For ATTACK OF THE SLIME PEOPLE the title is both very descriptive and at the same time a red herring for the real story. Enter Buddy Flavinoid (Robert Tiffi). He’s a writer and director in 1950’s Hollywood who we quickly learn isn’t all that stable. After the producer of his latest film threatens to get him fired, Buddy shows his determination to see his project through by killing the man with a baseball bat to the head. Unfortunately, his homicidal dedication to the film didn’t save it from dying at the box office. Several years later, a mysterious investor appears and wants to produce another of Buddy Flavinoid’s films: ATTACK OF THE SLIME PEOPLE. Buddy, who’s sunk to working as a washroom attendant, is back, and he’s determined to make HIS film HIS way and he quickly brings out his baseball bat to help him remove anyone who gets in his way.
Even knowing that ATTACK OF THE SLIME PEOPLE is not a horror film, but a movie about making a movie, doesn’t prepare the viewer for the unexpectedly original nature of this film. With perpetually wide eyes, a huge grin on his face, and his baseball bat in hand, Buddy is reminiscent of a villain from a silent film as we follow him through the trials he faces while trying to bring his vision to the big screen. This impression is compounded by the exaggerated movements, expressions and mannerisms that Tiffi brings to the role. While this kind of over the top characterization would not work well in most films, it fits perfectly into the atmosphere of ATTACK OF THE SLIME PEOPLE.
Of course a film cannot usually stand well on the performance of one actor, no matter how good a job they do. Fortunately ATTACK OF THE SLIME PEOPLE doesn’t have to depend solely on Robert Tiffi’s fantastic performance. The entire cast did a terrific job, mostly playing “straight men” to Flavinoid’s maniacal filmmaker. In addition to the quality of acting found in ATTACK OF THE SLIME PEOPLE, the film also had high production values across the board. A collection of classic cars, good costumes and creative camera work were used to create an effective illusion of 1950’s Hollywood to the point that it would be easy to forget when the movie was made.
ATTACK OF THE SLIME PEOPLE isn’t the cult sci-fi/horror film that you might expect from the title. However, with its quirky but fun plot, over the top performances and its nostalgic nods to the Hollywood of yesteryear, the movie will definitely become a cult classic in its own unique category. So if you have the opportunity to check out director Martin King’s ATTACK OF THE SLIME PEOPLE I highly recommend that you do. But whatever you do, don’t audition for a part in a Buddy Flavinoid picture. The screen test is murder.