot on"?) I'm not against it either, but in Slither, it essentially was a lot of the humor. You gotta admit though, Nathan's delivery of some not-so-stellar dialogue at least made you smile, right?
It definitely made me smile (and laugh in places, too). That said, when you over use it, it just becomes lazy. I essentially think the language pushed it to R rating, which likely hurt their box office.

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