The Slime People/Review
From The Grindhouse Cinema Database
Strange reptilian creatures rise from “the bowels of the earth” and erect a dome of impenetrable fog around the city of Los Angeles. After a budget saving offscreen clash between the slimy invaders and the U.S. military Hollywood is evacuated however a handful of folks are left trapped inside the uncanny dome. Sports writer, and pilot, Tom Gregory hooks up with Professor Gelman (or Galvin or Galbraith depending on which misheard opinion you choose to believe) and his 2 daughters Bonnie & Lisa and they hot foot it over to a local TV studio where they watch news reel footage of the city succumbing to chaos. An interview with a scientific “expert” reveals that the natural habitat of the Slime People may have been disturbed by underground nuclear bomb tests and as a result they are mighty pissed. The weird fog is an attempt to acclimatise the environment above ground to the creatures liking.
After a run in with a pair of drunken looters our gang of survivors meet a stranded marine named Calvin and it’s not long before Bonnie and the soldier are making out like a pair of teenage lovers at the drive-in. The Professor draws up a list of chemicals with the intention of cooking up some way to melt a hole in the fog barrier and while out shopping for ingredients the gang encounter a guy called Tolliver who is carrying a goat (!) Attacked by a squad of spear-carrying Slime Persons the team are forced to seek shelter in an abandoned butchers store advertising Chuck Steak for sale (what the hell is Chuck Steak !!?). Despite emptying his shotgun at them at point blank range Tolliver is overwhelmed by the mouldy monsters and Bonnie is grabbed by a Slime Person who is hiding in a dumpster. Calvin & Tom take off in the direction of the girl’s hysterical screams and inadvertently stumble on to Slime Person HQ and the source of the fearful fog.
Everyone hates ‘The Slime People’. You’ll have a tough job tracking down a review that has anything kind to say about this cheap little flick but I’m gonna stick my neck out and proudly state that Slime People rock my world. This kind of apocalyptic scenario where mankind finds himself suddenly a rung lower on the food chain is always fun and the film does a good job on a near zero budget to deliver the cheap thrills that drive-in & grindhouse audiences would expect from a movie with a title like ‘The Slime People’. OK, so the constant fog does make it kinda hard to tell what the fuck is going on for much of the time but the Person Vs Slime Person fight scenes are frantic and fun and are all accompanied by the sound of the sewer dwellers hilarious blocked drain style gurgling and blubbering. The awesome theatrical poster dared cinema-goers to hold their ear close to the picture of an accommodating Slime Person and hear a life-saving secret from the “bowels of the earth”. Before you ask, I’ve never tried it. I’m too scared.
Although made in 1963 the film exhibits all the symptoms of 1950s drive-in sci-fi: the stoic no-nonsense heroes, the bubble-headed teens, casual sexism, wacky science and blame for the disaster being directed at man’s nuclear folly. Far be it from me to crowbar a political subtext into a low budget monster movie where none was intended to fit but there is something about the Slime People’s urban uprising that resonates with the civil rights demonstrations going on in many U.S. cities at the time. They’re fighting for their right to party man. They’re not demons, they’re not monsters, they’re people like you and me. Just slimier.
Narcan is the GCDb's esteemed UK contributor. As a youth his earliest exploitation film experience was a My Bloody Valentine/The Funhouse midnight double bill. Grindhouse icons that he holds in highest regards are Christina Lindberg and Frank Henelotter. Two of his favorite exploitation genres include Nunsploitation and Lucha Libre.