It would take about three viewings and four scraps of paper to list all the wonderfully geeky horror references found within James Gunn's Slither. Half-horror, half-comedy, and (once it gets rolling) packed to the rafters with gleefully giddy gore-splatters, this flick is made for (and by) precisely one type of moviegoer: The old-school horror geek, the ones who'll sit through a cock-eyed fright flick, smiling and intermittently elbowing his neighbor in the ribs while muttering "The Blob. Body Snatchers. They Came From Within. Night of the Creeps. The Thing. CrittersBasket Case!?? Society!?!??"

Yes, horror fans, Gunn's directorial debut (after penning Tromeo & Juliet, he wrote both Scooby-Doo flicks and the fantastic Dawn of the Dead remake) is an absolute stew of creatures, characters, and conventions snatched from a dozen easily recognizable sources. (Well, recognizable if you grew up in a video store during the 1980s, anyway...) But the young filmmaker makes the difference between "homage" and "ripoff" quite apparent, because Slither has a large and obvious streak of affection for all the flicks mentioned above, and probably a dozen more.