Bloody-Disgusting’s writer, John Slaney, has submitted his fifth addition of his ongoing column entitled Slaughtered on Sight, which our regular readers continue to rave about. In the column, Slaney seeks out and destroys some of the most ridiculous posters ever used for a horror film. Join us for Slaney’s fifth volume in which he takes on the poster for Stephen Traxler film from 1978, “[Spawn of the] Slithis”– yet another gem! Read on and enjoy (click here for past articles)…
Starring: Alan Blanchard, Judy Motulsky, J. C. Clair, Dennis Lee Falt
Written by: Stephen Traxler
Directed by: Stephen Traxler
Produced by:> Dick Davis, Paul Fabian, Stephen Traxler
Originally released in: USA
“Hell hath no fury… Like slithis.”
I chose this poster for several reasons, but the stand-out aspect is its uniqueness. When compared, at least, with the four previous posters I’ve written about, “Slithis” is something special… Along with my analysis, I’ve only come up with a bunch of questions…
For one thing, I don’t even know what this whole mess is supposed to be. There are so many things wrong with it – simple things… What the hell kind of name is ‘slithis?’ It’ just f**king confusing. It sounds so stupid, without a modicum of fear. And yet, it rises up from the horizon like a great, looming force of nature. But, for all its prominence and size, the word ‘slithis’ is in all lower-case font… See, that just doesn’t make any damned sense.
Secondly, the film takes place around Venice, CA; but, according to the poster’s background, ‘slithis’ marauds around a sort of space-city. There’s a boat though, so there’s water. I think the utterly strange ‘dome’ at the creature’s right is supposed to be some type of factory or treatment plant – drawn by an idiot. When people try to draw factories or chemical plants, they seem to reach for the only two constants lodged in their brains… Oddly-shaped buildings and smoke-stacks. Whether or not a black dome with little circumscribing windows is appropriate matters not – because it will do its job… It will take up space.
What the hell is this monster supposed to be? I’ve read a few synopses and reviews, so I know the film explains it as a sort of ‘mud’ monster; made, in fact, out of a “living mud” called “slithis.” That could be where the title comes from, but I can’t be sure. In the poster, however, this ‘slithis’ beast looks to be a horrid abomination; a spawn of sorts, between an iguana, a ‘Romulan’ and a muscled demon. It’s also the most disjointed conglomeration of ineptly-composed anatomy I’ve ever seen on a [horror] movie poster. I ask you only to take a look at the monster’s shoulders…
And what kind of nonsense muddled up the monster’s right hand? See it? The one cradling the token blonde white woman’s legs. I mean, is that the right hand or is it something else? It must be the hand or claw or paw or whatever… Why else would the shape be so damned complicated? The ‘slithis’ monster must simply have inordinately cryptic hands; like big, muddy snowflakes.
Why is the monster facing that direction? Why is it so wooden? Are these problems the illustrator’s fault or the film-maker’s? In the case of “Slithis,” unlike the posters I’ve chosen in the past, the monster is the one looking only moderately upset – only moderately exacerbated. The woman’s face, however, can’t even be seen… Her head is being covered by the ‘slithis’ monster’s arm. But, of course, we can see some “T” and we can see some “A.” Does the face really matter then? The woman’s body is – like most similar cases – clean and unscathed; despite being kidnaped by a giant monster made of living mud. Even her white swimsuit is stain-free. Amazing.
According to the synopses I read, the ‘slithis’ monster begins its killing spree by wasting a bunch of dogs. Then it moves on to people – a couple, investigating their dog’s erratic yelping. So, I can’t stop myself from questioning the creature’s motivation for swiping the woman shown in the poster. My question can then be applied broadly… Why are any of these big, man-eating monsters going after women all the time? Especially if the monster is looking for a meal. I mean, a great white shark prefers seals and fatty marine mammals; not bony fish. A skinny woman is a bony fish… There’s no meat on that sh*t – no energy-rich fatty tissues. At least once I’d like to see a movie poster picturing a monster dragging off a big fat guy. Just a huge, obese bastard… Like a guy the monster could have just plucked from a hospital bed. A guy with a big, pouchy neck, pasty skin and lots of bed sores. A great white shark would probably dig on a real fat person… Shouldn’t the ‘slithis’ monster? Yes – the ‘slithis’ monster should.
I also hate the term, “hell hath no fury like…” Like what? Like ‘slithis?’ How does anyone know what kind of fury hell does and does not have? No one has been to hell and come back… No one has ‘reported live’ from hell… Hell hasn’t sent a representative up here to really explain the depth of its ‘fury.’ But, let’s say hell is real, and what we pretend to know is entirely true… So, ‘slithis’ ousts hell in the fury contest? The slightly-larger-than-a-large-man mud monster, with the f**ked-up hands and the forehead protrusions? This thing is a more furious force than the terrible netherworld of everlasting pain and suffering? Truly – how can the makers of “Slithis” possibly justify this claim? If ’living mud’ was really more furious than hell, then the ‘slithis’ monster would rise out of the muck, take one look at the world and WHOOMPH! It would kill everyone in the blink of an eye (because of its great fury) then it would head on down to hell and waste everything down there. And that would be that, really – I mean, where to next exactly? Heaven? Purgatory? The ‘slithis’ monster would kill its way through everything in no time. Hell’s fury is really the top of the heap, you know? As soon as you best hell in the fury department, you’ve pretty much taken the all-encompassing first prize. And, as we can see by the little yellow banner at the bottom right of the “Slithis” poster, the flick was only “nominated” for some awards… It seems to me that the depiction of hell-surpassing fury would be a little more than a nominee. Am I right..? I’m right. You know I’m right.
I’d like to move back to the actual monster now. Look at the face again… Why that face? Seriously, who decided that was the face to run with? From what I can see in the stills I looked at, the face of the monster in the movie looks a lot like the one in the poster. That is to say, the poster is – by all means – doing the movie justice. So, I ask again… Why the stupid damned face? It’s not quite a man and it’s not quite not a man. Maybe you recall attempting to draw a monster when you were a child… You know, before you really had anything to go on; and no picture to copy. You just had to conjure some images in your little kiddie brain as to what a monster should look like. Did it look like ‘slithis?’ I bet it looked a little like ‘slithis…’ All the features sort of – you know – blah. The eyes are dark and empty… The head is big and has some spines or spikes on it… There are some pointy teeth and some ill-assigned wrinkles. And the nose… What to do about the nose. The ‘slithis’ nose isn’t even a nose, really… It’s just a lump. I would have put some gaping nostrils, but that’s just me. In fact, I probably would have thrown in some gaping nostrils even when I was just a child. I bet a child could have drawn a better ‘slithis’ monster. And I bet the boobs would have been bigger too.
Past articles here