NOVEMBER 24 VHS MOVIE REVIEW : TWISTED NIGHTMARE (1987)
Curiously, the movie begins with a slightly comatose, vaguely robotized voice-over yapping about the history of evil or something. I hate it when films contain endless exposition to ultimately say nothing. Regardless, a Native American apparition looks to be arguing with some ghost chick while they hover over a fire. Turns out it was all a dream, and a girl wakes up, her deepest darkest injun quelled by an envelope left by her bed. Looks like “Camp Paradise” is mysteriously leaving invitations for a reunion, even bypassing the postal service in the process by breaking into people’s homes while they’re sleeping. That's a ballsy way to advertise.
Even more curious than this mysterious “reunion” is the hair these victims-to-be are flaunting. The token Asian dude has a supreme mullet usually reserved for lame honkeys (the other males also have mullets, but they pale in comparison). The hot brunette with the bandana in her hair drives along with her boyfriend, but she is mysteriously seen wearing a crappy blonde wig when she gets out of the car. Maybe she likes to mix it up. There is also a girl with an unfortunate hairstyle that looks like a poodle grafted onto a stingray (a stingray made of hair, if you follow me).
We learn that the brother of the girl who had the dream died an “accidental “ death at the camp many years prior, and there is also presumably an Indian spirit running around. There is also a creepy redskin caretaker, who yells at a couple when they make out in his barn filled with cats. They later come back to save some kittens, but get killed, including the dude getting his arms ripped off in total darkness. You’d think they would want to showcase the special effect instead of forcing you to rewind and freeze frame the fucking tape like three times just to catch a vague glimpse.
The couples split off to have sex, and the next day, the hot blonde/brunette finds the dead couple in the barn. She tries to call the cops, but instead gets an ineffectual redneck covered in oil (aren’t they always). She tries to drive away in the truck, but gets accosted through the back window, innovatingly sidestepping the "truck won't start" gag.
We finally get a flashback to how the girl’s brother died. He’s a retard named Matthew, chilling with the ladies while the “real” men are playing football. The girls tease him, telling him they want a taste of his retard sugar (sarcastically, I guess), and this upsets him to the point that he runs into a barn and catches fire for no reason. Maybe it’s one of those spontaneous combustion deals.
The Native American caretaker is repeatedly presented as a suspect (I guess he could be possessed by the Indian ghost). He even pulls his shotgun on a guy investigating the barn. The dude runs away, but gets his foot stuck in a bear trap. He manages to get his foot loose (ha ha, foot loose, like Kevin Bacon and stuff), but strangely doesn’t register any emotion. I guess the adrenaline you get in this situation can dull the most agonizing pain imaginable (or dull one's ability to act), but it’s rendered irrelevant when the slasher monster claws out his friggin' throat.
The lead girl disrobes for a candlelit bath and, surprisingly, the bath is not merely an excuse to show nudity (although there’s plenty of that). She slashes her own leg with a strait razor, not because she sucks at shaving, but because she’s depressed about having to relive memories about her dead retard brother. It’s really just a less fatal version of slitting your wrists. The candles are a hint. Anytime a chick wants to commit suicide, she’s gotta take a bath after filling the bathroom with 7,000 candles.
We get yet more sexy time when two couples start to get busy in the steam room. Thankfully, we get to see a black couple get down to some soul action (a rarity in 80’s slashers), but it just amounts to an erotic massage, depriving us of the excitement of watching two afros bang together. The honkey couple runs off to have sex underneath what looks to be an old tractor, before being impaled with something that looks like a giant crucifix (or maybe a steel beam or something; it’s just too damn dark to tell). The black couple is the next to get it, right after the dude sings “I Feel Good”. While an obvious choice, any James Brown song is a brief respite from the horrific score that sounds like a balloon being rubbed in a dying cat’s face.
It’s clear at this point that the lead girl is in cahoots with the killer, as she keeps telling people that everything is okay, in particular the 90-year-old sheriff who’s investigating the phone call from earlier. Putting a unique spin on the useless blue bacon-head we all know and despise, this sheriff wants to get to the bottom of everything and help people, but is too much of an old piece of shit to accomplish his goals.
This sets up the finale, where people wander around the almost complete darkness of the woods (the fog machine being set on high doesn’t help with the visibility factor) and look for each other, usually just finding whatever that killer monster thing is. It’s rare for a slasher that the sheriff gets his head ripped off, but that’s what he gets for intervening in on a supernatural revenge plot (and being old and useless).
In the end, the Indian caretaker saves the day by blowing himself up, proving that it takes a man of apparent knowledge in mystical mumbo jumbo to defeat a creature apparently constructed from mystical mumbo jumbo. I guess the lead girl wanted everyone dead, and her zombie brother was the one to (almost) get the job done. Such is the penalty for sexually exciting a retard so thoroughly that he bursts into flames. I figured this all had something to do with angry Indian spirits taking their revenge on dumb white mulletheads, but I guess it's hard to mount a revenge plot when your race has been so thoroughly wiped out.
P.S. This is review number five in my fancy Halloween horror marathon. Only six more to go to hit the magical lazy baker number (11). By the way, don't try to order a lazy baker at your local donut or bagel shop. This will only confuse them further.
NOVEMBER 24 VHS MOVIE REVIEW : TWISTED NIGHTMARE (1987)
Seven lucky couples mysteriously receive invitations for a vacation at Camp Paradise, but when they arrive they realize that luck had nothing to do with it. Someone has organized this macabre reunion of those who were partially responsible for the death of a young retarded boy named Matthew two years ago.
Suddenly, their lazy fun-filled holiday turns into a nightmare of deadly terror as a strange, demonic force goes on a bloody rampage...Matthew is back and he's a lot smarter now.
TWISTED NIGHTMARE was originally filmed in 1982 but wasn't released until 1987. It's your standard slasher flick that features some of the worst acting to ever come out of the 80s! I mean it's just unforgivable. The body count and gore quotient is quite high. Out of 14 people, only 1 survives. Gorehounds and slasher fans should be happy with that.
TWISTED NIGHTMARE has never been released on DVD and I doubt it ever will. It's only available on a long out-of-print VHS distributed by Transworld Entertainment. Should you be lucky enough to find it on ebay or amazon, pick it up. If only for it's rarity.
NOVEMBER 24 VHS MOVIE REVIEW : TWISTED NIGHTMARE (1987)
I didn't know this film existed until two weeks ago and there's good reason for it. Filmed in , on the same sets as 'Friday the th Part : D', the film was shelved for five years before being leaked out on video at a time when videos had become available to almost everyone, and the sheer novelty value meant someone was bound to rent this turd!
The film's main flaw is that we have to fill in too many blanks ourselves. The first thing that struck me as being odd was when the main character (you know it's bad when you look for a cast and character list on the IMDB and even they don't know) woke up and found an invite to a summer camp next to her bed. I thought she would freak out as someone must have sneaked into her room in the night and left the invite, but judging by the smile on her face she had obviously received it by post weeks previously and had merely kept it at her bedside to look at each morning. (see what I mean?)
Anyway, there's some kids (average age ) who used to be friends returning to the summer camp (where the main girl's brother was burned alive two years previously) for fun.
Once they get there a scary Indian man locks them in and then leaps out at them every five minutes shouting 'Get out of here', whilst pinning them to the floor and shoving his shotgun into the back of their necks. Although I suppose I can't say he copied 'Friday the th' loony, Crazy Ralph.
So, the kids split up to do assorted things like have picnics, mass nude orgies in the sauna, make vodka punch, hunt buffalo with crossbow, steal kittens and get lost in the woods, which is a bad idea as the main girl's burnt brother has turned into a hairy burnt creature, thanks to a curse that the scary Indian's ancestors left on the land.
