Low-budget creature feature Spawn of the Slithis harks back to the monster movies of the '50s, wherein a spill of radioactive waste would result in a man in an unconvincing rubber costume emerging from the depths to terrorise a community. In this case, it is the people of Venice, Los Angeles, who find themselves under attack from Slithis, a bipedal organic mud monster that crawls from the canals to feed upon dogs, winos, and residents. Investigating the deaths is journalism teacher Wayne Connors (Alan Blanchard), who eventually works out what is happening and hunts the creature, Jaws-style, with the help of his wife Jeff (Judy Motulsky), scientist Dr. John (J.C. Claire), Jamaican boat owner/diver Chris Alexander (Mello Alexandria) and two expendable deck-hands.
While the above synopsis has all the makings of a highly entertaining B-movie, writer/director Stephen Traxler somehow manages to make a botch of things, his film a crushing bore between the scant appearances of the slippery Slithis. It opens on the right note, with some mangled dog corpses and the gruesome remains of a mutilated couple, but soon goes downhill: there's far too much chin-wagging, with the dialogue consisting of pseudo-scientific mumbo jumbo (perhaps knowingly silly, but boring nonetheless) and generic chit-chat. Moreover, Traxler's direction is uninspired, and the performances range from the merely passable (Alexandria's turn is adequate), to the forgettable (Blanchard is bland as the hero), to the downright absurd (Hy Pyke, as the police chief, who clearly wanted to get noticed).
In the right hands, Spawn of the Slithis could have been a cool '70s precursor to Humanoids from the Deep (1980), albeit with only one monster, but its weak cast, minimal gore (a few splashes of red paint), lack of nudity (only a brief flash of a breast), and all that inane conversation ensures that the result is quite a bore.
3/10, plus one point for the bizarre-yet-fun turtle-racing scene (the highlight of the film for me), but minus one point for the atrocious POV 'monster vision' effect, which looks as though they strapped a plastic bottle to the camera lens. So that's still 3/10.
0 out of 1 found this helpful.
Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.