366 Underground is an occasional feature that looks at the weird world of contemporary low- and micro-budget cinema, the underbelly of independent film.
DIRECTED BY: Eric Manche and Jeff Nitzberg
FEATURING: Jordan Lee, Dustin Triplett, Jessica Borusky, Chris Gorges, Mewgen, Ben Powell
PLOT: Atheist park ranger Rock Rockerson is forced into an unlikely partnership with Bible
salesman PePe in an attempt to save his beloved national park, but they both accidentally discover a sinister and slimey conspiracy that threatens the entire world.
COMMENTS: This did not turn out anything like I expected. What I expected was another clone of the Evil Dead 2/Troma-esque type of low-budget film, with nudity and pointless gore. Fortunately, Slimed turned out to be much lighter than that. As a student project/calling card, it’s pretty OK, although at 60 minutes long it would be a much more effective film if it was either shorn about 2/3 of its running time, or had just gone for broke and added 15 more minutes or so to make a full feature. A good portion of the film’s midsection (where the super-villain and his plan are revealed, leading to an escape and battle with child minions) goes on for far too long, time which could’ve been spent in more escapades with the main characters.
The highlights in terms of weirdness: there’s a magical gateway to a corporation guarded by a depressed wizard cat, the evil super-villain is a puppet mouse who believes he’s human, and his corporate minions are children who have the ability to fly like bats and who explode upon impact. Additionally, the performances are deliberately skewed and exaggerated, but it comes from trying too hard, rather than any sort of intrinsic weirdness. It’s like a would-be cult film looking for its cult members, but it’s definitely on the borderline of being a weird film.