Oh, and I think the main girl has something to do with it but i'm not sure as I fell asleep-thank God!!
Utter crap, no signs of a coherent story whatsoever. Soft porn, crap dialogue such as 'I'll be back soon, I'm just away to the barn to steal a kitten' to which her friend replies 'oh, ok just don't be long', does not make a good horror film. Pathetic.
NOVEMBER 24 VHS MOVIE REVIEW : THE SLIME PEOPLE (1963)
Tom Gregory - Reporter who had no idea the biggest story of the century was happening in his hometown. (I'd bet he was fired after things settled down.)
Professor Galvin - Not only does he suck as a scientist, he also has no brain as a father. In the span of two days one daughter falls for a Marine and the other for a reporter.
Calvin Johnson - Somebody cut this Marine's hair and keep him away from the teenage girls! He also looks like Conan O'Brien.
Bonnie Galvin - She reminds me of a sixteen year old Gidget. (With dyed blonde hair.) Falls in love with Calvin.
Lisa Galvin - Older of the two sisters, which means that falling for a man twice her age is ok...
Norman Tolliver - Eccentric writer who carries a goat around, sent to the publisher clearing house by slime people.
The Slime People - They are going to conquer the world with an amazing machine that creates a special "slime fog." All die from fresh air poisoning after the professor destroys said named machine.
Classic b-movies seem almost regal, though sometimes regal is a syphilis laden sovereign slobbering over the decapitated remains of his last wife, just ask the British. Tom lands his small aircraft at the Los Angeles airport after barely surviving the thick fog, there he is greeted by the Galvins. Surprised by the fact that "The City of the Angels" is now "The City of the Slugs" he does not believe it at first. (What TV station gave this rube a job anyway?) Only after the discovery of a newsreel and subsequently encountering the creatures does he come around. Calvin is a true believer from the get go, having watched his Marine buddies get killed and being left for dead himself. How the heck did a disorganized group of slime people defeat the Marine Corps and Army units anyway? The things use spears for crying out loud! Oh yes, the spears, the only effective weapon against a slime person (Other than fresh air.) is a spear. You can hack them, bash them in the head with a rock, even unload a rifle into them - to no effect. Lucky for our heroes they find this out pretty early on, but they never discard their rifles. Instead the standard encounter goes like this: slime people appear, Calvin or Tom shoot at them, a scuffle ensues, the human manages to wrench the spear away and stabs the slime person with it, human looks upon the dead slime man and then (leaving the spear there) picks up his rifle and continues on. By some amazing deductive reasoning on the professor's part they decide salt is the way to defeat the slime monsters, but in the end our learned man destroys the fog making machine with what? A spear of course...
Things I Learned From This Movie:
The Los Angeles Airport has come a long way in forty years.
Fog is caused by a race of slime people who have been forced from their subterranean homes by nuclear tests.
Slime people are scared of fire extinguishers.
Girls never said no to men's advances in the good old days.
It's hard to take some guy seriously when he is holding a goat.
The leading cause of breakins is authors looking for typewriters.
Meat freezers have locks on the inside of the doors.
Humans can see better than slime people, even in the latter's home domain of thick fog.
NOVEMBER 24 VHS MOVIE REVIEW : THE SLIME PEOPLE (1963)
A race of reptilian looking slime people emerges from the underground to attack Los Angeles. They use a machine to erect an impenetrable wall of slime around the city, forcing the citizens of Los Angeles to flee or die. A pilot manages to make it through the wall near sea level and meets up with a scientist and his two daughters who were also trapped when the wall solidified. Can they find a way to bring down the wall and stop the slime people's evil plans before it's too late? Will Lisa ever deliver a line without freaking out or making it sound out of place? Will Bonnie ever stop smiling? Let's read on and see...
What The Hell???
1. Oh man, now that's way unusual. The first thing we see in the movie is one of the slime people coming up from an underground elevator and another coming up above ground through a manhole. Now that's just bizarre. Most movies make you wait until at least half way through before you get a good look at the creatures. These creatures are pretty cool lookin' by the way. After we see those two emerge, we see a bunch of footprints on the beach leading up to a guy laying there dead with a spear through him. Not sure what that's about but then we get to watch the opening credits with a catchy Pink Panther cartoon type tune playing in the background.
2. Man, this movie must have a high budget. Right after the opening credits, we see a guy flying a Cessna type plane through heavy turbulence. I say it must be high budget because unlike what they had in the movie Plan 9 From Outer Space, this guy actually has a proper steering wheel in the plane. Anyway, he lands the plane, and as he gets out he ends up with some kind of snot on his hand. Not sure how that got on the wing support of his plane, but I'm sure we'll find that out soon enough.
3. The guy starts walking around looking for someone to check his plane in with. He can't find anyone around at all. There's just no one there. Finally Professor Galbraith and his two daughters, Lisa and Bonnie, come driving up. They introduce themselves and persuade the pilot, Tom Gregory, to accompany them back to their lab. Now this isn't the first movie I've seen this in. I'm detecting some kind of a pattern here. This movie and Reptilicus, both had an older scientist with two hot daughters. I just realized something else too. I really need to get to know some old scientists.
4. The sound on this movie sucks by the way which is another pattern I'm seeing developing here. These DVD releases from Rhino have crappy sound. You'd think a company known for releasing music cd's and such would be able to master the sound properly, clean it up, and give it a decent level. I've got my speakers cranked way up just to hear it properly which also introduces quite a bit of unwanted hiss.
5. So Tom gets in the car with the professor and his two hot daughters and they all head back to the laboratory. Along the way, Bonnie starts telling him what happened while he was up in the air. I'm not sure why, but she looks all happy and excited about it. She tells him how the slime people came, and the whole army came to fight them, but they lost, and then how the slime people built this big wall, but before it could harden, the whole city of Los Angeles was evacuated. They got stuck inside the wall the slime people put up because they were at some cabin and didn't get out in time before the wall hardened. Yeah, that's plausible. So let's recap. The army tries to fight living bipedal creatures, and with all the weapons at our disposal, we couldn't stop them. Then they built this massive wall all the way around the city of Los Angeles and the only people to get left behind was the professor and his two hot daughters. Then we're supposed to believe that all this happened while Tom was flying his Cessna and he not only didn't hear anything about it on the radio, but he didn't run out of gas in that massive amount of time that all this would have had to have taken place in. Hell, he didn't even have to go to the bathroom in all that time. Now don't get me wrong here, I love goofball movies as much as anyone, but at least make it a little plausible.
6. Oh man, the professor's daughter Bonnie has this wild look on her face while she tells all this. She reminds me so much of Anya from the movie Children Shouldn't Play With Dead Things.
7. While traveling to the lab, they pass a car with two dead people. Tom starts believing what's happened now and he comes up with the idea to go to the TV station to see if they can find some footage of the slime people. The professor and his daughters have never seen them. You see, Tom had this idea because he just happens to be a TV announcer. Sports mostly. It was also explained how Tom got the snot on the wing of his plane. Apparently, he flew through the dome of slime that the slime people have put over the city. Funny how he flew through that and not only didn't notice it, but it didn't gunk up his motor and cause his plane to crash. It should have slimed his air intake on his engine and caused the motor to stall out. I wonder who wrote this movie?
