22 user 12 critic

Slither (1973)

A car thief gets out on parole from a penitentiary and intends to go straight. Nonetheless, he ends up in a wild goose chase for stolen cash, together with a small-time bandleader and his wife, and a friendly free-spirited woman.


Howard Zieff


W.D. Richter
1 nomination. See more awards »




Cast overview, first billed only:
James Caan ... Dick Kanipsia
Peter Boyle ... Barry Fenaka
Sally Kellerman ... Kitty Kopetzky
Louise Lasser ... Mary Fenaka
Allen Garfield ... Vincent J. Palmer
Richard B. Shull ... Harry Moss
Alex Rocco ... Man with Ice Cream
Seamon Glass Seamon Glass ... Farmer in Truck
Wayne Storm Wayne Storm ... Highway Patrolman
Diana Darrin ... Band Singer
Stuart Nisbet ... Buddy
Edwina Gough Edwina Gough ... Bingo Player
Al Dunlap Al Dunlap ... Man in Men's Room
James Joseph James Joseph ... Short Order Cook
Virginia Sale ... Bingo Caller


While searching for a small fortune of embezzled money, an ex-con, a small-time bandleader, his doting wife, and a kooky drifter find themselves being followed. Their chase takes them to trailer camps, bingo halls, laundromats, and ultimately, a showdown with a group of unconventional bad guys.

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


A Shoot-out in a Vegetable Market. A Riot in the Bingo Game. Dynamite in the Potato Cellar. Are You Sure Bonnie and Clyde Started This Way? See more »


Comedy | Thriller | Crime


PG | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »

Did You Know?


The van is a 1973 Dodge rec trans discover 25 R. See more »


When Dick (James Caan) first encounters Kitty (Sally Kellerman) along the highway next to her stalled car, it appears to be shortly after midday, judging by the short shadows cast by Dick and Kitty. A police car comes up behind them, and when the policeman gets out, suddenly both he and the other two characters are casting very long shadows, indicating that it's now very late in the afternoon, yet only about half a minute has elapsed since Dick met Kitty. See more »


Kitty Kopetzky: [they're sitting in a public laundromat] I wouldn't wash any of my stuff in a place like this.
Dick Kanipsia: Is that a fact?
Kitty Kopetzky: I mean, the water doesn't boil, right? Has to be germs all over the place, right? Hair - there's pubic hair by the bushel basket floating around in there.
Dick Kanipsia: [very annoyed] Oh, please, please, please! Will you just stop? I mean, for once, all right?
See more »


Followed by Slither (1974) See more »


Deep Purple
by Mitchell Parish & Peter De Rose
See more »

User Reviews

not quite achieving anything and doing everything
21 October 2018 | by SnoopyStyleSee all my reviews

Dick Kanipsia (James Caan) gets released from prison. His friend Harry brings him to his rundown home where he gets killed in a hail of bullets. With his dying breath, he tells Dick about a stolen loot, Barry Fenaka (Peter Boyle), and Vicent Palmer before blowing up the house. He encounters free spirit Kitty Kopetzky (Sally Kellerman) but runs away when she turns out to be an unstable armed robber. He finds Fenaka and his wife who drives him on the search for Palmer and the stolen loot with an Airstream trailer. They find that they're being followed by two black vans.

I like the initial chemistry of the unstableness of Kellerman with the scruffy goodness of James Caan. When she goes away for awhile, the movie stalls. I expect Boyle to deliver humor but they're not actually laughs. It's a little quirky with a good helping of 70s grunge. I'd prefer Kellerman and Caan to stay together the whole way riding the emotional rollercoaster. Instead, the sexual heat dissipates. There is the high tension thriller aspect but it never really elevates. The villains follow him at arms' length. They're like menacing mimes. They try to kill him at the same time that they're bad at it. It's half trying to be funny or half trying to be thrilling. I'm not sure it achieves either.

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Release Date:

7 March 1973 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Slither See more »

Filming Locations:

Pismo Beach, California, USA See more »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:



Color (Metrocolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See full technical specs »

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