Follow TV Tropes


Film / Slugs

Go To

"Now maybe, just maybe, we're dealing with a mutant form of slug here, a kind that eats meat!"

Slugs, also known as Slugs: The Movie, is a 1988 horror movie directed by Juan Piquer Simon with a screenplay by Ron Gantman, based on the 1982 novel by Shaun Hutson.

Set in a small town, the movie centers around slugs (Black Slugs, to be more specific) mutated by toxic waste into carnivorous killers that start eating people. Only one who can stop them is the local health inspector Mike Brady with the aid of his co-worker and his wife's friend from across the pond.

This movie leaves a slimy trail of these examples:

  • Absurdly-Spacious Sewer: The sewers under the city are the kind that allows people stand up inside in full height.
  • Adaptational Location Change: The book is set in England; the film is set the USA.
  • Agony of the Feet: Especially when you step on a floor that's crawling with carnivorous slugs.
  • Attack of the Killer Whatever: Man-eating slugs in this case.
  • Attempted Rape: Pam escapes from one and ends up being eaten by the slugs. The rapist gets away.
  • Blood Is Squicker in Water:
    • The opening scene has a couple rowing out in a lake. Wayne ends up being dragged in by something. Wayne's girlfriend believes it's a trick at first, but then sees blood rushing to the water's surface...
    • Another scene has Mike trying to save somebody from being eaten by reaching for his hand, but the slugs manage to weigh the poor bastard down. Cue the blood geyser.
  • Body Horror: Surprisingly invoked given the slugs' tendency for outright eating people when one decides to infest the ingredients of a salad, which someone naturally manages to eat without noticing; said salad consumer promptly suffers headaches, which progress into nosebleeds, and finally culminate in him screaming in pain as he's eaten from the inside out by parasitic worms living inside the slugs, which have also mutated. Said worms manage to somehow burst from the guy's eyeballs like a hail of confetti as they finally kill him.
  • Chupacabra: One teen is convinced that the killings are done by the "Goat Killer", a local legend.
  • Dull Surprise: Nearly everyone, though Mike's muted response to being bitten by a slug really stands out.
  • Eaten Alive: Typically the fate of anyone who comes across the slugs. Averted in one instance but only because the potential slug victim chops off his own hand and promptly gets blown up.
  • The End... Or Is It?: One of the slugs survived, and slugs are hermaphrodites, so one is all you need to start the whole thing over.
  • Evil-Detecting Dog: One victim's dog starts whimpering frantically as he enters his house, as it senses the slugs inside.
  • Eye Scream: Dave's eyeballs explode from being full of worms after accidentally consuming a slug and when Donna gets caught by the slugs, one of her eyes has been eaten.
  • Fingore: Harold unknowingly puts on a glove that has a slug hiding inside. It gnaws at his hand so tightly that he can't even remove it.
  • The Foreign Subtitle:
    • The movie was shot in Spain and there it had the subtitle Muerte Viscosa (Gooey Death).
    • In Italy, it was released as Slugs: Vortex of Horror. Greece had a similarly-titled release with Slugs of Horrors.
  • Gorn: For a campy 80s flick, the blood and gore effects are surprisingly disgusting.
  • Gross-Up Close-Up: This movie loves to show its disgusting effects up close.
  • Hard-Drinking Party Girl: Maureen's introduction has her relieved that the drinks arrived for her and her friends and then wishing to dance with them.
  • Hazardous Water: The opening scene has a teen being dragged into the water and consumed by the slugs. As it turns out the slugs have been breeding in the sewers and a sewer pipe ends at the lake.
  • Horror Doesn't Settle for Simple Tuesday: The teens attend a Halloween party.
  • Just Eat Gilligan: For some reason, no one thinks about using salt to kill the slugs.
  • Karma Houdini Warranty: Don Palmer's Jerkass teenage sons, Danny and Ricky, save their friend Pam from an older punk kid, only to try and sexually assault her, leading her to run away and get eaten by the slugs. The movie does not show them getting any comeuppance, though they will obviously come home from the party to discover that their dad got killed while trying to fight the slugs.
  • Life-or-Limb Decision: One of the slugs end up in Harold's glove before he puts it in his hand, and starts eating the hand. He struggles to get the glove off, and is ultimately forced to chop his hand off with a hatchet. And then the entire greenhouse blows up.
  • Like Father, Unlike Son: Don Palmer, the sewage officer whom Mike works with, seems like a nice guy and a great dad to his two sons. Who attempt to rape their school friend Pam, who then gets away from them, only to be eaten by the slugs.
  • Kill It with Fire: The solution to eradicating the slug menace? Lighting them all on fire!
  • Pyrrhic Victory: Slugs are destroyed with an explosion in the sewers. This causes more explosions around the town with lots of property damage. But all of the slugs were destroyed, right?
  • Sex Signals Death: After having sex, Bobby and Donna discover the hard way that the bedroom floor is littered with slugs. Neither are able to escape.
  • The Swarm: The carnivorous slugs multiply by the hundreds.
  • Take My Hand!: Attempted twice by two different characters, but sadly neither of them were able to help.
  • Tampering with Food and Drink: One unfortunate guy attempts to seal a property deal, having eaten slug-contaminated salad the prior night. At first he suffers from headaches, then his nose starts bleeding in front of his dinner guests, then he collapses to the floor frantically screaming and clawing at his face, before a hail of worms literally burst from his eyesockets.
  • Title: The Adaptation: A rare thing to be done on a novel based material.
  • Toxic Waste Can Do Anything: Slugs might have the most triumphant example of this trope: while all the other animal-into-monsters films listed in the trope page have animals that can be dangerous in and of themselves, Slugs has toxic waste turn slugs, slow tiny gastropods who at worst eat carrion or other small gastropods, into creatures that can kill and eat humans, and do so despite gaining no extra physical abilities.