No relation to the wacky 1973 James Caan-Peter Boyle-Sally Kellerman laugher of the same title, "Slither" is an uproarious hybrid horror-comedy about a small town visited by a rapidly evolving, unearthly organism that gives new meaning to the phrase "divide and conquer." Written and directed by James Gunn, a veteran of Lloyd Kaufman's Troma Entertainment, the film is an affectionate shout-out to low-budget 1980s gore-fests.
What at first appears to be a meteor firing through the Earth's atmosphere crash-lands in the woods near Wheelsy, S.C. It splits open like an egg and out crawls a fat, worm-like creature that leaves a gooey trail in its wake.
The unsuspecting residents of the burg, a more populated South Atlantic cousin to "Northern Exposure's" Cicely, Alaska, go about their business of preparing for deer hunting season. The town's sardonic sheriff, Bill Pardy, is played by Nathan Fillion, late of "Firefly" and "Serenity," who brings an air of cool detachment to the role, wryly observing his crazier neighbors.
Stoic, bullet-headed local businessman Grant Grant (Michael Rooker), is an overachiever in the matrimonial department, but his amorous advances are rebuffed by his beautiful blond high school science teacher wife, Starla (Elizabeth Banks). Grant then sulks off to a bar, where Brenda (Brenda James), the younger sister of an ex-girlfriend, makes a pass at him. The tipsy couple wander into the woods to get cozy, and they spot the slimy creature, which promptly launches a needle-like probe into Grant's abdomen.