Slugs, leeches, slithery things that can worm their way into your most private of orifices. Yuck. But they make for some squirm-worthy horror movies.
Ah. A 2003 three film by the king of not-gay homoerotic horror movies, David DeCoteau. Sure, just like all of his film, David spends much of the time panning his camera over the near naked bodies of athletic young men in their underwear. But really, I think the creature feature Leeches is his best film. Still, look at this promotional shot…looks like the cover of a porn called “The Coach’s Little Swimmers” or something!
Leeches stars the adorable guy who played Edie’s nephew on Desperate Housewives (standout moment being when his girl ties him to a bed), along with a host of other hot young ones and one sexy and muscular swim coach, who is older and much more my speed(o) (and looks fantastic when he is tied up with his arms over his head to show off some serious pit bush). Sure, DeCoteau may include absurd snapshot flashes of dripping wet muscles as the boys get out of the pool. But the absolute classic moment is when one kid in his tight undies falls asleep on his belly…and a leech works its way up his calves, over his thighs, kneading the little bubble butt… What makes this so hysterical is that the leeches are clearly sock puppets, so essentially, some dude with a sock on his hand is feeling up this kid’s body!
The simple plot of the film involves the kids using enhancement drugs and, well, being stalked by a bunch of leeches. Actually, other than the sock puppet moments, the leeches look really nasty and there’s plenty of leech gore…one guy even pukes one up! Yeah, this is definitely DeCoteau’s best attempt at a legitimate horror movie. One thing to note…the leeches don’t turn anyone into zombies.
NIGHT OF THE CREEPS
This is the classic slug/zombie film from 1986. So I may as well start off with the most important aspect of this film: the awesome 80s soundtrack! There are three songs by the little known ‘new wave’ band Intimate Strangers (naturally, I have their entire discography in my collection), the track “Blue Kiss” by Go-Go’s member Jane Wiedlin, and two solo tracks by Wall of Voodoo lead singer Stan Ridgway. Other nods to the music of the 80s include a poster of The Police on a sorority chick’s wall and graffiti reading “Stryper rules” on a bathroom stall wall.
The movie opens with what appears to be an ode to Star Wars, with these little aliens running through what look like the same hallways R2-D2 rolled through, followed by a capsule being jettisoned from the spaceship, which looks exactly like a Star Destroyer!
Back on earth, it’s 1959…and it’s black & white (for retro effect). It’s date night on sorority row, there’s an axe wielding psycho on the loose, and poor Johnny discovers the capsule from the Star Destroyer, which splits open. Johnny gets ‘slugged’ while his girlfriend gets axed back in the car!
In a very Wizard of Oz moment, we are transported to a glorious full color place…sorority row, 1986. We meet the geek, we see the beautiful girl he has the hots for…and we see her hot boyfriend’s so-80s Tom Cruise unibrow. The geek decides he and his crippled friend need to join a frat to get closer to her.
Well, this frat is led by none other than a blond bully (It’s GOT to be the same guy playing this role in every 80s movie—these blond bullies all look alike!!!). The frat brothers put the geeks up to a huge prank…steal a corpse.
And that’s where the trouble begins. Seems poor Johnny from 1959 has been frozen more solid than Walt Disney. Once the geeks melt him, the slugs run wild! Thing is, these slugs like to deep throat their victims, who then turn into creepy zombies!
Tom Atkins is the detective on the case, stealing the show with a host of one liners through the course of this comedy horror. This film has it all: the cheap cat scare, cat getting slugged, dog getting slugged, girl boobs, Dick Miller (the guy from Gremlins who was in like every 80s movie and TV show), a lawnmower zombie kill, and an awesomely 80s weapon to use against the slugs—a can of hairspray and a lighter! Hot.
The best thing about Night of the Creeps is that it is SO set up for a sequel, but retained its purity by never delivering one, which simply would have tarnished its reputation as a classic.
In 2006, James Gunn, the director who was on the first season of VH1’s Scream Queens, basically remade Night of the Creeps. But actually, Slither is my favorite of the slug movies. It’s funny, scary, gory, and stars the adorable Nathan Fillion, who delivers a brilliant comic performance. And of course, Elizabeth Banks also stars, and she rules.
An asteroid crashes to earth (surprise) and then we’re introduced to the town in which it has landed: white trash central, aside from the black people who live there. Hey, what can I say? This is a progressive little town. It even has a lesbian cop! Of course, the general consensus around town is that God is a firm believer in hunting deer…
The focus of the first half of the film is the relationship between Elizabeth Banks and her rich, possessive husband, played by the guy most recently appearing as the racist dude handcuffed to the roof on The Walking Dead. As their sex life falls apart—despite their shared love for “Every Woman in the World” by Air Supply—hubby heads to a bar, listens to a precious white trash karaoke rendition of The Crying Game, then heads into the woods with some skank. Need I say it? He gets slugged. After that, all he can think about is “Meat! Meat!” Raw meat, that is.
The transformation of the hubby into a heinous ‘squid’ monster delivers some of the best gore, suspense, and scares of the film. LOVE it. Once a lynch mob is sent into the woods to hunt him down, the real fun begins. It’s 48 minutes into the film before the slugs are set loose! And guess what? They enter your body through the mouth…and turn you into a zombie! The difference between this and Night of the Creeps is that these slugs, once in your body, can telepathically communicate with the slugs in the other zombies, making for some great zombie hoards!!!
The real comedy comes in after the slugs breakout. The town mayor, who is, of course, a self-centered prick, is someone to whom I can totally relate, because after he narrowly escapes a zombie attack, he loses his shit because there’s no Mr. Pibb around! I’m feeling you, mayor. Nothing calms the soul after an undead encounter like a bottle of fake Dr. Pepper! YUM! A classic moment that could have been written for an episode of The Big Bang Theory is when our cute cop hero argues with the mayor that aliens and Martians aren’t the same thing because Martians have to specifically come from Mars and aliens can come from anywhere in outer space.
The zombie fun persists. Jenna Fischer from The Office turns into a hooker-looking zombie. The zombies spit acid. The zombies are very traditional, believing in monogamy, procreation, and the romantic power of Air Supply. A dog gets slugged. And yes, a cat also gets slugged…IF you stick around until after the credits finish rolling. Take note. There’s an epilogue.
So there you have it. Watch Leeches for the hot bodies and the sock puppet hand jobs. Watch Night of the Creeps for classic 80s nostalgia. And watch Slither for an updated version of Night of the Creeps with twice the gore, scares and laughs…all washed down with a delicious Mr. Pibb.