8. They get to the TV station and find a film reel of all the footage of the news reports of the slime people. Tom sets it up on the projector and they have a look. At one point there's this scientist giving this big theory about where they came from and he's describing them and what not. Now this guy was awesome. He was staring straight ahead and was doing the most obvious reading of his lines that I've seen since I saw the police captain read his lines off his hand in the movie Blood Feast. Actually, there were a lot of people reading their lines off of various things in that movie. You really gotta see it, it was way cool. Anyway, back to this movie. This movie is so implausible that I'm starting to think the same guy wrote it that wrote the movie Robot Monster. Woo hoo!!! I just realized that I've managed to plug three of my other reviews already without even really meaning to. Am I talented or what?
9. The slime people have created this fog around the city. This news reporter is reporting from in the fog and manages to say the word "fog" at least ten times during his report. Then he notices that a guy is standing there in the fog like a deformed statue and realizes that the fog is hardening. He starts trying to get the people around him out of the fog without really trying to get away himself. Man, if it was me and I just saw that, the sonic boom coming off my butt as I got the hell out of Dodge would have blown that misty, snot laden fog right into oblivion. Hey, I just realized something. This is Los Angeles after all. Maybe it's not slime people fog at all. Maybe it's just really thick smog! Well it might as well be anyway, since that theory is about as plausible as anything else I've seen in this movie.
10. Now the reporter guy is talking to some colonel who's saying that the wall has hardened and the army is trapped on the other side of the wall. He doesn't seem overly concerned about it though. In fact, he's talking like FM Bob over here. Now if I just got cut off from my army and any source of help, I sure as hell wouldn't be that calm. In fact, that reporter would have my footprints all over his forehead from me climbing over him to get the hell out of there.
11. Film reel is over now, and just as Tom goes to change to reel two, some bum, pops up from the seats down by the screen and throws something at them. Naturally since he's a bum he also has to be an alcoholic. It's ok though because Tom runs down and beats the snot out of him. He's got a buddy there, but he doesn't want any part of Tom. Finally the professor realizes that they're about to reach the dew point and that the slime people will be coming back soon. They run out of the theater and head towards one of the studios. As they're running, one of the slime people emerges from an underground elevator. Then suddenly two more appear and start chasing them. They run into the studio and meet Calvin Johnson who's standing there with a rifle. The slime people are hot on their heels, so they bust through a couple doors and then run into this one studio. As they try to close the door, a slime person appears in it. Now this is hilarious, because the professor grabs a fire extinguisher and shoots it to drive it back out of the doorway so they can shut the door. What's funny about that is the way he shoots it. Now if it was me, I'd have emptied the thing right in the creatures face, but the professor just sort of gives it a light refreshing spritz up and down it's body. Oddly enough that seemed to do the trick as the creature backed out of the doorway and they got the door closed. Apparently these creatures just create this snotty fog by there meer presence, as it suddenly appeared at the very same time the slime person appeared in the doorway. Oddly enough though, it didn't appear around the slime people outside. So basically that makes very little sense but it isn't the least bit surprising considering how incoherent the rest of this movie has been so far.
12. They rush to another door now and with a few gentle sprtizes from the fire extinguisher and a push from Tom, they manage to push the creature out and get the door shut. Now excuse me if I'm missing something here, but aren't these the same creatures that somehow managed to defeat the US Army and drive out or kill the entire population of Los Angeles?
13. The door they just shut has a big sign on it that says, "This door to be closed during audience participation." Now in my book that means that that door should have been shut throughout the entire length of this movie, 'cause you know that everyone watching it is ripping the hell out of it and having a good ol' time.
14. They're in a TV studio now on the set of some show. Tom tries to warn the two bums in the theater about the slime people through the studio intercom system. The drunken bum ignores the warning and soon him and his buddy are killed by one of the slime people. I've said it before and I'll say it again. Some people just can't take good advice.
15. They decide to get the cameras going and make a plea for help hoping that anyone on the outside of the wall would be able to help them. The power starts fluctuating though after they make their call for help and they have to shut down the equipment. They shut down the power to low levels to conserve electricity. I'm not sure why that is since there's no reason for the electricity to be fluctuating like that. It's either on or it's off. Running the cameras and having the studio lights on shouldn't have made it wig out like that.
16. Anyway, it's decided they'll settle in for the night there in the studio and Calvin takes first watch. Naturally, since he's young and good looking, Bonnie has to sneak out and sit with him for a while. Now how many times and in how many different movies have we seen that exact same scenario? Anyway, she's like totally coming on to him and he actually gets the hint and asks her if she had a boyfriend before all this happened. She says no and he actually takes her hand. After talking for a while, he actually kisses her and they basically decide they're gonna hook up and be together after all this slime people business is over with. Now how come stuff like this never happened to me? I REALLY need to get to know some old scientists with hot daughters.
17. Morning comes and Tom walks into the studio where the rest of the crew are crashed out. Tom wakes up the professor and tells him that there's no sign of the slime people. The professor asks him if it's cooler than it was yesterday and he says yes. Apparently the slime people are trying to get the whole city down to one constant dew point so they can make their snot fog all over the place.
18. The professor gives a shopping list to Calvin of stuff to get at the local surplus store. Naturally Bonnie volunteers to go with him. They're going to try to get the stuff together to attempt to break through the slime people's wall. When the professor hands the list to Bonnie, she asks him if they'll be able to get it all in one car. Tom pipes in and says that it's ok because they have his car out in the garage that they can use too. OH MAN, SOMEBODY MAKE IT STOP PLEASE!!!! Just exactly where the hell did Tom's car come from all of a sudden??? Didn't he fly into Los Angeles??? Didn't he grab a ride from the airport to the TV studio with the professor??? Just how the hell did his car get there???
19. The professor, Tom, and Lisa all head back to the professor's house. Tom and the professor sit at the table in the kitchen discussing the slime people's dome and the nature of it. The professor walks out to his lab for a minute, and Lisa's on a step stool trying to grab something off the shelf. So what does Tom do? He hits on her!!! Successfully too I might add. They end up kissing just as the professor walks back in the kitchen. He smiles and looks away, but they finally break their lip lock and realize he's standing there. I got one serious question about this. Tom looks old enough to be Lisa's father, and the professor looks old enough to be her grandfather. So I guess this is one of those May-December romance things. This movie is so bizarre, I'm starting to wonder if it's all just a dream like it was in Robot Man.
20. Driving back, they almost run into Calvin and Bonnie coming back up towards the house. They couldn't get all the stuff they wanted because they ran into gangs of looters that were getting too close so they had to get out of there. This chance meeting happens right in front of the house of Norman Tolliver. A guy who's a writer and a troublemaker and who just happens to know Tom for whatever reason. Tom can't stand him and I think the feeling is kinda mutual since the first thing he does is rip on Tom's car. Now I knew I recognized this guy. His name is Les Tremayne. He also starred in The Angry Red Planet which I just reviewed recently. Yes folks, I'm going for a record here seeing how many of my other reviews I can plug before I get to the end of this movie. Anyway, while he's ripping on Tom's car, he's holding a goat. Now I don't know how much leverage anyone holding a goat has to be ripping on anyone. Turns out he hasn't seen any slime people, and he doesn't believe what's going on. He's like totally nuts. They convince him to come along with them because they want to protect him, but he says he wants to go so he can write a book about all the lunacy that's going on. He's a lot more interesting in this movie than he was in the other one.
21. The group makes their way to the slime people wall and prepare to try to penetrate it. Tom and the professor go into the fog while the rest stay behind holding a rope that's attached to Tom. Bonnie is watching the dew point on a meter that the professor gave her. After watching Tom and the professor walk past the same tree twice, we find out the slime people are after them. Calvin, Bonnie and Lisa go running into the fog after them because they think something's wrong. They follow the rope that's attached to Tom and eventually find them. While they're all standing there, Bonnie walks over to have a look at the wall and spots a slime person. All of a sudden, a whole lot of slime people start chasing them. They follow the rope back to where Tolliver was holding it and pile into the cars to make their getaway. Tolliver wants to be dropped off at this beach comber's house so he can start working on his book. While they're there, the slime people attack and Tolliver finally believes in what's going on. Some people just need to be beat over the head with stuff before they get it don't they?
