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By Matt Singer

IFC News

[Photo: Universal Pictures, 2006]


Directed by James Gunn

The most shocking thing about “Slither” is not something onscreen, it’s how poorly it did at the box office. I hear complaints all the time — especially at this time of the year — from self-proclaimed horror fans bemoaning the lack of smart, scary movies outside the tired slasher formula. People, where were you when “Slither” opened last March and grossed just $7.8 million dollars? People, do you realize how difficult it is to gross that little in this day and age? “Larry the Cable Guy: Health Inspector” made more. “Just My Luck” made more (here half of you are probably going “What the hell was ‘Just My Luck?'”). Granted, “Slither” lacked big name stars or directors, and if it had come out in October, audiences may have been more amenable. But it didn’t lack in quality scares.

Nathan Fillion, the most underrated leading man in genre films at present, plays Bill Pardy, sheriff of a small town overrun by an alien menace equal parts zombie and The Blob. If you think there’s subtext behind a film that transforms middle America into an insatiably hungry, brainless horde of cattle, well then, good work, you’re paying attention.

“Slither” marks the promising directorial debut of James Gunn, who got his start at subterranean indie horror studio Troma Films, where he co-wrote “Tromeo & Juliet.” His first Hollywood work, writing the two live-action “Scooby-Doo”s, didn’t take advantage of his talents — for a glimpse of them, you’re better off looking in his published work, co-writing Lloyd Kaufman’s memoir “All I Need to Know About Filmmaking I Learned From the Toxic Avenger” and his own twisted novel “The Toy Collector.” Gunn helped make 2004’s “Dawn of the Dead” surprisingly not terrible, and he’s applied his clear love of the genre to “Slither”; clever homages to past horror greats are nearly as frequent as the spooky stuff. He’s funny too: Gunn understands that good horror comes from a place of social satire, and exploiting our human flaws for terror rather than humor. It’s worth noting as well that Gunn’s not a snob: he loves horror movies in all their cheesy, messy, bloody, occasionally semi-nude glory, and he isn’t ashamed about appealing to our baser instincts.

Though Universal would disagree, “Slither”‘s box office thud might be the best thing that could have happened to it. So many of Gunn’s idols found their audiences and developed their cults on home video. This week he gets his chance to do the same. The DVD includes commentary by Gunn and Fillion, plus deleted and extended scenes, a gag reel, and several featurettes on the production.

“Slither” is available on DVD October 24th.

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The Best Of The Last

Portlandia Goes Out With A Bang

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The end is near. In mere days Portlandia wraps up its final season, and oh what a season it’s been. Lucky for you, you can watch the entire season right now right here and on the IFC app, including this free episode courtesy of Subaru.

But now, let’s take a moment to look back at some of the new classics Fred and Carrie have so thoughtfully bestowed upon us. (We’ll be looking back through tear-blurred eyes, but you do you.)

Couples Dinner

It’s not that being single sucks, it’s that you suck if you’re single.

Cancel it!

A sketch for anyone who has cancelled more appointments than they’ve kept. Which is everyone.

Forgotten America

This one’s a “Serial” killer…everything both right and wrong about true crime podcasts.

Wedding Planners

The only bad wedding is a boring wedding.

Disaster Hut

It’s only the end of the world if your doomsday kit doesn’t include rosé.

Catch up on Portlandia’s final episodes on demand and at

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Your Portlandia Personality Test

The New Portlandia Webseries Is Going Your Way

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Carrie and Fred understand that although we have so much in common, we’re each so beautifully unique and different. To help us navigate those differences, Portlandia has found an easy and honest way to embrace our special selves in the form of a progressive new traffic system: a specific lane for every kind of driver. It’s all in honor of the show’s 8th and final season, and it’s all presented by Subaru.

Ready to find out who you really are? Match your personality to a lane and hop on the expressway to self-understanding.

Lane 10: Trucks Piled With Junk

Your junk is falling out of your trunk. Shake a tail light, people — this lane is for you.

Lane 33: Twins

You’re like a Gemini, but waaaay more pedestrian. Maybe you and a friend just wear the same outfits a lot. Who cares, it’s just twinning enough to make you feel special.

Lane 27: Broken Windows

Bad luck follows you around and everyone knows it. Your proverbial seat is always damp from proverbial rain. Is this the universe telling you to swallow your pride? Yes.

Lane 69: Filthy Cars

You’re all about convenience. Getting your car washed while you drive is a no-brainer.

Lane 43: Newly Divorced Singles

It’s been a while since you’ve driven alone, and you don’t know the rules of the road anymore. What’s too fast? What’s too slow? Are you sending the right signals? Don’t worry, the breakdown lane is nearby if you need it.

Still can’t find a lane to match your personality? Check out all the videos here. And see the final season of Portlandia this spring on IFC.

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Last-Minute Holiday Gift Guide

Hits from the '80s are on repeat all Christmas Eve and Day on IFC.

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GIFs via Giphy, Photos via The Everett Collection

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