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Slaxx (2021)

Written by Patricia Gomez and Elza Kephart, and directed by Kephart, Slaxx stars Romane Denis, Brett Donahue, Sehar Bhojani, and Stephen Bogaert. It is a movie which casts a strong satirical stare at fashion retailers, in this case – CCC aka Canadian Cotton Clothiers – which resembles many well known retailers we are all familair with. We get to see inside the obsessive fashion world complete with fashion messiah figure Harold Landsgrove (Stephen Bogaert) who preaches the accomplishments of his environmentally friendly and progressive company.

As the movie begins it is Libby’s (Romane Denis) first day at the CCC flagship store, and we see her excitement at working for a company she has long worshipped from afar for all they good they are doing for our planet. Her excitement soon wains as she realises the customer service store smiles she has enjoyed her whole life are merely a store front hiding the bitterness, jealously and insecurity of the employees.

The store is getting ready for “Monday Madness” and Libby is soon swept up in the hectic shop floor life of getting a store ready for a big promotional campaign. The top item this season are CCC’s range of Super Shaper designer jeans – thermally activated denim that adapts to fit any size. Landsgrove’s speech praises their organic, GMO-free, fair-trade, ethically sourced tops and bottoms, and Libby is more than excited at this. Also to add pressure, social media influencer Peyton Jules (Erica Anderson) will be present at the launch so everything must go correctly!

Whilst all this is happening a pair of these Super Shaper jeans begins a bloody and grusome killing spree. Yes, that’s right, a pair of jeans! It turns out that CCC might just be lying about how their jeans are sourced! Who could belive a big fashion retailer might lie about how they produce their stock! These killer jeans are the results of the lie and somebody must pay for what has happened! As staff fall one by one it is up to Libby and her colleague Shruti (Sehar Bhojani) to stop a pair of jeans on a path of rage!

Castingwise, Denis is perfect as the idealistic young Libby, she is a good was in for the viewer to the world of CCC, and the use of dramamtic irony gives the viewer the chance to be a few steps ahead of libby as her view of CC changes following her discoveries of what they are really like. Bhojani’s Shruti plays well off of her as the more jaded staff member who has pretty much stop caring. Whilst Brett Donahue’s Craig the store manager, whilst a bit stereotypical and predictable as a character, has that thing about him that makes you want to punch him in the face – which I believe is the idea!

On paper the idea of a killer pair of jeans is a crazy one, and the concept is what drew me to the film to begin with. Whilst the reason for their existence in the movie is a valid one, with backstory providing important information as they plot develops, I just felt that more could have been done with them with regards to stalking and killing their prey. Also it seems that satirical attack on the fashion industry almost gets forgotton as the film switches gears in the middle from pith to the pathos mentioned in the backstory revelation. There seems to be something missing in the gelling of these two elements for me, but this is made up for with an amazing finale of a final scene. That not only comentates on the fashion industry but human nature in general.

Verdict: 6/10. An original concept, which is a rare thing these days, that gets a bit muddled in the middle but bounces back to deliver a catwalk of blood soaked satirical social commentary that will never go out of fashion.

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