April 1st 2011
  • Action/Comedy,
  • R,
  • 96 min,
  • IFC Releasing
  • Cast: Rainn Wilson, Ellen Page, Liv Tyler, Kevin Bacon, Gregg Henry, Michael Rooker, Andre Royo, Sean Gunn, Stephen Blackehart, Linda Cardellini, Nathan Fillion, Edrick Browne, Don Mac, Mollie Milligan, Lindsay Soileau, Greg Ingram, Brandon Belknap, Mikaela Hoover, Mario Jimenez, Nick Holmes, Matt Moore, William Katt, Zach Gilford, Paul T. Taylor, Preston Strother
  • Director: James Gunn
  • Writer: James Gunn
  • Producers: Miranda Bailey, Ted Hope
  • Co Producer: Amanda Marshall
  • Executive Producers: Lampton Enochs, Matthew Leutwyler, Rainn Wilson
  • Costume Design: Mary Matthews
  • D.O.P.: Steve Gainer
  • Editor: Cara Silverman
  • Makeup: Rose Davis
  • Music: Tyler Bates
  • Production Design: William A. Elliott
  • Set Decorations: Kristin Bicksler, Teresa Visinare


After his wife Sarah hooks up with a smooth-talking drug dealer named Jacques, Frank transforms himself into superhero "The Crimson Bolt". Then with the help of a trusty wrench, Frank wages a one man war on crime. Libby, a local comic book store employee, transforms herself into a superheroine named "Boltie" and becomes Frank's sidekick. The two then team up to take Jacques down.

Basic Information

  • Aspect Ratio: 1.85:1
  • Filming Locations: Shreveport, USA
  • MPAA Warning: Strong bloody violence, pervasive language, sexual content and drug use
  • Production Budget: $2 million
  • Production Companies: This Is That Productions, Ambush Entertainment
  • Production Schedule: 9 December 2009 - January 2010

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2011 Guide Analysis: There are two rules when it comes to comedies about fanboys. One is that, while not bad, they're usually not that good either. The other is that fanboys themselves are rarely mixed on them - they either loathe them or love them. The much hyped "Fanboys" was a painfully lame laugher that didn't work no matter what the storyline. More recently, "Kick Ass" was an average comedy saved by its rebellious tone and two superb supporting performances.

James Gunn's "Slither" was another - a fun but icky horror comedy that was better than average - so naturally it's become a cinematic classic in some eyes. There was hope lightning would strike twice for Gunn with this very low-budget superhero satire, however reviews out of screenings in Toronto and more recently SXSW yielded only tepid reviews. The main criticism is that the laughs, though sharp, often missed as much as they hit. Others cited second act sluggishness.

Some reviews however painted a more hopeful and interesting picture, others were oddly hypocritical. It's a dark and weird film which means it isn't for everyone, but it also swaps between moments of extreme violence with those of comedy or sincere emotion. Some had a problem with that, yet oddly enough didn't issue the same complaint over similar scenes in "Kick Ass". The most common bit of praise has been for Ellen Page's comic turn, though I'm personally hanging to see "Castle" star Nathan Fillion as a Christian-themed TV superhero named "The Holy Avenger".

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