Saturday, March 29, 2008

UP FROM THE BOWELS OF THE EARTH. "Bowels" is right. THE SLIME PEOPLE is just a terrible movie. It's great! This is the perfect movie for Mystery Science Theater 3000; in fact, it actually WAS an episode of MST3K but it's not available on DVD yet. So sadly, I had to watch the ACTUAL movie. But have no fear because I had the moral support of Cheeks & Denise and my good friend Bumbler to bolster me through it.
Do you really want the plot?!?! Very well. Up from the sewers of L.A. came the Slime People: subterranean scaly slimeballs who can somehow create their own fog (otherwise they can't really walk around up here in the sunlight). Funnily enough, they can also make the fog solid -- and they do so -- which effectively creates a solid fog dome over the city. Trapping regular citizens inside with the slime people. Who are handy with spears. OK. That's about all you need.
An intrepid group of bad actors -- OK, the characters are only PLAYED by bad actors -- hole up inside an abandoned TV studio: pilot Tom Gregory (Robert Hutton -- also the director of this opus), ubiquitous professor Gelman. . .or Galbraith. . .or Galbin . . .there seems to be some confusion about the actual name (played by the constipated Robert Burton), his daughters Lisa and Bonnie (cardigan-wearing Judee Morton and cardigan wearing Susan Hart -- much more memorable in DR. GOLDFOOT & THE BIKINI MACHINE) and marine Cal Johnson (Conan O'Brien. (PAUSE) OK, it's not really Conan O'Brien it's William Boyce. But damned if it don't LOOK just like Conan O'Brien! I mean look at the guy up there! Time for a remake, I'd say! Starring Conan and Triumph the Insult-Comic Dog as ALL FOUR Slime People!). Then there's the over-the-top fun performance of monster movie veteran Les Tremayne as the nutty hermit Norman Tolliver. At least Les Tremayne is having a hoot in this movie. He appears in one scene carrying a goat: his one true friend.
Other than the usual shoestring budget "Ed Woodian"-type screw-ups (like a random person's shadow leaning into the frame), almost 2/3rds of the movie is practically indecipherable because of the dense fog. . .through which we can't see a hell of a lot, frankly. (Take a look down there for an example). Combine this with many scenes where the microphone seems to have been placed so far away from the actors that it's probably miking a different movie -- making some dialogue extremely hard to make out. Of course, it's really not that vital to hear the dialogue, is it? OK maybe I should rethink that statement; some of the dialogue you simply must not miss! Such as the romantic dialogue our Conan O'Brien lookalike marine spouts: "Gee whiz, after sitting here talking to you, I don't even want to think about slime people!" Gee whiz, just what a girl wants to hear! Or when Tom takes the leadership position by saying: "Now look, we've got to find their trail. Footprint, slime, anything."
All that matters is the four Slime People (at least that's how many monster suits it appears the budget would allow) and the often repeated identical shot of a slime peep coming up from the sewers. . .it's at least repeated 5 times. This is one of those great bad monster movies which populated Saturday afternoon Creature Features on UHF back in the day. It's almost shocking that I had never seen it before Cheekies & Denise (and Bumbler) presented me with a screening. Rest assured we all provided our very own live version of MST3K right there in Cheekies' living room. So for the opportunity to see this screen gem, I will forever be in their debt. Or is that the other way around???

5 comments:

Cerpts said...

Come to think of it. . .in that remake starring Conan O'Brien as the marine and Triumph as all four of the Slime People, I think they should have Reese Witherspoon play BOTH daughters at once.

Cheekies said...

But the best is the slime people seem to be singing the indian back round vocals for Mr. Custard through the whole movie. I'd quote it but i don't know how to spell it. Eh er reh er! Eh er reh er! Eh er reh er! Well that about sounds okay in my head.

Cerpts said...

Mr. Custard?!?!? Was he leading the 7th Mr. Softee regiment?!?!? But yes, a thousand pardons for not mentioning the Mr. Custer Injuns sound combined with a wet squelchy sound that the Slime People made. It is a beloved sound effect I shall make again and again from now on.

Cheekies said...

I'm making it right now!

Cerpts said...

I just KNEW you would be!