SPAWN OF THE SLITHIS
Spawn of the Slithis was a fairly typical monster movie of the era. It came along just a couple of years too early to join the great 1980s spate of Alien (1979) copies see the likes of Scared to Death (1980), Without Warning (1980), Forbidden World (1982), Parasite (1982) et al of which it could slip in alongside with little difference. Having been made just that other side of the dividing line however, it is less an H.R. Giger lookalike than it draws on an older model The Creature from the Black Lagoon (1954). The associated explain-all cause belongs very much to the 1950s atomic mutation mixed with a few dashes of the 1970s prime cause detre pollution.
In most regards, Spawn of the Slithis is not a terribly interesting film. It is not particularly a bad one although there is one hilarious bad movie moment where the police lieutenant ridicules Alan Blanchards ideas of the monster. The actor in question who chooses not to take any screen credit plays with a balmy overwrought hamminess that makes for one of the truly worst performances ever committed to celluloid.
The problem is more that director Stephen Traxler allows everything to transpire in a dull way. There is very little ever engendered in terms of suspense and tension when it comes to the monsters attacks. The one scene that stands out is the one where the monster invades a houseboat to attack Stephen J. Hoag and Wendy Rattastar as the girl he has brought home. The scene is notable for the fact the guy is despatched fairly quickly whereas the attack on Rattastar is dealt with in some detail, showing her screaming and trying to get away and the monster ripping her top off in other words, the old standby of the monster as rapist. The film certainly gets itself together for a well-sustained climax albeit one that seems to be modeled in no small part on the latter half of Jaws (1975) with various parties trying to trap and fight off the monster aboard a fishing boat.