Reviews

The Slime People (1963)

This movie opens with forty-three seconds of orchestral exotica and slime monsters hanging out in a motel parking lot.

Sold!

For no good reason, ten-foot-tall Slime People have risen from the sewers and taken Los Angeles hostage! They have also placed an enclosed wall of fog around the city and are murdering humans with detachable spears. No place is safe, not even the beach! Holed up in an abandoned movie studio, five people (a grumpy scientist and his two daughters, an ace pilot played by director Robert Hutton, and a young Marine) attempt to uncover a solution to the fog wall and the monsters’ invincibility. Just for kicks, they screen some pre-attack news footage in a theater (shades of the later Night of the Living Dead) and watch a drunken hobo meet his fate. Venturing outside, things heat up with some french kisses, a whole lot of monster action, and a grocery store freezer lockdown.

Serving as a precursor for everything from The Toxic Avenger to The Incredible Melting Man, The Slime People is an early 1960s snapshot of monster paranoia with one foot in the garage and one foot in an undiscovered galaxy. Producer Joseph Robertson (The Crawling Hand, The Love Feast) and actor-director Robert Hutton (his only directing credit) have concocted an awesomely cheap end-of-the-world saga that takes aim, hits the mark, and repeats. The fact that this mark consists of oozing sewer creatures that terrorize people in the back alleys of Hollywood is cause for rejoice.

With a fun structure (the story begins “in media res”) and a bizarre method of photography (a constant shroud of fog blankets the visuals), The Slime People stands as unequivocal fun. This isn’t a film that’s going to knock your block off. The last third drags a bit with some listless dialogue, but really, who cares? When the Slime People started using rifles, I was lost in a sea of beautiful nonsense.

I’m not sure how things go down at your house, but goopy monsters and faux-news footage flubs are most welcome in my living room. Take this movie at face value and prepare for late-nite bliss.

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