Wednesday, April 30, 2008

Slime City (1988)


Greg Lamberson's debut feature is a throw back to the works of Henenlotter, Cohen, and, to a lesser extent, Cronenberg. An attempted statement on the perils of addiction and hookering (Henenlotter's Frankenhooker covered that one so much better). Any social satire falls flat, however, in wave after wave of slime left over from the set of "You Can't Do that On Television." Still, for an 80's splatter flick that contains absolutely no nudity you could probably do worse.

I'm sure we've all been in a position where we need to find an apartment as soon as possible, am I right? Whether we've been smoked out, priced out, or kicked out it happens to all of us from time to time. Another reason? Sometimes you just want to get laid and present circumstances (parent's basement, prudish girlfriend, annoying cock blocking roommate) provide an impenetrable obstacle to your desires. Your blue balls are ready to erupt. Yes, my friend, it's time to move out. That's the case for Alex (Robert Sabin), the anti-hero (i.e. asshole) of Slime City.

It's not long before Alex is set up in a quaint little apartment in a building full of artists and old people (another minor deterrent to getting laid). Alex is happy. His girlfriend, Lori (Mary Huner) is happy, although still not willing to give it up. His best friend (and former roommate) Jerry is happy (somehow, he thinks he's getting laid out of this). Roman, the poet who lives on the floor below is happy. The Elvira-looking broad across the hall, with the unfortunate anti-Elvira breasts, is especially happy. What Alex doesn't know is that several years before, a crazy old cult leader (named Zachary) and his followers committed mass suicide in the basement. They've been slowly possessing each new occupant and now it's Alex's turn. I'm not exactly sure how the possession occurs, but it involves a green puddingish substance called "himalayan yogurt" and raunchy sex with the Elvira-looking broad across the hall. At least he got laid. An unfortunate side effect: The yogurt is addicting (kind of a low-rent 'The Stuff'). Withdrawal symptoms involve dripping slime from your every pore and the increasing need to kill (in order to keep the slime at bay). Was it worth all this to get laid? Absolutely.

Slime City is fun, but with a bit of a disclaimer. The same disclaimer I could apply to many films reviewed here. It's best when viewed after imbibing more than a few. I just watched it for the first time sober and have to admit, it tried my patience more than once. The acting in this thing is atrocious across the board. Robert Sabin, as Alex, brought to mind a youngish Matthew Broderick until he began reading his lines. Everyone reads their lines in this. Not one god damned ounce of emoting. The guy that played Roman (Dennis Embry) actually got to say this line: "no one takes an artist's work seriously unless he's planted six feet under" and then adds "if you know what i mean", as if he's being clever. No, Roman, I'm actually not sure. Care to elaborate? At times, this felt like a student film project. When Alex has dinner with Lori's, clearly disapproving, parents, I swear they set the dinner table up in a dorm room. Lori's father can't even afford a real dining room table and yet, here he is looking down his nose at Alex because Alex isn't a fan of corporate art? He refuses to sell out? Give me a fucking break. Or, maybe it's the green slime dripping into his dinner? One more thing. Did I mention that there's not one breast in all 85 minutes of this thing. Really??? The closest we get is some pretty nice side-al cleavage courtesy of the Elvira broad.

What did I like? Well, the slime for one. It was all over the fucking place. At one point, Alex wraps bandages around his head and puts on his sunglasses in a nice little homage to The Invisible Man. This picture bears a strong resemblence to Frank Henenlotter's films; in particular Basket Case and Brain Damage. Brain Damage, in my opinion, is as good as any New York City-set splatter film ever made. The "fellatio" scene alone is worth the purchase of the DVD. Slime Shitty has nothing in it that comes even close to that, but there are several fun little gore moments splattered throughout. In particular, the mugging and it's aftermatch, which is ripped right out of Cronenberg's Videodrome (by far, this picture's best scene). Think Vagina-like-stomach-hole that likes to swallow weapons. These film-guys show their influences in almost every scene. There's even a character named Detective O'bannon (obviously in reference to Dan O'bannon the writer of such seminal films as Dead & Buried and Blue Thunder. Oh, and something called Alien. I heard that one is pretty good). I got pissed when the Detective questioned Lori about a missing hooker who was last seen taking money from her boyfriend. That's an unacceptable cock block. Thankfully, Lori's a trooper because she still let Alex do her. What a girl!

There are several amusing lines in this such as the one that follows Alex's deflowering of Lori (finally!): "Just like a woman to lie on her ass while the man does all the work." This certainly isn't Scorsese's New York. There's no redemption for this fucker, not even in death. His post coital massage of Lori progresses from "Alex, you're hurting me" to "Wrong, I'm killing you." Lori tries everything on the guy; she seppuku's him, she quarters him, beheads him, etc. Alex's disembodied head pleads it's case: "Lori, I love you! I even painted your portrait!" Then his head opens up and the slime billows out, followed by his brain which inch worms its way toward, a not nearly stunned enough, Lori (the actress that played Lori went on to portray a receptionist in an episode of "Law & Order", so maybe she got better).

Who would have thought there was this much slime in New York City?

6 comments:

elmo said...

The line "wrong, I'm killing you," feels like the line they wrote the movie around. And I am almost curious to see something lower rent than "The Stuff."

Beepy said...

You know, it's guys like Alex (and movies like this) that prevent more guys getting laid more often. Women are always ready to fuck you, guys, but we're always afraid that you're full of slime. Hence our reticence. Look at poor Lori. If she'd held out, she'd still be alive.

Beepy said...

Of course, it could just be that a lot of men are gross. You'll all have to examine your cases individually I guess.

steve said...

I can't speak for anybody else, but I damn near ate my own body weight at Old Country Buffet today, so I'm DEFINITELY full of slime ...

Beepy said...

Let me speak for everyone everywhere when I say "eyew".

elmo said...

It's the end of another work day and, as is the ritual, I just lost my body weight in slime.