22. While they're making their getaway, they run out of gas, so they pull up in front of a butcher shop where they plan to take refuge. Right after they go in, slime people start busting in through the skylight and Tolliver bites it. The rest of them take refuge in the freezer. I'm wondering at this point if that was a real smart thing to do. I mean, where are you gonna go from there?
23. After a bit of discussion in the meat freezer, they realize that Tom made it through the slime people's dome because it loses it's coherence in salt. So basically, he went through the dome low over the salt water where the salty mists from the sea disintegrated the dome. So basically what we're talking about here is the putting salt on snails thing. You know, with what I've seen in this movie so far, that concept really doesn't surprise me. I don't think anything could actually surprise me at this point.
24. While Tom, the professor, and Lisa are working on something in the freezer, Calvin and Bonnie go out to find a vehicle. Bonnie is grabbed by one of the slime people and taken away. Calvin manages to make it back to the shop, but there's no sign of Bonnie. The slime people kidnapped her. Now for about the billionth time, I'm going to explain why something in this movie doesn't make sense. Why would they kidnap Bonnie, when all they've been trying to do through the whole movie is to kill everyone they've come in contact with? I mean come on, a second grader with a crayon could have written a script that was more coherent than this.
25. Man, Bonnie's putting up one hell of a fight. She's kicking and screaming and scratching and clawing, but the slime person just keeps dragging her along. At least we get to see what Calvin's in for if he ever get's her back and they get married some day.
26. After some tracking and an encounter with a slime person in which they finally managed to kill one with a spear, Tom and Calvin finally track down the cave where they live and probably took Bonnie. Calvin climbs up in a nearby tree and Tom hides behind some rocks. After Calvin fires a couple shots to lure them out, they wait for the slime people to wander off and then enter the cave. Actually, it doesn't look like a cave. It looks more like a really big sewer pipe. Once they get inside, they finally find Bonnie. Calvin takes her out of the cave just as Tom is attacked by one of the slime people. After a goofy looking fight, he managed to stab it in the neck with it's own spear and kills it. Just as a side note here, the slime people make a sound that makes me think of what indigestion would sound like if you listened to it through a stethoscope.
27. Now back at the butcher shop, Tom is talking about how he saw the machine the slime people are using to make the wall. First of all, I didn't see any machine in that cave. I don't know what kinda funny mushrooms Tom's been eating but he's obviously seeing things. Secondly, the professor asks him what kind of machine it was, it there were any dials or anything. Now why the hell would some primitive screw heads like the slime people have a machine to start with, and why would the professor even think that it would have dials and levers and stuff. Man this is stupid.
28. So they go out to the wall with two buckets of salt solution and start rubbing down the wall with it. They only make a small dent, so Tom decides to go attack the machine directly. While he's gone, the rest of them are attacked by a slime person. Calvin fights it off, and even at one point manages to get it's spear away from it at which time he manages to pull off a really nifty Captain Kirk pole vault dropkick move. He eventually sends it rolling off down a hill. I think Captain Kirk would have done a far better job in this situation though.
29. Tom and Calvin managed to fight off the slime people, and even the professor managed to kill one. Now my big question here is, if they can be fought off that easily, why the heck don't bullets have any effect on them? Anyway, the professor manages to blow up the machine that's making the wall by throwing a spear into it. The wall disappears and the creatures all die in the fresh air. Suddenly the military is all over the place now that the wall is down, and the colonel from the film reel shows up and takes the professor off to brief the general on everything that happened. The rest of our heroes head off on their merry way probably on some kind of a double date. I would hope though that that date would happen after a nice long hot shower, 'cause Tom and Calvin were filthy and probably smelled like fish or something after fighting off all those slime people. Ok the movie's over now. You when your headache clears up you can go ahead and read the rest of the review.
"Gee whiz. You know, as long as you're sittin' here, I don't even wanna think about slime people."
NOVEMBER 24 VHS MOVIE REVIEW : THE SLIME PEOPLE (1963)
Tagline: “Up from the bowels of the Earth!”
Running time: 76 min
Other titles: “Tomorrow You Die”
As the tag line states: “Up from the bowels of the Earth!”…Indeed.
This lovely little slime-ball of a film was directed by actor Robert Hutton (who coincidentally stars in it, who would have thought…). Hutton had a long and successful actor career behind him, so whatever possessed him to try and direct a film (let alone this one!) is beyond me.
With some 40 roles behind him before he began this film, Hutton probably thought he knew enough about acting that he could also successfully direct a movie. He’d also played in a handfull of other horror movies before this one (Colossus of New York (1958) and Invisible Invaders (1959) for example), so maybe he thought that directing a monster movie would be just as easy as acting in one. Well, there is no point in speculating about his motives. The end result is clear: a deliciously awful film.
Take the premise: Nuclear testing drives up a race of underground creatures. Said creatures proceed to take over Los Angeles by defeating the entire US Army (using only their spears!) and chasing out all the civilians. The slimers then erect a dome of “goo” around the whole city and begin lowering the temperature so that they can eventually live above ground in more suitable environs.
Of course, our hero and a tiny Band of Survivors ® manage to do what the entire US Army could not: destroy the slime people. (In retrospect, I don’t really know why they are called ‘Slime People’: They aren’t people and they aren’t slimy either)
I just want to apologize in advance for the quality of the screen shots…I know they suck.
Prepare yourself for a journey into the “bowels of the Earth” with this one…
We open with a picture of some sort of large bronze medal that says “Medallion TV Presents”, which then takes us into the movie itself (I have a bad feeling already). We then see some sort of bunker door opening and a slime person coming out of the fog (there is a LOT of fog in this movie). So, we get to see a slime person after approximately 10 seconds of film…well, I guess I won’t lose any sleep wondering what they look like.
Several scenes of slimers coming out of manholes, walking around the forest, etc, is meant to give us the impression that there must be a large number of them. However, since the most slimers we ever see at one time is 3 (certainly due to budget limitations), it’s difficult to imagine that they are vast hoards of them stalking L.A.
A man’s corpse lying on the beach with a spear stuck in his back implies that these slime people are certainly not nice. Yes, a spear. That is a slimer’s only weapon…and they defeated the entire US Army with them. More on that later.
Anyway, to the blares of horns and “scary” music, the credits are shown over a foggy background. (Strangely, the music plays weird little jazzy riffs every now and then.)
Ah yes, the movie is beginning…only 74 minutes to go.
We see our hero, Tom Gregory (Robert Hutton), piloting a single-engine plane through what appears to be some pretty rough weather. We know it’s rough because stage hands are rocking the ‘plane’ back and forth while he sits in the cockpit. Gregory radios the control tower requesting “LA visibility readings…”, while we see stock footage of a plane flying over the sea and towards LA (in quite clear skies I might add).
LA does not respond. Fortunately Santa Barbara airport comes in over the radio and warns Tom not to attempt a landing at L.A. Airport. Furthermore, the tower tells him to get out of L.A. “immediately” and head North (although they don’t tell him why).
Despite these warnings, Gregory lands at LA Airport (pretty funny to see how small LAX was back then…compare the shots of the airport to LAX today…) and taxis off the runway to the fuel pump. Getting out of the plane, our puzzled hero notices that the entire airport is deserted, which he thinks is rather odd (even for 1963…). He accidentally puts his hand in some “goo” on the airplanes wing and hastily wipes it off on a handkerchief. I assume the “goo” is supposed to remind us how “slimy” the slime people are, or, well, I don’t know. Of course we find out later that he has flown through a “slime dome” that covers the entire city, but this isn’t mentioned until about 10 minutes later.
