Posted in: Disc Reviews by Archive Authors on October 16th, 2006
A meteor lands in your typical SF/horror movie Small Town (and it could well be the same meteor that brought the original Blob to town). Bullet-headed mug Michael Rooker stumbles over it one drunken night, and promptly becomes infected with carniverous slug-parasites from outer space. He sets about spreading the good news, as it were, and before long the entire town is a chaos of slithering nastiness and zombiefied townspeople.
After scripting the slick but soulless remake of Da…n of the Dead, James Gunn turned to directing AND writing this as his next project. A tribute to every horror movie under the sun, familiar yet not without originality, completely gross but wonderfully good-hearted, this is infinitely more satisfying than his Romero retread. The mixture of suspense and humour is a tough one to pull off, but Gunn carries things off with panache here. You won’t know whether to laugh or throw up, but you WILL be entertained.
First up, a warning that the menu’s audio is absolutely ear-shattering in comparison to that of the feature itself, so be prepared to do some volume adjusting between the two. In any event, the movie’s 5.1 (the 2.0 options is available as well) is quite nice. The music might be too heavily nestled in the rear speakers, but it doesn’t drown out the dialogue, and there are all sorts of delightfully icky slithering noises enveloping the viewer.
The colours are good, with very nice contrasts, blacks and flesh tones. Edge enhancement isn’t an issues, but grain, unfortunately, is. It is just noticeable enough to make the picture feel less solid than it should be. This likely won’t be much of a problem on standard screens, but as soon as the magnification goes up, so does the problem. It isn’t enough to spoil the viewing experience, but it is a minor bummer of sorts.
Lots of little featurettes here. There’s a montage of eight deleted scenes, and one of four extended ones. There’s a gag reel, and what amounts to a second one (“Who Is Bill Pardy?”) which involves a running gag concerning star Nathan Fillion’s character name (the gag is clearly really funny if you were there). Fillion has his own video set diary, as does Troma head Lloyd Kaufman (who gave Gunn his start in the biz writing Tromeo & Juliet). The visual FX featurette is just a scored set showing the progression of a handful of scenes through the various stages, but has no narration. There’s a fun lesson on how to make fake blood, and a standard-issue making of featurette broken up into two separate ones (one general, the other focusing on the creature FX). Nothing hugely substantial then, but a lot of good humour.
There are simply so many ways this movie is fun. No genre fan should ignore it.
Special Features List
- Deleted and Extended Scenes
- VFX Progressions
- Gag Reel
- “Who is Bill Pardy?” Featurette
- Making-of Featurette
- Creature FX Featurette
- Nathan Fillion Set Diary
- Lloyd Kaufman Set Diary
- “The Gorehound Grill: Brewin’ the Blood”