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S E A R C H    D V D B e a v e r

(aka "Spawn of the Slithis" )


directed by Stephen Traxler
USA 1978


The discovery of several mutilated dogs along the canals of Venice Beach and the subsequent murder of a couple in a nearby home prompts the police to believe that some sort of mutilation cult has appeared in the area. Frustrated high school journalism teacher Wayne Connors (Alan Blanchard) decides to do some poking around of his own and discovers traces of mud at the murder scene. His science teacher friend Dr. John (J.C. Claire) identifies the slightly radioactive mud as "slithis" which first appeared in Utah in a lake near a nuclear power leak and was capable of absorbing and taking on the characteristics of living organisms. Wayne and his girlfriend Jeff (Judy Motulsky) learn from one of the Utah scientists (Dennis Lee Falt) now horribly disfigured by radiation that a nearby power station may be the responsible for the presence of slithis. With the help of diver Christopher Columbus Alexander (Mello Alexandria, PSYCHIC KILLER), Wayne discovers slithis in the water near the power plant and that fish have entirely disappeared from the area. He conjectures that whatever creature developed from the slithis has moved inland in search of food after having depleted his food sources in the water. When Wayne and Dr. John close off the canal access, the monster strikes at the marina. When the police will not believe his story, Wayne, Dr. John, Jeff, and Christopher decide to track the beast and destroy it themselves. SLITHIS is pretty strong for a PG rating (then again, this was before the PG-13 rating where the violent and sexual content was just as likely to get a PG as it would an R) with some shredded corpses, shredded blouses, and lots of paint-red blood. That said, it's the perfect cheesy grindhouse venture with a sub-HUMANOIDS FROM THE DEEP monster, laughable scientific dialogue, bland performances (save for a police lieutenant who looks and sounds like a bad Shakespearean villain), distorted monster POV's (some sort of vaselined center spot filter that suggests the monster has cataracts rather than heightened senses), a solarization effect or two, and a multitude of transitional optical wipes and irises. The Venice, California setting is attractively rendered with some good exterior location choices (including some covert conversations between the four protagonists shot at various exteriors solely for production value) and there is the expected "surprise" ending. Fast-paced (despite some static expository scenes) and unintentionally funny, SLITHIS is a must for bad movie fans.

Eric Cotenas


Theatrical Release: 21 July 1978 (USA)

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DVD Review: Code Red - Region 0 - NTSC

Big thanks to Eric Cotenas for the Review!

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Code Red

Region 0 - NTSC

Runtime 1:26:18

1.78:1 Original Aspect Ratio

16X9 enhanced
Average Bitrate: 5.33 mb/s
NTSC 720x480 29.97 f/s

NOTE: The Vertical axis represents the bits transferred per second. The Horizontal is the time in minutes.


Audio English (Dolby Digital 2.0 mono)
Subtitles none
Features Release Information:
Studio: Code Red

Aspect Ratio:
Widescreen anamorphic - 1.78:1

Edition Details:
• Theatrical Trailer (4:3; 3:00)

DVD Release Date: June 1, 2010

Chapters 10



Although extremely light on extras, Code Red present SLITHIS (onscreen title: SPAWN OF THE SLITHIS) in an anamorphic, progressive single-layer transfer that represents the source print well. The colors are attractive, grain varies from scene to scene (likely more to do with the original shooting and cheap processing; a wide high angle shot early exhibits some flare but that's from the sun).

NOTE: A digital glitch occurs for a frame or two at roughly 57 minutes as a result of a mastering error. Forum posting have confirmed that it appears on the finished discs but it should not ruin the viewing experience.


Reel change marks are prominent and the picture quality coarsens slightly during those moments but does not spoil the experience (it actually enhances the feel of the film). Some kill scenes are lit with red gels but the lack of detail in those shots is likely inherent in the print materials. A trailer for the film is the only related extra. Trailers for other upcoming Code Red releases are also included.

  - Eric Cotenas


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Code Red

Region 0 - NTSC



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