Boredom ensues as he walks from building to building at the airport, occasionally calling out the standard “Hello…” and “Anybody there?” Sometimes something exciting happens like him trying to open a locked door. Yep, this is an exciting sequence of scenes…Oh wait! He’s calling somebody from a phone booth…and…and…no answer!!! Wow! The horror!
Having established the fact that, well, that the airport is empty, he walks back to the plane. I don’t mean we cut to a scene with him back at the plane, oh no…we see him walk all the way back to it…every exciting step.
Tom tries to radio the tower from his plane…without success. The, er, excitement, is broken when a car drives up and starts honking the horn. Inside the car are Professor Galbraith Galvin and his two (cute) daughters, Lisa and Bonnie. Gee, I wonder if the Professor’s character is going to be used in the film to explain away plot holes with scientific gobbledy-goop…Oh yeah, who wants to bet on whether or not Tom hooks up with one of the daughters…
The Professor tells Tom to get in the car, to which he understandably balks, saying he has to “…check my plane in…” Well, they’ll be no checking in of planes today! Tom eventually decides to go with them back to the laboratory and use a phone there.
On the way to the lab, he finally gets to the bottom of things. Bonnie quickly fills him in (and us) by dumping a slimy-wad of exposition into our laps: “First the slime people came…then the whole army came to fight them…and they lost.” Well, isn’t that sweet.
Wait a minute. Something is bothering me here:
In the opening shots we see that the only weapon slimers use is a spear…So they beat the entire United States Army using spears? Oh brother! I can see why they chose to have Bonnie just tell us everything instead of daring to show scenes from that battle.
Another thing, we find out later that Tom is a reporter for a L.A. newspaper, yet he’s unaware of the fact that:
1) Subterranean monsters have come up and overrun Los Angeles (his home town!)
2) The monsters defeated the entire US Army
3) They have entombed the entire city of Los Angeles in a slime dome!
What the hell kind of a reporter is this guy? Even if he wasn’t a news hound, you would think that even the most illiterate savage in the deepest regions of the rain forest would have heard about all this!
As Bonnie continues, Tom shakes his head in disbelief (probably because he can’t believe he actually chose to star in this movie). She tells him that she, Lisa, and the Professor were up in the cabin when it all happened and they didn’t get out of L.A. “…before the wall hardened.” Hmmm, you would think that would have been a priority, you know, joining the evacuation of 5 million people from an invasion of slime creatures, but oh well… Bonnie is confident they well get out because, well, her father is a “…science professor.” (Note the maniacal look on her face when she says it…)
Professor Galbraith mysterious adds, “…well…that’s about the way it happened.” Hmmm, what else happened then? Never mind, he drops the whole subject and begins questioning Tom on how he got through the slime wall (just typing that makes me a little nauseous). Tom still refuses to believe that any of this is true. (by the way, wouldn’t they have seen any sort of signs of the massive war that lead to the defeat of the US Army? Wouldn’t that give some weight to his argument?)
Galbraith continues with his attempts to convince Tom of the reality of what’s happened by saying, “Now, we all know there are fish in the sea…” (?). This air-tight argument is interrupted when he points out some (stock-footage) destroyed houses to Tom. We see some stock-footage of some bombed out houses, ummm, wouldn’t they have seen all this before now? I mean, the devastation looks pretty extensive in the shot.
Tom admits that, yes, something has happened (gee, you think so?). Our gang of heroes comes upon a car which has crashed into the ditch on the side of the road. A dead body is hanging out of the door impaled by a spear in its back. (This is one of the very few scenes where they actually show a dead body. What happened to all the rest? Shouldn’t there be thousands and thousands of dead slime people and soldiers lying around?) Tom and the Professor walk over and examine the wreckage for about 5 seconds and return to their car, but not before the Professor pulls the spear out of the body and takes it with him. (Yuch!)
Back in the car Tom says, “Seeing those dead men back there, I’m ready to believe…” Wow! Seeing a dead body in L.A.! I bet that never happens! Ok, so now we are done with that part of the plot (convincing Tom about the slime people. I wonder if it was as easy to convince the producers of this movie…)
Tom suggests that they all head down to the TV station where he works and see if there’s any “film” about this. When he says this Lisa blurts out “Oh! You’re THAT Tom Gregory!” Bingo! Now we know which daughter he will hook up with before the film is over. Never mind that she is half his age. (Yes…they do end up kissing and yes…it’s revolting.)
I just have to say this: throughout this whole film, these two girls sure seem to take things lightly. They are trapped in a slime dome that covers the entire L.A. metropolis area, overrun by slime monsters, and have no way out. Yet they don’t seem to be in the slightest bit concerned. It really takes away from any sense of urgency and concern the viewer may have (and I don’t think there are very many viewers that would have it in the first place).
They finally arrive at the TV station where Tom escorts them to a studio. Professor Galbraith and his daughters take a seat in some sort of mini-movie theater while Tom looks through a set of news reels. Yup! He found it, and it’s even titled “The Slime People”. (Give me a break!)
On the film (which conveniently exposits more information to fill in the gaping plot holes) we see a news caster sitting at a desk reading news flashes and bulletins into the camera. He reports that 12 “persons” have been found murdered “on and near” the beaches. We are treated to an on-the-spot interview with a hysterical witness (note: The actress who plays the witness, Mrs. Steel, is actually one of the co-writers of the film, Blair Roberts. Did you know that? Did you care? By the way, she really, really hams it up in this scene. Probably best she stuck with writing.)
The news footage cuts back to the newsroom where we are informed that the armed forces are engaged in “hand-to-hand combat” with the monsters. What? Why the hell would they fight them hand-to-hand? Didn’t they have, um, rockets, tanks, rifles, hell, we had the atom bomb for God’s sake!
I guess because we would have kicked their slimy butts and we wouldn’t have to watch this movie.
Speaking of movies, let’s get this one over with. The newscaster is now interviewing Dr. Bro (!). He describes the creatures as, well, completely opposite to how they look in the film (see Classic Lines). Cutting back to the “on the spot reporter” (who we can barely discern through all the fog!), he tells us that the fighting has been heavy for the last two days. He tells us that the army is trying to clear away the fog because then the “battle would be over.” Ok, if you say so. With a sudden blast of ‘scary’ music, the reporter shouts “It’s hardened! The fog has hardened!” We see (sort of) somebody “frozen” in the now hardened fog (even though you can see that the person is just trying to stand still in the smoke, which he can’t do very well because you can see his hands moving). Ok, so this must be how the wall came into being. Scary. No, the movie is not scary. It’s scary that I’m actually watching this.
A colonel comes into view (sort of) and tells everybody that there are “holes in the fog wall” to the South and East, so everybody should evacuate the city as soon as possible. Wow. Two days to defeat the US Army. Pretty impressive for a bunch of prehistoric slime people!
We shift scenes back to the little theater at the TV station where Tom and the others have been watching this. It’s kind of funny when you realize that they have been watching a film about all this, which means that somebody had to gather the reportage, develop the film, splice the segments together, and then deliver it to the newsroom. Not too bad considering the battle for survival that was taking place. Talk about devotion to one’s work!
The peaceful moment is shattered as some sort of drunk jumps up in front of the screen and throws something at Tom (accompanied by the mandatory “Scream-o-Fear” from one of the girls). Turns out there are two “looters” in the theater. How the hell they got there without being seen, ahhh…let’s just keep going.
