Horror, Cult Movies, Exploitation Cinema, 70s Schlock, and more! Let’s look at something cool!
“We take care of our own here at CCC.”
Genre: Surprisingly Deep Horror Comedies
Year Released: 2020 [film fests – 2021 wide release]
Pedigree: From the writer/director of Naughty Soxxx. [YEP]
Where I Watched: Shudder
Synopsis: Libby is stoked to be working at CCC (Canadian Cotton Clothing). She’s been dreaming about working there. Poor thing quickly finds out everyone who works there is an asshat. But hey, they’re working at for a company that’s fair trade, organic, and sweatshop free! Wait, why is that pair of jeans so damn murderous? Lockdowns before season reveals can be MURDER, y’all…
Fabulous or Frustrating?: From laborers picking cotton on Experimental field 357 in India to new jeans headed to a hip chain store, the opening scene sets the stage nicely. Slaxx is a surprisingly entertaining film, don’t let the silly premise fool you. Why the hell is this happening? Well, as you might imagine, the “fair trade/organic/non-GMO” line CCC spouts is just so much hooey. Surprise! (No real spoilers, as we see a very young girl picking cotton in the first scene, child labor laws be damned.)
The digs at sales culture and overly perky (yet terribly inconvenienced, siiigh) sales reps are spot on. Stupid catch phrases spouted with make believe sincerity, overly hyped management, and a CEO (a delightfully vapid Stephen Bogaert) so up his own butt he seems to believe his own hype. “The first ever gender inclusive jeans” made to automatically mold to your specific shape. So…sentient cotton? Pretty much, yeah. Hey, these jeans can ROCK a Bollywood dance, though! Yeah you read that right. (FYI, the actual jeans in the film are made by Naked And Famous Denim. I’m guessing the real-life jeans aren’t bloodthirsty, but probably be nice to them just in case.)
Then there’s the self-absorbed influencer who gets a sneak peek at the collection; the staff even unlocks the lockdown just for her. Yeah you know how that’s gonna go, and it’s worth a chuckle or two. The kills are completely over the top, with lots of blood. Yeah the killing blows are mostly offscreen, but the pre- and post- moments are gloriously gory.
Yeah the premise of this film is stupid and silly, but I couldn’t help it be pulled in by the story, thanks in large part to the spot on performances. The overall message of be careful what you buy, because there’s really no such thing as a good corporation? Is a very light touch that works extremely well within the framework of a silly over-the-top horror comedy. I know, I’m as surprised as you are.
The only problem I have is that I didn’t give this movie a chance til now. I could have been watching it again and again for the fun, social commentary, and sweet sweet FX. But I know now. And so do you.
BTW, stay through the credits for fun “making of” bits that show how the sentient jeans moved, goofy outtakes, and a brief post credits gag.
BTW, immediately after I watched this film, I saw that the wonderful and knowledgeable Justine Leconte just put out a video essay These Fast Fashion Brands are Greenwashing. Give it a look, especially if – like me – you want to know more about this shady practice after watching Slaxx. #TheMoreYouKnow 🌈
Freak-O-Meter: 4 out of 5 Freaks