There have been several films within the horror genre that deal with the killings that occur with inanimate objects. From homicidal self-driving cars such as Christine, to desserts such as The Stuff, to murderous prophylaxis such as Killer Condom. With movies like , films can make a social comment in the form of satire and, at times, humor to make a point about consumerism and the lethal effects that coincide with a popular product.
Slaxx, a film produced by EMA films and distributed by The Horror Collective, sells us a story about a new brand of blue jean called Slaxx which can conform to the contours of your body. With these genetic modified denims, you get much more than just a comfortable fit.
Libby (Romaine Denis) is a newbie employee at a hip new store called Canadian Cotton Clothiers (CCC). She is greeted by her new and painfully cheerful boss Craig (Brett Donahue) who has aspirations of being a regional manager. Libby meets up with the Store Manager Hunter (Jessica B. Hill) who hands her off to Lord (Kenny Wong) who tells her that the CEO of CCC Harold Landsgrove (Stephen Bogaert) is coming to their store to promote their new line of blue jeans: The Super Shaper. These revolutionary jeans can instantly conform to any body type no matter what your shape is. When one of the employee Jemma (Hanneke Talbot) performs a five-finger discount on these chic jeans, she finds out how form-fitting when she tries them on in one of the bathroom stalls. The denim hugs her waist in a death grip which rips her torso in two. While this is going on, Landsgrove announces that not only will the Super Shaper be sold exclusively in their store, but that celebrity Internet influencer Peyton Jules (Erica Anderson) will be at the store to promote and try on these unique jeans. As various persons throughout the store are murdered in various grisly and amusing ways, Libby teams up with her co-worker Shurti (Sehar Bohjani) to unlock the mystery of how these homicidal jeans came to life.
Co-written by Patricia Gomez and Eliza Kephart, who is also the director, craft a superior satire on many issues such as body image, corporate fabrications, and the shallow hell of working in retail. Ms. Kephart does an amazing job of creating a terrific juxtaposition of the cleanliness, attractive colors, and helpful staff of the store with the dirty lies, hollow employees, and obtuse nature of corporate entities. If this was about an American clothing store, it would come off as bland, but because it takes place in Canada makes it all the more striking. As Canada’s southern neighbors, some of us get the illusion that Canada is a progressive utopia where equality and ethics ring true. With Slaxx, Ms. Gomez and Ms. Kepler shatter that myth and provide an unblinking and, at times, humorous lampooning that corporations are just as corrupt as our own.
This film is extremely well cast and everyone performs their roles to the hilt. Ms. Denis is terrific as the naïve noob turned detective Libby. Mr. Wong gives a great performance as the superficially charismatic but highly condescending Lord. Ms. Anderson is wonderfully over-the-top as the self-absorbed and ridiculously narcissistic Peyton Jules. Ms. Bohjani plays a wonderful counterpart to Ms. Denis’ character as the cynical Shurti. My favorite performance would have to go to Mr. Donahue as the painful smiling, ambitious sociopath Craig.
Before you dismiss Slaxx as some silly, stupid, inanimate object that kills horror-comedy, I suggest you look deeper into the fabric of this film and you will find some exceptionally smart and clever satire within its threads.
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