The professor points out that it will soon be the “dew point” (?) and the slime people will be coming out. How does he know that? Is he some sort of human humidity gauge? Tom suggests that they go to studio 1 because it has “double doors”. Good idea, Tom. This of course requires them to leave the building and run outside. They are stopped short by some sort of doors in the ground opening up (the exact same scene as in the beginning of the movie, mind you). Fog spews out (of course), along with a spear-wielding slime person.
Playing it safe, they run the extra 10 feet to the studio doors and go inside where a figure steps out of the shadows. It’s a slime person who quickly stabs them to death and the movie ends. I wish. It’s none other than US Marine Calvin Johnson (this guy must be Conan O’Brien’s long lost twin brother!) This marine, with a pretty un-military looking hair cut, has been cut off from his unit and has been hiding from the slime people for the last couple of days.
Here comes a scary scene. Well, relatively speaking of course. Tom and Calvin try to close the door to the studio when suddenly a slime person pushes his way into the opening. For some reason, the scene immediately fills with smoke and fog, when just a second ago it was perfectly clear, so it’s hard to see what’s happening. Professor Galbraith picks up a fire extinguisher and begins squirting wimpy little puffs of extinguisher powder in the slime person’s face. This of course is intolerable and the slimer backs out of the door again. (Hey! Maybe the Army should try using fire-extinguishers next time!)
Tom and the others manage to close the door (but they don’t lock it!) at which time all the fog in the scene immediately clears. Hmmmm. It turns out that studio 1 is a broadcast studio complete with a television camera, and a sound stage filled with comfortable sofas and chairs. The professor and his daughters retire to the chairs while Tom turns on the intercom and tries to warn the looters in the theater that the slime people are out and about.
The drunks refuse to heed his warnings and continue to drink. How they managed to stay alive this long is anybody’s guess. Fog fills the room, so we can assume that the slime people will be appearing,…ah yes, there is one, I can barely make him out through the smoke, but I’m pretty sure it’s a slime person. Not surprisingly, the drunks are dispatched by the slimer’s spear while Tom and the others listen to his screams over the intercom speakers. Hilariously, in the background you can see Lisa doing her nails on the sofa while the drunk is screaming! That’s one cold-hearted lady!
Tom gets the great idea to turn on the television camera and try to broadcast a plea for help. Ever helpful, the professor says that he doubts the signal can “…get through that dome. But there’s no harm trying.” Gee! Why don’t you come up with a useful idea then, Professor!
To nobody’s great surprise, no signal appears to be getting through the dome. Tom suggests that there is a slight chance the “audio” could still get through (whatever). Calvin, eager to emphasize that this is no joke (ummm, a slime dome over the city of L.A. should convince most everybody that this is for real, you would think…), grabs the microphone from Tom and makes an emotional appeal for help.
This tear-jerking plea is interrupted when the lights begin to flicker and dim, complete with a Scream-o-Fear from Bonnie (sigh). Tom runs off scene in order to ‘Fix The Problem’, as all heroes do. Yes! The lights have stopped flickering and Tom confidently states that the power should now last them through the night. Wow! He’s a pretty good electrician for a sports reporter!
The professor thinks that Calvin might have some useful information and asks him if he’s ever seen the wall (see Classic Dialog…I couldn’t resist). Calvin supplies little useful information, but then again, a slime wall, what more can a person say about that? Professor Galbraith suggests that they get some sleep because the next day they are going to gather “every chemical they possibly can,” go out to the wall, and try to penetrate it with the pilfered chemicals.
Calvin bravely volunteers to take the first guard shift. Well, what do you know…Here comes Bonnie to join him because she can’t sleep. Bonnie, after knowing Calvin for about 20 minutes says that she wants to stay with him. Well, to make a long story short, and to spare you some excruciatingly clumsy dialog, they end up kissing (see Classic Lines for a good sample of what I had to put up with in this scene).
Gee, I wonder if that means her sister Lisa is going to end up with Tom. Oops! I hope I didn’t give anything away.
The mandatory kissing scene out of the way, Calvin wisely realizes that he has a job to do, i.e., protecting the rest of the survivors from slime people, not kissing on Bonnie. Talk about military discipline! He tells Bonnie to go back to the others while he finishes his guard shift.
Fade to black.
We see now that its daylight and Tom is returning back to the studio after looking around a little bit. He wakes up the Professor and the others so they can start, well, gathering as many chemicals as possible I guess.
The professor asks if it’s any cooler today. Tom replies that it is, and then they both realize that the slime people are trying to bring the temperature down to “…a constant dew point…”, so the slime people can then “…circulate on the surface both day and night.” Oh no! Not that! Furthermore, the Professor tells them they have to break through the wall and get out within a couple of hours. Why the sudden time crunch? Eh, who knows…
Professor Galbraith suggests that they drive up to his cabin laboratory and get some chemicals from there. Pulling out a list of items they need to take with them, Lisa wonders how they are going to get it all into their car. Never fear! Tom says that he has his car in the garage there at the studio (how convenient), so they can take both cars in order to haul all the chemicals and supplies to the slime wall when they try and break through.
Calvin is told to drive to the nearest “surplus” store and get a bunch of supplies. Bonnie asks permission to accompany him and Galbraith complies. I don’t know why he would let his daughter go on such a dangerous errand when her presence serves absolutely no purpose what so ever…
Tom, Professor Galbraith, and Lisa all head out to Tom’s car (with Tom saying a condescending “C’mon Honey!” to Lisa on the way out). With some typical driving-up-to-the-cabin-on-dirt-roads scenes, the brave trio finally reach the Galbraith’s mountain cabin.
At the cabin, the Professor exposits some scientific goobledy-goop in an effort to explain how the slime dome was made (see Classic Lines if you dare). Meanwhile, Lisa is busying herself, as every good 1960’s woman should, by putting away the dishes, packing food, and making coffee while the men talk.
Galbraith heads off to the lab and, incredibly, Tom goes over to Lisa, lifts her down off a stool she was standing on and kisses her (Yech!). Boy! Those 1960’s guys sure move quick! This nauseating, excuse me, romantic scene is interrupted when the professor walks back into the kitchen. He comments how important it is to find a way to penetrate the slime wall, because “…if this ever happens again…the world will have a solution right at its fingertips.” Umm, if what happens again? Subterranean slime people come up, defeat the US Army, and enshroud L.A. in a slime dome? Yeah, ok, I’m pretty sure that’s going to happen again…
We cut to the next scene where Calvin and Bonnie have met up with Tom and the others on a dirt road somewhere. How the hell they did that, who knows. Amazingly enough, they just happen to meet right outside the house of an eccentric writer, Norman Tolliver (played by Les Tremayne!), who rushes out to greet them, while carrying a goat (!!). Yes. I said a goat.
You see, Tolliver’s character provides what is supposed to be some funny moments. Don’t worry. It’s not funny, so you didn’t miss anything.
Tolliver refuses to believe in the slime people, he insists it’s just mass hysteria and a bunch of nonsense. Once again, I have to wonder how the mother-of-all-battles between the Army and the slime people could have gone unnoticed by anybody. Tolliver decides to go with them to “gather some material” for his new book about the insanity of the people who evacuated the city. So he clambers into the car, without the goat, and they drive off.
Scary music plays while the cars pull up to a ‘fog bank’ in some wooded area. Galbraith points out that “…somewhere in there…is the wall”. If he means that there is a wall that surrounds L.A. in the pathetic wisps of smoke from the smoke machines, then I’m not terribly convinced. Calvin stays behind with the girls while Professor Galbraith and Tom head off into the fog with their “chemicals”. In order not to get lost in this oh-so-thick-fog, they drag along a rope that they can follow back to the cars.
