Saturday, 16 January 2016


Sometimes a title just grabs you, am I right?
And the title for Dave Parker's microbudget, Eighties-style creature feature anthology was more than enough to get itself booked in for a stay at the House.
Could Slimy Little Bastards possibly live up to my expectations?
Read on...


Dir: Dave Parker
Starring: Brandon Salkil, Keith Voigt Jr., Jeremy Ryan, Dustin Mills, Erin R. Ryan, Dave Parker, Jake Benson, Matthew Hudson, Aaron Anthony

SPEEDY SYNOPSIS: I'll try not to spoil too much here, but continue at your own risk.

Jack (Voigt) experiences some car trouble and strolls up to a front door for assistance. It is opened by the hammily horrific Curator (Salkil, channeling his inner Vincent Price) who invites him in.
Within The Curator's home Jack notices several slimy little beasties, beasts from his host's macabre menagerie.
As Jack discovers each one, The Curator tells the creepy story of its origin: 
ORGANIC SHIT — a very odd gentlemen (Jeremy Ryan) discovers some even odder 'matter' in the garbage disposal unit in his sink. He calls his building's maintenance man (prolific indie horror filmmaker Mills) to investigate.
But are they prepared for the thing in the pipes?
BRAIN BUSTERS — Sandy (Erin R. Ryan) is a depressed agoraphobic whose personal issues are destroying her life. As her desperation mounts, her physician Dr Lance Archake (Mills) prescribes her a new medicine to overcome her problems. However, unbeknownst to her, each time the medicine is administered it cause all of her deepest, darkest feelings to manifest as a murderous ball of ooze... one that seeks to eliminate the source of Sandy's dismay.
THE CRUSTIES — The longest of the segments, this follows a group of nerdy friends who love nothing more than to get a little stoned, drink a few beers, shoot the breeze and play some Dungeons & Dragons (even if they're not all entirely down with the rules).
However, when the host 's ill-tempered roommate construction worker Walter (director Parker) returns home, unwell from inadvertently consuming a predatory biohazard capable of causing hallucinations, the gang's game turns deadly serious...

THE BEST BITS (mild spoiler warning): If you take nothing else from this movie, you have to admire Parker's guts and resourcefulness for bringing an honest to goodness creature feature to life with limited means and funding. 
Ok, the rubbery beasties don't exactly rival the effects work from John Carpenter's The Thing, but they are a pretty great achievement considering the modest budget from which they sprang.
What works best in their favour (and that of the entire movie) is that realism is eschewed for fun. This is a truly entertaining viewing experience, a labour of love for the filmmakers with plenty of humour and homage scattered throughout.
The stories improve as the film progresses, which means the film just gets better as it goes on.
Organic Shit boasts a pretty thin storyline but is anchored by a couple of superb performances. As a fun introduction to the pleasures to come, it certainly works by whetting the appetite.
Arguably the finest acting work comes in Brain Busters, with the wonderfully talented Erin R. Ryan an absolute joy to behold. She's the most experienced thespian among the cast and this shows in her tremendous performance. 
The mind-bending storyline gives her plenty to sink her teeth into and she more than delivers. Brain Busters boasts the most ambitious plot and deserves to be applauded for injecting some smarts into the film.
As impressive as the plot and Ryan are,  that isn't to say that her co-star, indie auteur Mills, proves a letdown this side of the camera. He's not bad at all as Ryan's shady doctor in Brain Busters, but he is even better in the film's The Crusties storyline.
The longest of the segments in Slimy Little Bastards, The Crusties was also my favourite, a funny and thoroughly entertaining 'geek' comedy that felt not unlike one of Kevin Smith's View Askewniverse flicks by way of Ghoulies. In somewhat of a departure for most anthology stories, this section gives its plot some time, giving us a while with the loveable group of nerds and their very funny interactions and quotable dialogue before shifting the every-bit-as-entertaining monster moments.
The humour continues here as our hopeless unprepared 'heroes' attempt to take the fight to the small band of hallucination-causing beasties that invades the apartment.
Matt's (Hudson) and Dustin's (Mills) lacklustre attempts to replicate the action-movie stock 'tooling up' scene is an especially hilarious highlight in a story that I would have loved to see expanded upon.
This section is probably most enjoyable because you can feel the real-life friendship and camaraderie between the cast/crew which makes their performances believable and, more importantly, fun.
Less believable but just as fun, the highlight of the wraparound section is Salkil's wonderfully OTT camp performance as The Curator. Chewing the scenery as if his very life depended upon it, the familiar pencil-thin moustache makes it obvious that the incomparable Vincent Price served as the infuence for the character. Salkil's work isn't subtle, but that is kind of the whole point and it really works in the context of this film. The plot itself for the wraparound segment isn't exactly the most surprising, but it serves its purpose and offers up some nice laughs along the way.
Director Parker isn't looking for an Oscar nomination here — he wants to create a fun little film that will entertain. His shooting is certainly up to the task, and the film actually looks pretty decent considering its miniscule budget (a mere $1000!). What's more Slimy Little Bastards also boasts a killer score that is far more polished than you might expect. It manages to combine Seventies-style rock with some decidedly Eighties-style synth and drum loops that really capture the feel of some classic feel good horror flicks of yesteryear. Wonderful work, gentlemen!

THE WORST BITS (mild spoiler warning): Let's cut straight to the chase shall we? Slimy Little Bastards is almost achingly indie.
The tiny budget affects just about every aspect of the film in one way or another — the visuals can be a little rough around the edges, at times the sound mix becomes rather garbled and many of the cast are clearly more comfortable behind the camera than in front of it.
I know that time constraints must certainly have played a major role in the filmmaking process, but there are a few scenes that could probably have done with another take.
However, these problems are far from constant and only arise intermittently. In fact, I think it's a testament to the talent of Parker and his team that the technical issues crop up so rarely.
Even so, if you're accustomed to the super polished production values of your average Michael Bay Summer blockbuster, this is your warning that Slimy Little Bastards is an entirely different picture.
Elsewhere, as with any anthology, some segments are certainly stronger than others. Most notably, the wraparound story and Organic Shit are definitely weaker than Brain Busters and especially The Crusties. I'm not saying that these parts are poor, just that they don't reach the impressive storytelling of Brain Busters or the side-splitting hilarity of The Crusties.
The fact is that both feel a little underdeveloped, which will come as no surprise when considering the movie's extremely lean 66-minute runtime. Some viewers may feel a little aggrieved at paying to see a movie than clocks in at under 70 minutes, but I think it's refreshing to see a movie that tells its story and gets out of there without wearing out its welcome.

THE VERDICT: While Slimy Little Bastards isn't exactly the most polished offering I've reviewed here at the House, it is certainly one of the most fun. 
Parker manages to eke every last bit of quality out of his humble means and the sheer fun, pride and determination on display from everybody involved in the making of the movie is contagious and can't help but win over even the most hardened of critics.
It has its shortcomings, but in the end it boasts plenty of humour and some great creatures. Plus it's called Slimy Little Bastards! How can you possibly turn it down?
Luckily, you can buy Slimy Little Bastards from Amazon here. Alternatively, check out the movie's official Facebook page for more news on how you can buy the film direct from the filmmakers. Give it a Like while you're there too, Parker and his team deserve the recognition for their sterling efforts.

If you haven’t already, do please check out and like the Hickey’s House of Horrors Facebook page, which you can find here. It gives you a nice quick link to any new posts on this blog, plus regular news updates from around the web. I check the Internet so you don’t have to! Alternatively, follow me on twitter: The House@HickeysHorrors

Until next time, I hope you enjoyed your stay. 

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