SPAWN OF THE SLITHIS (1978) Reviews and overview


‘Hell hath no fury… like’

Spawn of the Slithis is a 1978 American science fiction horror film produced, written and directed by Stephen Traxler (producer of Dracula’s Widow, 1988). Promoted as Slithis

Main cast:

Alan Blanchard, Judy Motulsky (Idaho Transfer), J.C. Claire, Dennis Falt, Mello Alexandria (Psychic Killer), Win Condict, Rocky Fumarelli, John Hatfield, Hy Pyke (VampHalloween Night; Nightmare in BloodLemora), Daphnae Cohen, Steven J. Hoag, Wendy Rastattar,  Don Cummins, David Ridenour, Dave Carlton.


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A nuclear leak creates a mutant Slithis sea monster, which terrorises the variety of pets, winos, and hippies who hang around Venice, California…


“Where Spawn of the Slithis goes most wrong is in devoting so much time to Wayne’s tedious detective work and so little to the monster. Partly it’s because of the usual reasons that this is a mistake— there’s little enough going on in the first hour of Spawn of the Slithis to break the will of any but the most pig-headed audience, and it takes a rare degree of dedication to make it all the way to the final act.” 1000 Misspent Hours and Counting

“Extremely low budget, and with some talky stretches, Slithis does manage to amusingly merge the 1950s style monster genre with a more free 1970s outlook, with a surprising extent of violence and bloodshed for a film which passed the MPAA with a PG. There is also a bit of nudity, as the monster attacks a pretty pick-up on a houseboat…” DVD Drive-In

“Traxler benefits from an interesting, untypical backdrop, and though the movie lacks the pace that would ensure a wider cult following he nevertheless conjures some pleasingly bloody moments. To cap it off, Slithis itself boasts one of the most charmingly ugly mugs of monsterdom – a vital consideration for such movies, which operate like beauty contests in reverse.” Stephen Thrower, Nightmare USA


” …the picture features the worst monster-vision ever, and remember – I’ve seen Bog! Ha ha! […]There are some well-mounted shots and random moments of effectiveness salted in as well! Wayne’s investigations and the 70s TV movie-style credits font give the impression of a fan-made tribute to Kolchak: The Night Stalker, and you can take this observation as neither criticism nor endorsement!” Ha ha, It’s Burl!

“Yes, Slithis is one of those special movies where everything is just “off” throughout its 90ish minute runtime, changing what might have been a generic and poorly paced monster flick into a B-movie masterpiece. Every few minutes I was howling at something… Horror Movie a Day


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“The audience sat mired in boredom during the dialog, roused itself for the Slithis attacks and sank into torpor again. Nobody seemed to be consulting their Slithis Survival Kit, not even during such slow stretches as when the local high school journalism teacher is suggesting to a cop that he ought to try eucalyptus drops for his cough.”

“The body count is small but the rubber suit looks good, and very ugly, with its hunched back and evil frog face. The suit should have been on screen more … Much of the dialog is amusingly strange, which is good since there is an awful lot of it.” David Elroy Goldweber, Claws & Saucers


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Slithis moves slow as molasses. Don’t let the PG rating fool you, though, as trash viewers will get a glimpse of some boobage during one creature assault and this bit, too, is presented in slow motion. There’s blood and gore flying around and what looks like some guts hanging out of one victim during the handicapped, no disqualification, falls count anywhere battle royal at the end.” Cool Ass Cinema


Hy Pyke’s manic performance is a highlight

“Part of what makes this movie so painfully slow and plodding is that we have to see everything the high school teacher does. Every conversation, every phone call, every dumb conversation with his wife, everything. Nobody cares about that crap, show us the Slithis killing people and maiming dogs! That’s what I signed up for.” 90 Lost Minutes


There is an interview with director Stephen Traxlor in Stephen Thrower’s Nightmare USA book

nightmare USA Stephen Thrower

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Filming locations:

Los Angeles, Marina Del Rey, Santa Monica and Venice, California

The film was shot in just twelve days in 1977 and released on 21 July 1978.


As part of the first run promotional campaign movie patrons were given a Slithis Survival Kit and could send off for a photo via the fan club.




Aquarius Releasing later used the film as a support feature for Doctor Butcher M.D. (aka Zombie Holocaust) when it opened in New York on 7th May 1982.

Some image credits: Cool Ass Cinema

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