The plan is for Calvin to fire a shot into the air when Bonnie’s thermometer reaches the “dew point”, that way the professor and Tom can get back to the car before the slime people come out (maybe she could warn them before the dew point?). With the rope tied around his waist, the professor and Tom head off into the fog bank to find the wall.
After walking a way, Tom thinks he sees something moving in the trees. Galbraith doesn’t see anything so they move on. Bad idea. Up pops a slime person and which starts to follow them.
The duo keep walking for a way and then stop to take some more readings, however the scene is shot at the same tree that they were just standing at!
No, this is not the same scene twice. The first picture is from when Tom thinks he sees something. The second picture is from after they have moved on and had been walking for awhile longer. Busted! Exact same tree!
It’s finding errors like this that make watching these movies all worthwhile. Ahhh…now I have more energy to continue with this film.
While the two are walking around in the fog, a slime person steps on the rope that leads back to Calvin and the girls. Calvin feels the rope jerk and assumes that the Tom and the Professor are in trouble. Tolliver, sitting on an old tractor (!) laughs and makes some wisecracks, while Bonnie and Lisa run off into the fog! Calvin, showing great judgment, throws down the rope and chases after the girls into the fog. Oh no. I just realized that this means there will be more roaming-in-the-fog scenes. God help me.
Tom and Galbraith finally, and I mean finally, reach the wall. In case your wondering what the wall looks like, I can’t tell you because the smoke machines are turned up so high. From what I can make out, it looks like, well, a wall. Not too slimy though. Anyhoo…the two brave men begin applying various chemicals onto the wall to see if they have any effect. Just to give you an idea of how much smoke there is in these scenes, feast your hungry eyes on this:
Meanwhile, thinking that Tom and the Professor are in trouble, Calvin and the girls have followed the rope to where Tom is standing. They decide to head back because nothing they’ve tried has affected the wall. Wow, that was an exciting sequence of scenes.
Bonnie asks her father where the wall is. (?) Umm, it’s that giant dome of slime covering LA two feet to your left, honey…. She heads off into the fog and screams. I think she screams because a slime person is coming towards them. I’m not sure because I can’t make it out through the smoke. Whatever. They run back to the car. Let’s get this movie over with.
It’s actually pretty humorous sometimes when the exciting “action” music plays: horns blaring, drums pounding, and you can’t see a thing through the smoke. Maybe I need a break if I find that entertaining.
After making it back to safety (…after some truly boring “action” scenes of being chased by lumbering slime people through thick smoke…), the group drives back to town. On the way, Tolliver wants to be dropped off somewhere so he can start his book about the idiotic believers. Glad to be rid of him, they pull over to the first house they drive past, and Tolliver jumps out of the car and runs up to the house. Tolliver tries to break into the house to “…see if they have a typewriter…” when he stumbles upon a spear-skewered body laying next to the front door (don’t worry, you can’t really see too much in the fog).
Suddenly, Lisa lets loose a “Scream-o-Fear” as some slime people waddle up to the cars. Tolliver dives back into one of the waiting cars and they all drive off (leaving one car behind for some reason). Well, finally having seen a slime person, Tolliver has to admit that he was wrong all along.
Driving back to town they come upon a large group of survivors blocking the road. The mob attacks the car and forces them to turn around and head back. I’m not too sure why they attack them, but then again, does it make any difference? No. Maybe it was trying to show how easily civilized behavior is cast aside when people are thrust into extraordinary circumstances. Nahh…probably just chewing up running time.
Driving back to town using a different route, Calvin realizes that they are, *sigh*, out of gas. They pull up to an abandoned butcher shop and try to hide inside. It’s pretty funny to see how low food prices were back in 1963. Actually, it’s kind of annoying because the walls of the butcher store are covered in distracting posters showing meat prices, which the viewer can’t help but read.
The fog-enshrouded front door is locked, so they head back to the completely fog-free back door which is wide open. This is very lucky for them for the slime people immediately attack by breaking through the glass sky-light in the roof of the butcher’s shop. (!) Much easier then, say, going in the wide-open back door.
Everybody takes refuge in the meat locker while Tolliver collapses to the floor as the slime people close in for the kill. Screaming, “Die you monster! You’re not real!”, Tolliver shoots a slime person with no apparent effect. Scratch one stupid character. No more Tolliver.
Both Bonnie and Lisa begin to overact, oops, I mean cry out for Tom to save Tolliver. Being the hero, and a 1960’s male, Tom takes charge and calms the hysterical sisters by saying “He had the same chance for safety as we all had…..Fear killed Tolliver!” Hmmm, I was pretty sure it was a pair of prehistoric slime people that killed him, but with all the fog in the scene, I could be wrong.
The two girls apologize for their outbursts, and walk off scene to calm down, but not before Calvin says “Remember…keep cool!”. (Oh brother!)
Now Professor Galbraith and Tom begin to discuss Tom’s travel through the dome when he first flew into LA. While they are talking Calvin climbs a ladder and peeks out a row of windows. (How many meat lockers do you remember that have ladders and long rows of windows in them?)
With an incredible display of deductive logic (Go Professor! Go!), he figures that the slime wall can be broken by using ‘sodium chloride’! (Oh! So scientific!). Don’t ask me to explain how he figured it out, just see the movie if you really want to know. (Ok, Tom tells him his plane dove down as he passed through the dome. Thus there was a gap between the water and the bottom of the dome. QED: salt from the ocean’s salt spray burned a hole through the dome. Elementary, my dear Watson. Of course, any kid that has ever poured salt on a slug probably would have thought of this a long time ago.)
They decide to give it a try, but they need more salt, and a vehicle to fill with salt and use to get out of the dome. Calvin takes it upon himself to find a car that they can use, but doesn’t want anybody else to know what he’s going to do. Huh? Why not? You would think that it would be common courtesy to tell the others you are going to take off, especially when you have the only rifle! Well, Bonnie finds out he’s going on this Dangerous Mission, and wants to tag along.
Using no common sense what-so-ever, Calvin and Bonnie go out the meat locker’s back door (!) and into an alley. They begin to walk slowly down the alley and walk in front of a big garbage dumpster. Now really, do I have to tell anybody what is going to happen next? In case your brain is completely atrophied by this point, I will tell you that a slime person pulls Bonnie into the dumpster and Calvin continues to walk down the alley, oblivious to the fact (Way to go, Marine!).
As a matter of fact, Calvin doesn’t even notice that she’s gone until he has found a truck and climbed up into the driver’s seat.
Back in the meat locker (a surprisingly warm meat locker), the others have just noticed that Bonnie and Calvin have left. (how big is this meat locker anyway? Could they really not notice that they had snuck out?)
Tom, being The Hero, takes a rifle (where did this second rifle come from?!!) and heads out into the fog to find the young pair. His efforts prove futile, as the only thing he finds is the useless Calvin also wandering around in the fog. The two men are quickly chased back into the meat locker by a couple of slime people where they have to inform the others that Bonnie is missing.
Tom assumes that the slime people have kidnapped Bonnie in order to lure them out. Wait a minute:
1) Why the hell would they bother to do that? They have killed everybody without hesitation up to now!
2) What do the slime people care if a sports caster, an AWOL Marine, a 70 year old professor, and a bimbo are trapped in a meat locker? Do these 4 stragglers really pose such a huge threat to their plans to take over the world?
Well, obviously, we can now look forward to burning more running time as they search for Bonnie. Great. I needed that.
Calvin, suddenly grows a pair of balls, and decides to go out after her alone. Tom tries to stop him from acting so hastily. (Tom, couldn’t you please just let him go out and get killed so I don’t have to watch his horrible acting anymore?)
