The Slime People (1963)

The Slime People_Lobby Card

Somehow I missed The Slime People (1963) while growing up in Northwest Indiana in the 1970’s and 80’s. I don’t think Svengoolie (Chicago-based Jerry Bishop) showed the film on WFLD’s Screaming Yellow Theater (1970-1973). The Son of Svengoolie (Rich Koz) might have in the 80’s, but I missed it if he did. I caught most of these films on Channels 32, 44 or 9 out of Chicago, or on laserdisc, but oddly this one escaped me. I do remember seeing an old clamshell VHS tape rental, but the film never piqued my interest. Well, it’s available as a “Creepy Creature Double Feature, Vol. 2” DVD with The Crawling Hand (1963)(also worth a look, and a film that gave me nightmares as a kid).

The Slime People_Titles

The first thing you might notice is the font types used in the opening credits are the same as those used for numerous television sitcoms in the 60’s. The Slime People has a TV feel to it, and it should as it was made for an alleged $56,000 (Senn & Johnson, 1992).

I don’t like the opening prologue that shows the monsters right up-front (that’s usually a no-no, although there are exceptions -e.g. Curse of the Demon, 1957).  The jazzy stock music is horrid and doesn’t fit the film. Worse, the footage is used again later in the film (Talk about being frugal). After the monster is revealed there’s not a whole lot to make the film interesting.

I do like the design of the Slime People, which are scaly fish-men covered in mucus.  They have an interesting dorsal ridge and hunchback posture, bifurcated flipper feet and a torso and legs with filamentous hairs like algae. The mouth has barbels like a carp.  The suits cost around $3,000 to $4,000 a pop.  Film historian Tom Weaver notes in a supplemental commentary that he had heard 8 suits were made, but he was skeptical of that count.  In the Fantastic Cinema Subject Guide (McFarland, 1992), Bryan Senn and John Johnson note that Director/Star Robert Hutton had noted in Fangoria #87 that only two suits were made.  In some shots in the film you can see three monsters, so it’s anyone’s guess.  My vote is for three monster suits.

The Slime People_Mug Shot

The Slime People are primitive under-dwellers that emerge from subterranean caverns via the Los Angeles sewer system.  They fight with spear-tipped lancets so I am guessing they are primitive, but they create this bizarre organic (?) device that looks like an inflatable garbage bag that creates this protective blister of fog that shrouds L.A.  The fog also creates an environment hospitable for Jar Jar Binks

Wait a minute.  Did I just say Jar Jar?  Primitive fishmen with barbels, wielding spears and creating a protective bubble?  That’s the bloody Gungan’s in Star Wars: Episode I. Has Lucas ever come up with anything original?

Search for The Slime People

The Slime People has a decent cast.  I like Robert Hutton, Les Tremayne (The Monster from Piedras Blancas, 1959), and Susan Hart.  Emphatic Booooooo to Susan Hart who is holding up the releases of Invasion of the Saucer Men, It Conquered the World, and I Was a Teenage Werewolf.

A Slime Person Attacks

The Slime People is low-budget fun. The print’s not bad on this DVD. Here’s that blister bubble fog maker contraption.  Take a spear to that thing already!

Secret of The Slime People

Pop!

The Slime People_Burst the Bubble

And a famous backwards Slime Person Triple Lindy flip!

Summersault

One Response to “The Slime People (1963)”

  1. […] flick called The Slime People (1963). Barry Harding did a great write-up over at his blog, monsterminions, so no need to go into any more details here. It’s a fun film about reptile creatures coming up […]

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