Friday, March 26, 2021


Elza Kephart

It is a common horror trope to just take a random object and turn it into a monster. Stephen King has been often parodied for just this trope and perhaps not without some merit, Christine (1983), Maximum Overdrive (1986), and the Mangler (1995) are just a few of his stories that received a movie adaption. The list of other killer object movies goes on The Lift (1983), Rubber (2010), and Death Bed: The Bed that Eats (1977), just to name a few. So along comes a movie called Slaxx about a killer pair of jeans. I didn’t expect much from it. I certainly didn’t expect it to have things to see about capitalism and worker exploitation.

Still better than JNCOs.

The set-up for Slaxx is extremely simple. CC, The Canadian Cotton Company is a high-end fashion store that is setting up all an night for the reveal of their latest product, a pair of jeans that can change shape to fit any body type (and by any they mean between sizes 0 and 2). These new jeans have a different agenda and are eager to murder everyone they come across. Libby (Romane Denis), the newest hire struggles to survive on her first night at her work. What do these pants want and what drives them to kill? Also why do they like Bollywood music?

Slaxx is thin on plot but also keeps things short with a 77-minute running time. Things get off to a start quickly with a brief introduction to all the characters and then the pants on the loose by the twenty-minute mark. From there the film doesn’t hold back from the bloodletting including some deliciously gooey practical effects. The movie tears through it’s cast so quickly, I was wondering what the heck they were planning to do with the rest of the running time.

You probably won't believe this, but this
scene makes sense in context.

It is here that Slaxx takes a turn that is both silly and attempts to create some more depth to story. The killer pants are compelled to dance to Bollywood music. Why? Well, you will just have to watch to discover that, but ultimately this becomes a way to talk about the exploitation of child labor, GMOs, and what hyper-capitalism is doing to people. Slaxx is too breezy and absurd to stick this tonal change completely but it does elevate the whole production above being just a simple satire of slasher films.

The look of Slaxx is hyperreal. There is a retro 1980s neon aesthetic but with a very slick Apple Store vibe. The soundtrack is filled with synthesizer tunes that keep the already quick pace moving along.

Slaxx can only get so serious because in the end we are dealing with killer pants rendered with some very dodgy special effects, but as a light horror comedy I appreciated how it tries to bring all these elements together even if it isn’t completely successful. If you’ve ever worked retail, shopped for clothes on Black Friday, or spent some time critiquing capitalism you’ll find something to enjoy in Slaxx.

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