Awful 70s movie is so bad it fails even as cheese.
I love a 'so bad it's good' movie just as much as the next movie geek but, this 1978 "gem" is just all round bad. I had the misfortune of catching this in a theater back in '78 and let's just say it hasn't gotten any better with age and it's still so bad that 70s nostalgia just doesn't help. The movie tells the story of a school teacher who (for whatever reason) is trying to solve the mystery of some animal mutilations and later human murders around a Venice California cove. The police think it's a serial killer or a cult and forensics can't seem to tell animal bites when they see them. He discovers that a leak from a nearby nuclear plant created an organic sludge called "Slithis" (never explained) which takes on characteristics of what it absorbs and it is now a humanoid fish monster craving food. From it's awful dialog to it's even worse delivery of that dialog (an actor playing a police chief seems to think he's playing a bad guy on a Sid and Marty Kroft show.), Slithis is mind numbingly bad. Half the films shots are in slow motion for no reason, including the opening scene of a fat kid playing Frisbee, which means it's scant 80 minute running time would be less then an hour without them. The Slithis creature costume is okay but it looks like a pudgy Creature From The Black Lagoon and the human eyes are just too nice and blue to illicit fears. And as a horror film, fear is something this completely lacks. From the easily telegraphed attack scenes, where most of the carnage is off camera, to the tone , which goes from serious to oddly whimsical at times ( What kind of film where they trying to make?), Slithis can't generate any suspense or tension whatsoever. There is some blood but, with a PG rating, Slithis is rather tame and there are only a few attack sequences as the film is very talky for an 80 minute creature feature. An awful film that somehow has garnered a bit of a reputation but, after revisiting it, I can only guess it was from lack of availability as the film has very little to recommend even to fans of bad movies.
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