Long before he was writing/directing billion dollar MCU blockbusters like Guardians of the Galaxy, James Gunn made a name for himself in horror with low budget exploitation-esque movies that fit right in during the grotesque phase of the mid-2000s.
His most famous (or infamous) pre-MCU movie was that of 2006’s Slither. It’s both a satire of and love letter to gross, low budget gory horror of decades past. It’s gruesome, but also downright hilarious. So in honor of its 15th anniversary today, we thought it would be fun to look at 15 fun facts about Slither.
1. Directorial debut of James Gunn, who had previously gained notoriety as a screenwriter for Tromeo and Juliet, Scooby-Doo, the Dawn of the Dead remake, and Scooby-Doo: Monsters Unleashed.
He’s certainly come a long way.
2. Several studios made offers to distribute, but Gunn chose Gold Circle Films and Universal because they were willing to give him the most freedom.
3. Jenna Fischer (who was married to James Gunn at the time) was a last minute addition when the actor in her role had a scheduling conflict. The character was originally male but was changed when Fischer took the role.
4. During production, Gunn told Nathan Fillion, “We’re making a funny movie, but we’re not making a comedy” in order to help him strike the balance between the movie’s humor with its horror.
5. Despite being a huge fan of gore, James Gunn said that the fake dead dog prop made him really sick.
6. Horror director/musician Rob Zombie has a cameo as the voice of Dr. Karl, who Starla talks to on the phone.
7. Gunn himself also has a cameo as one of the teachers at the school.
8. Michael Rooker wound up dislocating his shoulder during the scene where he grows his long floppy arm, but didn’t say anything until after they were done shooting for the day.
9. During the premiere, Gunn said he was watching Nathan Fillion’s mother more so than the movie because of her shocked and horrified reactions while watching.
10. Upon release, the movie got in trouble for featuring the “No animal was harmed during production” disclaimer, mainly because the American Humane Society did not issue it and was no aware of the production. Universal removed the disclaimer for the DVD release amid legal pressure from.
11. Gunn wanted to cast Elizabeth Banks in the lead because he felt that she had a “Hitchcock blonde” quality to her.
12. Considered a flop at the box office, grossing only $12.8 million on a $15 million budget.
13. Paul Brooks, president of Gold Circle Films was quite disappointed with the box office, as was Universal, who said they only distributed the movie as part of a deal with Gold Circle.
14. Despite its poor box office performance, Slither went on to become a cult classic and gained most of its popularity following its DVD release.
15. Ranked #27 on Bravo’s 30 Even Scarier Movie Moments.
Which of these did you already know? Which ones surprised you? Let us know in the comments!