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Case Number 07750

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Slime City

Shock-O-Rama Cinema // 1989 // 210 Minutes // Not Rated
Reviewed by Judge David Johnson // October 11th, 2005

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All Rise...

Judge David Johnson liked the alternate title for this film instead: The Real-Life Story of David Johnson's Refrigerator in College.

Editor's Note

Our review of Slime City Grindhouse Collection, published July 24th, 2009, is also available.

The Charge

A cautionary tale about drinking strange substances from tenement basements.

Opening Statement

Every bit as campy and gooey as the title implies, Slime City is writer/director Greg Lamberson's stab at low-budget horror. There's slime, sure, and more than one limb gets hacked off in a geyser of goop, but is it worth your nickel?

Facts of the Case

Robert Sabin stars as Alex, a college student seeking a quieter, more private living arrangement than the noisy college dorm. He finds the ideal apartment, part of a complex that will give him all the peace and quiet he needs. Plus, his blonde, virginal girlfriend digs it!

It's not long after he moves in before he notices something eerie happening with the apartment building. Besides the overall creepy atmosphere of the place, there's his neighbor, Tracy, a leather-clad biker chick who tends to enjoy her men very audibly. Apparently, Alex is into the bad girl thing, and can't get her out of his mind, dreaming kinky, bizarre dreams that end with Alex waking up in a pool of slime.

This is having an adverse effect on Alex because, unbeknownst to him, he is slowly being possessed by the spirit of a man named Zachary, a deranged alchemist who committed suicide with his followers in the basement of the apartment building years ago. And now he's trying to claw back into the reality, using Alex's body as a bum-slaughtering vehicle.

The Evidence

Slime City is a micro-budget cheeseball horror film that, to its credit, knows exactly what it wants to be. This isn't a pretentious attempt to revolutionize-the-genre, but a film comfortable with its Z-grade pedigree. The gore effects are economy, but not short on the fluid, the plot is a derivation of pretty much any haunted house story, and the acting is rudimentary.

In other words, it's just what you'd expect from a B-movie, and the kicker is, it's pretty fun.

There's obviously nothing terribly inventive about the whole "cursed dwelling" plot, and Slime City isn't trying to add an inspired twist to a familiar tune. The film isn't utilizing this narrative tactic for scares either; this isn't a tense, jump-scene laden psycho fright-fest like The Amityville Horror or The Grudge. The setup merely serves as a vehicle for the horror Slime City shoots for, the gross-out, plumes of bodily fluid kind.

The demonic possession angle serves solely as a way to get Alex's face all caked up with make-up and to start slaughtering the homeless. Yeah, it's pretty much that straightforward, but, to his credit, Lamberson does inject some surreal, stylistic imagery into the proceedings, livening up things a bit. For example, Alex's black and white dream sequence with his seductress is weird and ends in a gooey, not-so-subtle riff on the wet dream.

Still, the gibs and potatoes of Slime City is the slime. For the miniscule budget it was made on ($35,000), the gore effects are surprisingly well done. Again, these aren't of the scary, disturbing ilk, but more of the slapstick severed-head-on-the-floor-instructing-its-body-to-kill variety.

Lamberson slowly introduces his gross-out scenes, before blowing his whole budget on Karo syrup in the last fifteen minutes. And while my biggest gripe is the fact that these good parts were swamped by slow, overly talky sequences, I won't deny that that when the sinew flew, it was fun.

Street people are killed, dismembered, their heads beaten to a pulp, all of it followed by Alex vomiting up a gallon of sludge. Then you've got the climactic showdown at the end, which is just swimming in gunk.

Are the effects cheap? Sure, but they're copious, and Lamberson isn't afraid to show as much as he can. He chooses to live or die by his gore, and I'll respect him for that.

Overall, I'd give Slime City a recommendation, especially if you dig low-budget B-movie blood and guts romps. Just don't expect to be blown away by any particularly adept storytelling, and you should have a decent time with this midnite cult flick.

Slime City has been given a snazzy 1.78:1 anamorphic widescreen transfer. For a film done on the cheap, it looks very good, adapted nicely from its original 16mm print. The colors are bold and highlight the deluge of gore nicely.

The disc sports an impressive array of extras, including a fun, reminiscent commentary by Gregory Lamberson and Robert Sabin (who relates nightmarish tales of the gore makeup), a "Making of Slime" documentary that details the process of getting the movie made, a documentary on Shock-o-Rama, and some nifty liner notes.

Additionally, Lamberson's third film Naked Fear is included. This zero-budget tale also stars Sabin (and comes with a Lamberson/Sabin commentary track as well), and tells the story of an agoraphobic shut-in and his entanglement with a psycho roommate. It's vastly different than Slime City and not nearly as entertaining.

Closing Statement

To be more succinct: Slime City lives up to its name.

The Verdict

The accused is released. The bailiff is ordered to bring in a mop.

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Scales of Justice

Video: 90
Audio: 80
Extras: 85
Acting: 85
Story: 75
Judgment: 86

Perp Profile

Studio: Shock-O-Rama Cinema
Video Formats:
• 1.78:1 Anamorphic
Audio Formats:
• Dolby Digital 2.0 Stereo (English)
• None
Running Time: 210 Minutes
Release Year: 1989
MPAA Rating: Not Rated
• Horror

Distinguishing Marks

• Director Commentary
• "Making of Slime" Documentary
• Naked Fear Bonus Movie
• Naked Fear Commentary
• Shock-O-Rama Documentary
• Trailers
• Liner Notes


• IMDb

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