Slime: A History

Slime: A History

Today we are graced with a Guest Blog from Drew Blood who also is one of Fangoria Online’s Website Contributors with his Internal Injuries column going up each month. Check out his stuff and follow him on twitter for some great info!

If Tarantino(no not Tarina Tarantino the famous Hair Accessory Designer) had directed Slime City, just after that classy Weinstein logo faded to black you would most likely see this:
1. A thick sticky slippery substance.
2. Vile or disgusting matter.
3. Slang A despicable or repulsive person.

Then, it would cut to someone getting shot in the face. Unfortunately, and to the disappointment of us all, we will not be seeing the pulp auteur giving his take on the 1986 cult classic (directed by Greg Lamberson) in any incarnation as the possibility of Grindhouse 2 getting made anytime soon is a bit of a long shot.

However, there have been a number of flicks in the past that have honored and/or paid tribute to that “vile or disgusting matter” we lovingly refer to as…slime. In fact, there was even a TV show.

First up is 1969’s The Green Slime starring Robert Horton, who some might recognize from multiple runs on Alfred Hitchcock Presents. It was directed by Kinji Fukasaku who is actually quite prolific and considered a film legend in Japan having won the government’s Medal with Purple Ribbon for his accomplishments in film (Seek out his stuff especially if you’re a Sonny Chiba fan). The plot centers around a group of astronauts that have just returned from a successful blowing up of an asteroid on a slingshot course to Earth only to find that they’ve brought a gooey substance back with them that inexplicably transforms into a sludge Cyclops that feeds off electricity (naturally). Remember, it was 1969 when this came out so most kids were to busy taking acid watching their friend’s face melt off so the film came and went pretty quickly. Still, not to be missed boils and ghouls.

Pre-dating The Green Slime by about six years is 1963’s The Slime People directed by Robert Hutton about an LA reporter who touches down on a deserted runway only to find that the city has been overrun by huge, hulking slime-covered subterraneans called Slime People, who appeared out of the sewers with the intent of driving the surface inhabitants, namely us, underground so they can reign above. This precursor to C.H.U.D. is B movie camp to the max and is actually pretty watchable…I’ve heard.

Then there’s the Fantastic Four of slime movies. Actress and friend Debbie Rochon (Tromeo & Juliet, American Nightmare, Colour of the Dark) likes to combine these flicks together and rightfully so. The sub-sub genre of 80s New York punk-psychedelic slime flicks are as follows: Basket Case (1982), The Toxic Avenger (1984), Street Trash (1987) and Slime City (1988). I’m guessing most horror fans have at one point in time seen the first three and if you haven’t seen Slime City it was just released as part of a great DVD collection with four movies on two discs which you can find here: The trailer is also on the youtube. These four films combined with my TV viewing habits as a kid bring me to my next point.

In the eighties there was an inexplicable lust to see people compete in gross competitions in some of the most bizarre and sick obstacle courses ever constructed by man to be consumed by the masses. And sometimes we just wanted to see a bucket of slime dumped on a bowhead. This lust was funneled through the boob tube with shows like “Slime Time” (dubbed TVs messiest hour), my personal fave “Double Dare” (linked below to view), and of course the seminal “You Can’t Do That On Television!”
My best friend Mitch McGehee and I applied to be on Double Dare at least ten times I shit you not. Why Marc Summers? Why?!!!

Now, I have a theory that these shows were somehow inspired by the Fab Four Films of Slime discussed above by some subconscious Jungian connection of the mind. So, I realize that this is a long shot so much in fact that there is absolutely no way to prove me wrong which only the strongest of theories can claim! But tell me, if it’s not the case, then why were we so obsessed, as a culture, with slime in the eighties?

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