Before Tom can stop him, Calvin does manage to open the back door and nearly lets a slime person into the meat locker (moron). They manage to close the door on the monster’s claw, or something. This gives Professor Galbraith a chance to study the wound (groan). He deduces again that the monsters are “…self-sealing..” and that’s why the bullets had no effect: the wounds just sealed up again. This also explains why they use these spears: Since the spears are hollow, the wound won’t close up. (Don’t think about all this too much, because it makes no sense whatsoever if you do. Just go with the flow.)
Tom suggests that “…they probably have a headquarters nearby..”, and assumes that’s where they have taken Bonnie. (This movie is really getting stupid now. There. I said it. I feel better.)
Tom and Calvin grab their guns and a slime person’s spear which they just happened to have taken along with them, and head out into the fog to find Bonnie.
The brave pair find a car and drive off, but not before a slime person punctures one of the tires. They still manage to drive up into the mountains on the rim before pulling over and jumping out of the moving car. (You are treated to some really fake scenes of them driving, the kind where you can see out the back window and notice that the car isn’t moving at all…) This ingenious plan was meant to mislead the slime people into thinking that they are still in the car. Genius! Try not to see Tom drop their guns at the top of the hill, and when Tom stands up at the bottom of the hill, his gun is right beside him.
Which also makes me wonder: They know the guns are useless against slime people, so why the hell did they bring them?
They now start to search for Bonnie. Tom suggest that they look for any signs of her…”Foot prints, slime, anything!” (!!)
Cut to a scene showing a slime person dragging the still struggling and screaming Bonnie through the woods. It does make a person wonder why they would take her up into the woods when they live underground…
Cut back to Tom and Calvin walking through the fog looking for clues. In a most unbelievable moment (and that says a lot!) , Tom leans over and plucks up a lock of blond hair from a field of knee high grass while surrounded by dense smoke and fog. I have to through the BS flag on this one! Penalty! No way!
Wow, I really want to get this over with now. More shots of Tom and Calvin walking through the woods looking for Bonnie. More shots of Bonnie screaming and struggling with a slime person. Ok, we’re really burning up the run time here.
To make a long story short, Calvin, or maybe it was Tom (hard to see who it was in the fog) manages to spear and kill the slime person carrying Bonnie. The two men and the shaken Bonnie (probably with a pretty sore throat by now from screaming for the last 20 minutes) all head back to the butcher’s shop on foot.
On the way back, with another amazing coincidence, they come across the machine that is creating the wall of slime around LA. (Tom, of course, figures out the purpose of the machine after seeing it for maybe 3 seconds.) In fact, it looks like a smoke generator, which is what it is. It’s hard to believe that this one little machine is maintaining a slime dome around the entire city of LA, but hey, who am I to say what is and what isn’t possible for slime people to accomplish.
A tearful reunion is held when Bonnie is reunited with her family in the meat locker. She recalls her horrible ordeal to her father and sister, even mentioning that they had “…set her in a cave.” Hmm, I don’t remember seeing that, but let’s just pretend it happened and move on.
Conferring with the good Professor, they decide to attack the machine with the salt. Their hopes are quickly dampened when they realize they have only two buckets of it. Doesn’t quite sound like enough to liberate Los Angeles, does it now. Since the slime creatures “…already have our temperature under control…” they will just have to try and break out with the salt they have, and as Calvin so astutely points out, as long as they remain in the meat locker they are “…setting ducks.” (Did you mean “sitting ducks”, Calvin?)
They now get their “salt solution” (hey, that’s what the Professor calls it!) and head out to the wall in order to try to make a hole and get out. Or something.
The next shot is really bizarre. We see the 5 of them walking through the fog, but look what each person is carrying: The two girls are carrying heavy buckets of salt solution, Tom and Calvin are carrying rifles which have no effect on slime people, and the 70 year old Professor is struggling to keep up while lugging a spear with him. Even more bizarre is the fact that Lisa has taken along her purse in addition to her bucket of salt.
Oh Lord! That was a gripping scene watching them walk through the fog. To add insult to injury, they show us the exact same scene but from a different angle in order to make us think they are walking a long way. You can even see Lisa trip in the same spot in both scenes. Sheesh!
They finally, oh my Lord, and I mean finally, reach the slime wall and start applying the salt solution to it. Here is a screen capture of their desperate attempts to burn a hole in the wall:
Once again, fate rears its ugly head. The salt is not working fast enough. Tom wants to go after the machine and destroy it. He thinks that the machine will be unguarded because the slime people will still be looking for them. Let me get this straight: The slime people are going to leave the machine that sustains their lives, in order to find 5 stragglers running in the woods? I can’t believe I’m watching this, yet here I sit.
Calving and Tom head off to destroy the machine, leaving the two girls in the care of their 70 year old father. Smart plan. Before they leave, Tom tells them to fire if they run into trouble, yet when they leave to destroy the machine, Tom and Calvin take both rifles with them! Gee, thanks for nothing honey!
Tom heads towards the machine while Calvin stands guard at the top of a little hill. For some reason, Lisa, Bonnie and their father suddenly show up at Calvin’s side. Weren’t they told to stay put? Does anything make sense here?
As you would probably expect, Calvin is attacked by a slime person while Tom is making his way down to the slime machine. After some pretty uninspired hand-to-hand fighting, Calvin manages to kick the slime person down an embankment, where it dies. I guess rolling down a hill is enough to kill these powerful creatures.
After this (yawn, excuse me) exciting episode, Calving, the Professor and the girls decide to go help Tom instead of waiting where they are. As they reach the machine, they see that Tom is in a fight for his life with not 1, but 3 slime people! Lisa lets off a Scream-o-Fear while Calvin runs down to lend a hand.
Wouldn’t you know it? A slimer has snuck up behind Lisa and grabbed her by the throat. (Can we just get on with this and destroy the machine already?!) Thankfully (that this is almost over), Professor Galbraith throws one of the slime people’s spears into the slime producing machine, which of course explodes in a shower of sparks and smoke.
Sounds of wind gusting informs the alert viewer (you are awake, aren’t you?) that by destroying the machine, the slime dome has been ruptured. A good thing too, since Tom and Calvin are really getting their butts kicked by the slime people. The fog lifts and the slime people begin to drop like flies from the clean air.
Having saved the world (at least LA), Tom and Calvin run back and give hugs to their respective sweet-hearts. Stock footage of some jet planes, tanks, and some soldiers walking across a field ensure us that we are safe from the slime people. An army Colonel drives up in a jeep and asks Professor Galbraith to give a full report to “..the General.” (Oh. That general!)
We end the movie with Calvin and Bonnie in the front of a jeep with Tom and Lisa in the back. “C’mon! Let’s get out of here!” shouts Calvin as they drive off. Uggh.
Dennis Grisbeck (Jan 2005)
I hate to say it, but this film could have been much better. The slime people looked halfway decent (when you could see them through the fog). It’s too bad there were at most only 3 of them in any given shot. As I said before, it was hard to imagine that anybody was being “overrun” by them.
Another irritating thing about this film was the overuse of the smoke machines. Was the machine operator getting paid by the cubic yard of smoke he could produce? There are entire sequences of scenes where you literally couldn’t make anything out at all.
The nauseating 1960s male chauvinism is pretty funny to watch, I must admit. Tom is quite the “real man” in the film. Furthermore, the way that the two relationships (Tom and Lisa, Calvin and Bonnie) came together was so perfunctory and unconvincing, it makes me squirm with discomfort just thinking about it.
All in all, I think the tag line sums it up best: “…Up from the bowels of the Earth”
Now, please send this movie back there.